Workshop Tracks

Tracks will be structured as a curated series of workshops centered around a common theme or topic, and will aid attendees in choosing which workshops to attend based on their interests and aspirations.

Below, find a list of tracks, track descriptions, and FAQs.

List of tracks

  • Doing the Work in Rural & Small Communities

  • Taking Care of Ourselves to Take Care of Others

  • Designing a Queer Future Through Media

  • Activism & Protest as Tools for Justice

  • Creating Change on College Campuses

  • Advisor Track

  • Virtual Track

About our tracks

Doing the Work in Rural & Small Communities 

Rural and/or small communities are a major focus of this year’s conference to honor the LGBTQ+ communities who exist in these complex campus and community spaces.  Communities outside of urban spaces are often disregarded by political campaigning and resource allocation, leaving marginalized communities to manifest their own models of advocacy, organizing, and activism.  By focusing on the work being done in rural communities to bridge resource gaps, build extensive communities, and combat small town conservative ideologies, we expand our toolkit of possible tactics and strategies for social change. 

Content in this track should focus on: 

  • Queer-and trans- focused work within rural and/or small communities in the Midwest 

  • Organizing, mutual aid projects and power building in rural communities

  • Unique experiences of LGBTQ+ people in and from rural and/or small communities

Taking Care of Ourselves to Take Care of Others 

There’s no doubt that the last three years since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic have amplified what marginalized groups already know to be harsh conditions, hard fights, and continued struggle.  Experiences of burnout, disruptions to existing organization and education efforts, and constantly reacting to waves of injustice have weighed heavily on queer and trans communities. It is essential we dedicate time and attention to pleasure, joy, wellness, and healing in order to sustain ourselves, our communities and our movement. 

Content in this track should focus on: 

  • Personal and community care practices that support communities impacted by burnout, systemic violence, trauma and medical gatekeeping 

  • Sexual health and safer sex practices including consent and  boundaries, body image, kink/BDSM culture, relationship structures, and pleasure/desire mapping  

  • Improving and understanding mental health outcomes for queer and trans communities, especially in the Midwest region  

Designing a Queer Future Through Media 

Queer and trans folks know a thing or two about entertainment, content creation, media, and design! Whether the goal is advocacy for a cause, mobilizing people around an injustice, tightening a community through art and music, or bringing laughter and joy to your followers– media and content creation is a strong tool for gender justice and sexual liberation. 

Content in this track should focus on:

  • Supporting artistic and creative content creation by queer and trans communities 

  • Representation, gaps in visibility, and analyzing the quality of queer and trans content in film, television, music  journalism and other mass media 

  • Using social media and creative platforms to build community, raise awareness and mobilize movements 

Activism & Protest as Tools for Justice 

Justice and rights will never be handed over by oppressive systems. They must be demanded. College campuses, urban centers, and rural communities have all been sites for direct action, protests, and other forms of activism in recent years specifically around issues of racial justice, police brutality, student loan debt, and climate catastrophes. Queer and trans folks are highly represented among those on the front lines, in medic tents, and leading mutual aid projects. 

Content in this track should focus on:

  • Current movement work, mutual aid projects, direct action and other activism within the region impacting queer and trans communities 

  • Analyzing movements and activism throughout history to extract lessons for us in today’s context 

  • Policies and political actions that pose barriers to activism efforts 

Creating Change on College Campuses 

College campuses are key areas of influence for our conference attendees. The history of higher education is rife with instances in which queer and trans people are underrepresented in programming, initiatives, and opportunities. College students, educators, and practitioners play an integral role in expanding possibilities for our communities on campuses and improving campus climate for marginalized people. 

Content in this track should focus on:

  • Experiences with student organizations and on-campus programming, events and advocacy 

  • Ways to access support services and resources as a queer/trans college student 

  • Advocating for improved campus policies and creating an affirming campus climate 

Advisor Track 

We are huge fans of the folks on college campuses who dedicate themselves to supporting queer and trans college students as advisors, student support service staff or by way of “other duties as assigned.” The work performed by these individuals is often thankless or beyond their job description but plays a huge part in creating affirming spaces and experiences for queer and trans college students. We want to recognize this work and hold space for these roles who often attend the conference with their student groups.  

Content in this track should focus on:

  • Tools to support advisors, higher education practitioners and other roles that support college students carry out their vital work 

  • Aiding advisors and practitioners in navigating complex campus environments and overcoming workplace barriers, burnout and other hardships of their positions 

  • Showcasing innovative and groundbreaking scholarship, research, programming and other initiatives that contribute to a culture of higher education in which sexuality and gender diversity is celebrated 

Virtual Track

One of the major lessons learned through this pandemic is the need for hybrid options at large-scale events. As we continue to contend with the impacts of the health crisis and ensure Midwest queer and trans folks can engage with the conference, we are committed to providing a virtual experience tailored specifically for a digital-first audience– meaning we will ensure all content available to virtual ticket-holders is curated to prioritize their experience and that presenters/facilitators will be selected based on skills and experience working with virtual audiences. 

Content in this track should focus on:

  • Delivering an interactive and educational experience to a digitally based audience

  • Prioritizing communities that are more likely to attend the conference virtually (Ex: access, distance/geographical location, affordability, etc)

  • Demonstrating strong workshop delivery skills in a virtual setting (aka not replicating an in-person workshop for this setting)

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

What’s a workshop track?

Tracks are a series of workshops centered around a common theme or topic. Tracks help shape the workshop content and aid attendees in choosing which workshops to attend based on their interests, area of focus or future plans. Think of tracks like seasons of a TV show or podcast, there is a basic premise tying everything together but each episode covers something different or builds off of what happened in a previous episode.

How does this impact the workshop submission process?

In the workshop submission form, presenters will be asked if their session should be considered for inclusion in any of the tracks. This information is used by the review committee to assess the variety of topics overall and it is not required that your workshop submission align with a track.

When will workshop submissions open and close?

We'll accept proposals from April 4 through May 13, 2022.

Will my workshop idea have to align with one of the tracks?

Nope! But it’s encouraged. The tracks will be pretty broad and expansive, so there’s likely at least one track your workshop could fall under. But it’s not required that you shape your workshop to match a track.

Can I reach out about an idea for the tracks or my workshop?

Please do! The workshop RFP is open from April 4 through May 13, 2022. If you have ideas or recommendations for content or presentations that should be included in a proposed or announced track, we’d love to hear about them! Contact R.B. Brooks (they/them), director of programs, at roze@sgdinstitute.org to connect about suggestions or questions.

Other questions?

Contact R.B. Brooks (they/them), director of programs, at roze@sgdinstitute.org to connect about suggestions or questions.

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