Event: Spirit Night 2018 Teens 4 Equality Queer Prom, 6-8-18

Event: Spirit Night 2018 Teens 4 Equality Queer Prom, 6-8-18

Join us for the a PRIDE NIGHT flash back to the 60’s and 70’s!

Party people ages 13 – 20 are encuoraged to wear tie-dye, bell bottoms, platform shoes, and flashy disco outfits!

Pre-Register at PrideNight2018.eventbrite.com for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Must be present to win!

Please bring your school or CA ID.

Doors open at 6pm. Dance and celebrate until 10pm!

The Dolores Huerta Foundation, with support from the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, are hosting this event toprovide a safe space for young LGBTQ people to be themselves and express their individuality.

Food and drinks will be provided free of charge!

Bring your peace signs!

Last year’s Prom was a great success and we expect this one to be even bigger and better!

For more information, please contact DHF Equality Organizer, Mariajose Mendoza at (213) 290-7161

Teens 4 Equality in Action: Beyond Our Closets – LGBTQ Youth Speak Out for Family Acceptance

Teens 4 Equality in Action: Beyond Our Closets – LGBTQ Youth Speak Out for Family Acceptance

On Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 DHF Teens 4 Equality with support from DHF Equality Organizer, Dean Welliver, hosted Beyond Our Closets: LGBTQ Youth Speak Out for Family Acceptance. The event commemorated National Coming Out Day. Teens 4 Equality leaders  Emily, Chyna, Nena, Dennis, Andrew, and Julian led a panel discussion in which they shared touching, often emotional, but also joyful and hopeful stories about coming out and family acceptance. Through their experiences of coming out as LGBTQ youth in the 2010s, they related what they want parents and the community to know about LGBTQ youth and offered suggestions for how families and the community can be more supportive.

Dennis asked for people to take him seriously and not see his identity as some sort of joke.

Chyna suggested families make this topic a part of normal family discussion.

Julian made a simple but powerful request, “Just hug your kid. A real hug – not a weak side hug! Tell them you love them, and say it like you really mean it!”

There was one overarching message for family and community, “Be openminded. Be willing to change your opinions and learn something new.”

Following the panel there was time for questions and comments between attendees and panelists. The courage and honesty of the youth inspired attendees to open up and share some of their own stories and explore what family acceptance means to them.

See news coverage of the event at this link.

DHF in Action: Teens 4 Equality youth leaders join Free Our Dreams Day of Action, Mon. 5/8/17

DHF in Action: Teens 4 Equality youth leaders join Free Our Dreams Day of Action, Mon. 5/8/17

In May of 2017 Equality Organizers Dean Welliver and Moises Duran accompanied five teen leaders from Kern County to Sacramento for the Free Our Dreams Statewide Day of Action coordinated by Movement Strategy Center.  The Free Our Dreams convening took place May 6-8 in Sacramento provided workshops on movement building and legislative advocacy. Youth learned how to tell their stories so they could meet with elected officials to advocate for legislation that help create welcoming and safe communities for marginalized youth.

Teen Leader Emily Nunez worked on the youth planning committee for the convening and helped draft the model “Safe and Welcoming Schools for All” Platform that will be launched at the Fall 2017 Free Our Dreams youth organizing convening. The “Safe and Welcoming Schools for all” platform is a model policy that provides specific policy recommendations school districts can implement to ensure a safe and welcoming school climate for LGBT students, students of color, immigrant students, and Muslim students.

Paola Hinojosa was one of the teen leaders selected from organizations across the state to meet with California Superintendent of Education Tom Torlakson. Paola shared her story of growing up in a family of mixed immigration status and advocated for sanctuary schools to help students who are undocumented or have undocumented family members feel safe at school without fear of immigration enforcement on campus.

“As a student whose parents are undocumented, going to the state capital and speaking about these issues is something I take seriously. It was definitely a unique experience as the people we met with listened intently and really wanted to hear what we had to say which is nice because adults tend to not listen to what youth have to say.” – Paola Hinojosa

Additionally, all five teen leaders from Kern met with representatives from the offices of Senator Jean Fuller (R), Assemblyman Vince Fong (R), Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R), and Senator Henry Stern (D) to advocate for a legislation to end the use of willful defiance as a grounds for suspension and expulsion, legislation for free bus passes for students, legislation to update eligibility requirements for in-state tuition for undocumented students, and the creation of a third gender marker on government identification documents.

DHF’s Teens 4 Equality joined over 200 Free Our Dreams youth leaders in asking legislators and decision makers to take bold action that make our neighborhoods and schools safe and inclusive environments where youth are free to grow and thrive. They are asking our legislators and decision makers to step up and support legislation that:

– Creates sanctuary for all and fully inclusive schools and communities

– Reinvests resources from punishment and incarceration to prevention

– Transformative justice practices; and expansion of economic, health and educational opportunity for all youth

Support these youth leaders by asking that our representatives stand for all of us by supporting and building a “CaliforALL.”

Top Policy Priorities:

  • SB 607 (Skinner): Ending suspensions for willful defiance
  • SB 395 (Lara, Mitchell): Miranda rights for law enforcement interrogations for youth
  • AB 90 (Weber): Moratorium on the use of CalGang Database
  • SB 562 (Lara): Californians for a Healthy California Act
  • SB 68 (Lara): Extending in-state tuition for undocumented students at CSU and community colleges
  • CA Department of Education advisory for “Safe Schools For All”

#Cali4ALL, #FreeOurDreams #Safe4Me2

Event: DHF Presents Free Screening of “Raising Zoey”, Wed. 5/17/17, 6pm

Event: DHF Presents Free Screening of “Raising Zoey”, Wed. 5/17/17, 6pm

Raising Zoey is a heartwarming film about a family faced with the insurmountable challenges of a youth’s gender transition.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

MAYA CINEMAS
1000 CALIFORNIA AVE.
BAKERSFIELD, CA 93304

Instinctively and unconditionally supporting her daughter’s journey, Ofelia reaches out to a community beyond her resources for guidance and knowledge. “Zoey is not special because she is trans. She is special because she is my child.”

Join Ofelia, Zoey and director Dante Alencastre for a panel after the screening

Register on Facebook to RSVP https://www.facebook.com/events/267825010346230/

For more information, contact Moises Duran, DHF Equality Organizer, (661) 578-0140

 

DHF in Action: Two Spirit Gathering event for indigenous LGBTQ people, Fri. 4/14 – Sun. 4/16/17

DHF in Action: Two Spirit Gathering event for indigenous LGBTQ people, Fri. 4/14 – Sun. 4/16/17

DHF Equality Program Organizer, Moises Duran, and several youth from the Teens 4 LGBTQ Equality Group spent part of their Spring Break attending a Two Spirit Gathering event for indigenous LGBTQ people. The event was held at a private sanctuary and ceremonial gathering place on the Tule River. The 12 acres of pristine undeveloped land in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains are situated within the Sequoia National Forest.

Activities were planned to build respect for the LGBTQ community and bring humanity together. They included a Mexica Temazcall lodge, a danza circle, other native dancing, land and water restoration and stewardship, and camping for a group of about 100 people.

The group created a sacred sacred community altar to commemorate and honor indigenous/Native LGBTQ individuals who have been murdered and might otherwise be forgotten.

 

Event: 2nd Annual LGBT Youth Summit, Sat. 3/4/17, 9am

Event: 2nd Annual LGBT Youth Summit, Sat. 3/4/17, 9am

Saturday, March 4th, 2017
9:00am to 3:00pm

CSUB Student Union
9001 Stockdale Hwy.
Bakersfield, CA 93311

Free to Youth 13 – 20 years of age. (Adults who respect youth voices are also welcome.)

Transportation, food, and door prizes will be provided.

Participate in workshops about family acceptance, sexual health, community organizing, student rights and more.

Register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QTCKRFT

For more information, contact Moises Duran, DHF Equality Program Organizer, 661-578-0140, mduran@doloreshuerta.org

Weaving Movements Newsletter 2016: Equality

Weaving Movements Newsletter 2016: Equality

Equality

In January 2016, the Dolores Huerta Foundation launched its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equality Program. Equality Organizers, Moises Duran and Dean Welliver, are working to organize students, families, and community members to take a more pronounced and active role in creating safe and welcoming school climates, mobilizing the LGBT vote, addressing health inequalities like STD transmission rates and lack of health care services for transgender residents, and providing safe spaces for LGBT and straight allied youth to grow as leaders! DHF launched the program to address the inequalities that LGBT residents of Kern County are experiencing in the areas of health, education, youth, and civic engagement.

They started the group Teens 4 LGBT Equality. It is currently the only active community based youth group in Kern County providing engaging and fun extracurricular activities focused on building community and learning about LGBT identities and rights.

While California does have legal protections safeguarding LGBT student’s rights, Kern High School District (KHSD) has failed to make all students feel safe. KHSD Board of Trustees member Chad Vegas stated publicly that LGBT students are “sexually perverse” and “mentally ill” at a school board meeting addressing a non-discrimination policy intended to protect transgender students. He invited parishioners from his church who made disparaging comments towards the LGBT community, including the malicious misgendering of a trans-woman giving public comment. In the face of these hostile and traumatic attacks, the LGBT community showed great strength and poise and was ultimately able to celebrate the policy approval.

LGBT Youth Prom

Youth in Kern County experience a lack of LGBT-inclusive social spaces. On June 17th, the DHF Teens 4 LGBTQ Equality group planned “Let Your Queer Glow”- the first teen-led Kern County LGBT youth dance. They transformed the Bakersfield Gay and Lesbian Center into a glowing neon space galaxy. Over fifty of their peers danced and enjoyed themselves without having to worry about potential backlash from other students and staff.

Fifteen year-old West High Student Toni attended the dance and said, “My favorite part was that I could talk with people that know what I’m going through. You get to be yourself and celebrate it. It’s really fun.”

“Joining Teens 4 LGBTQ Equality has had a positive impact on my life, because I would have never done stuff like this before! It has motivated me to go outside of my comfort zone and try new things! My favorite part of being in the program is that I get to be involved in the community and meet other youth who are facing the same challenges we face and who understand our problems!” –Teen Leader, Paola Hinojosa.

LGBT Youth Advocacy Impacts KHSD Policy

Teens 4 LGBT Equality, Dolores Huerta Foundation and allied organizations working together to provide a safer school climate, education, and visibility for LGBTQ Youth and allies were given extensive training on the school budget process and the Local Control Accountability Plan, how to advocate for their educational needs, and in core competencies such as public speaking, outreach, and facilitating meetings. The curriculum also explored the school to prison pipeline, sexual education/health, power and oppression, bullying and victimization, student’s rights and a history of the LGBTQ movement.  Youth discussed their personal experiences and identified gaps in services and policies in the Kern High School District (KHSD). Through the LCAP process, youth were provided an opportunity to directly advocate for their needs and practice public speaking. Fifteen students attended several LCAP public input sessions and provided recommendations to the KHSD board.

The students advocated for cultural competency trainings for staff, implementation of the School Success and Opportunity Act (allowing all students to participate in activities regardless of their birth gender), anti-bullying policies and procedures, implementing the California Healthy Kids Survey to understand health needs, gender neutral restrooms and greater LGBTQ resources at parent centers and counselors’ offices. In the final LCAP, approved by the KHSD board in June, many of the recommendations were included such as hiring additional teachers to reduce class sizes, hiring more counselors to increase the accessibility of academic guidance, more advanced placement classes offered and staff cultural competency trainings.