On Saturday, September 14th, 2013, Jer’s Vision, in conjunction with the University of Ottawa, offered a free all day training for student teachers. Keynote speakers Jeremy Dias, Hannah Collins, and Lukayo Faye Estrella discussed the institutional nature of schools, gender, sexuality, and the student experience. Breakout sessions went in depth with the language and history of the Western LGBTQ community, followed by presentations about changing your school culture through raising awareness, creating fundamental change, organizing clubs, and reaching out to surrounding communities. Teacher students were asked to create one or a series of action plans to prepare them for future challengs and opportunities. Further training on intersectional issues was suggested and addressed.
Some comments about the event were the following:
“I learned about queer history– I had no idea about it and it was interesting. I learned ways to help queer children.”
“I feel confident to go into a school and be able to start an awareness week and positive space club initiatives.”
“My favourite was the keynote speeches. They gave me lots to think about. It was also helpful and informative to hear about speakers’ experiences.”
“I really enjoyed it and would recommend others to participate!”