For the second year in a row, YES Institute was invited to present at the All Together Now Conference, in St. Petersburg, Florida. This year’s theme was Securing Safe Learning Environments for Florida Students. Jen and Dani presented 2 separate workshops over 2 days. The first was “Speaking Powerfully About Gender and Orientation in the Face of Disagreement” and was followed with “Gender & Diverse Families in the Early Years.” Approximately 80 participants from school districts throughout S. Florida engaged with our work.
One participant from the Speaking Powerfully About Gender and Orientation in the Face of Disagreement workshop shared, “It was great to learn that being right is not the most important thing, but having something be the way it already is, and responding in a way that helps the other person feel heard and understood.”
The road trip continued to Gainesville, Florida with Jen and Dani presenting at the Association of Early Learning Coalitions (AELC) – School of Discovery & Diversity: 2019 Training Camp. This year’s conference had a Harry Potter theme. There were approximately 20 participants in the break-out session “Playing with Gender.” They engaged in authentic dialogue, driven by their questions, and examples. Jen and Dani initiated dialogue that examined the causes of discrimination, harassment, bullying and suicide among young people. They assessed the classroom environments and curriculum for gender binary vs gender egalitarian instructions, role-modeling and identified actions to take in their classrooms.
Saralynn Grass, Executive Director of AELC said, “We are so pleased to have the YES Institute here. We think it is so important to go beyond what is required, and make sure we are all aware of how language can make such a difference and being as inclusive as possible for everyone!”