ACSA’s inaugural LGBTQIA+ summit is May 4-6
March 21, 2022
This spring, California educators have the unique chance to celebrate gender diversity, equity and queer identity at ACSA’s inaugural Lead With Pride Summit, a conference for school leaders and staff to come together, build partnerships and promote allyship for LGBTQIA+ students and staff.
Lead With Pride is an opportunity to bring all educators — even ones outside of California — together to share their experiences and best practices. The theme “Out!” reflects the need for educators to come out and uplift their LGBTQIA+ students and staff, whether in good times or times of turmoil. Attendees will be “out” in their support of queer belonging and will be bold in their efforts to advance equality.
Sessions will focus on creating policies at the district level, including boards of education, to create safe and affirming spaces for students and staff; serving the needs of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming youth; and representing queerness in curriculum.
Two inspiring keynotes will speak to attendees at the Lead With Pride Summit. Jeopardy! Champion Amy Schneider, who with a 40-game winning streak is the most successful woman to compete on the show, will discuss the importance of transgender representation. Schneider was raised in a religious household and suppressed her own gender identity into adulthood. She promotes shifting the focus from trans suffering to trans accomplishments, and will share her own stories of saying “yes” to new experiences, from stand-up comedy to piercing her nose.
“There are so many forces working against us [trans people], and to show a whole segment of people who might not have had any real exposure to a trans person that we’re just normal people, not weird or frightening, will always be a source of pride for me,” Schneider said in an interview with Allure Magazine in January 2022 about her Jeopardy! run.
Dr. Jon Paul Higgins is a writer and social justice educator who was featured in Business Equality Magazine’s “Top 40 LGBTQ Under 40” list. Higgins focuses on issues affecting both Black and LGBTQ communities, and they advocate for changing the ways the Black and queer experience is discussed. Higgins’ work with schools includes restructuring Safe Zone programs and trainings on how to better serve marginalized students.
“I have said time and time again that while being an ally is a noun, being an accomplice is a verb — it’s something that we all must do,” Higgins wrote in an article for Bold Culture Hub in April 2021.
Lead With Pride Summit’s venue is The Seabird in Oceanside, a coastal retreat that offers ocean views and a relaxing atmosphere. Attendees will be able to enjoy an intimate venue with beach access while also engaging in vital professional development that will help forge lasting connections with colleagues.
Lead With Pride Summit
What: Two days of sessions designed for California educators to celebrate LGBTQIA+ staff and students, share experiences and best practices, build alliances and partnerships, and chart ways to advance equality worldwide. When: May 4-6, 2022 Where: The Seabird, Oceanside Cost: $449 ACSA members/non-members ineligible for membership/out-of-state attendees; $549 for non-members. Info:
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