The MBLGTACC student planning team and Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity are thrilled to welcome Schuyler Bailar and Imani Barbarin as keynotes for our thirtieth annual conference.

Schuyler Bailar

Date/time: Friday, October 21, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. EDT
Union Station Ballroom B-C

Schuyler Bailar (he/him) is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. By 15, he was one of the nation’s top-20 15-year-old breast-strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. In college, he swam for Harvard University, on Harvard’s winningest team in 50 years. Schuyler’s difficult choice—to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion—was historic. His story has appeared everywhere from 60 Minutes to The Washington Post. Schuyler’s tireless advocacy has earned him numerous honors including LGBTQ Nation’s Instagram Advocate for 2020. In 2021, Schuyler also released his first middle-grade novel, Obie Is Man Enough. And in 2022, Schuyler created making gender literacy education accessible to every team, school and company.

Imani Barbarin

Date/time: Saturday, October 22, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Union Station Ballroom B-C

Imani Barbarin (she/her) is a disability rights and inclusion activist and speaker who uses her voice and social media platforms to create conversations engaging the disability community. Born with cerebral palsy, Imani often writes and uses her platform to speak from the perspective of a disabled black woman. In the last few years she has created over a dozen trending hashtags that allow disabled folk the opportunity to have their perspectives heard while forcing the world to take notice. #PatientsAreNotFaking, #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow, #AbledsAreWeird and others each provide a window into disabled life while forming community. Imani is from the Philadelphia area and holds a master’s in global communications from the American University of Paris, her published works include those in Forbes, Rewire, Healthline, BitchMedia, and more. She runs the blog and a podcast of the same name. She currently serves as the communications director for a nonprofit in Pennsylvania.

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