The first annual Great Plains Affirming Campus Conference is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15, at NDSU. The conference, known as GPACC, will attract educators and students from across North Dakota and the surrounding area to discuss issues related to campus inclusion of LGBTQ+ students.
GPACC aims to address campus inclusion, advocacy training and education, professional networking, diversity, safe spaces and Safe Zone training. The goal is to educate the larger campus community on LGBTQ+ issues.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Dismantling Walls: A Cause for Community.” Organizers say they want to highlight ways area institutions can be more affirming and inclusive through dialog, messages and practical professional development.
“This conference was generated, in part, from conversations through our Diversity Center Advisory Board,” explained Kara Gravley-Stack, NDSU deputy Title IX coordinator – Campus Diversity Initiatives. “Several of us recognized a need to bring together people working on campuses and in community groups across the region, and provide opportunities to connect and really focus in on the ways in which we can support our LGBTQ+ students, both in K12 and higher education. It really came from a need for more open dialogue and information sharing – activities that have been especially lacking in our region.”
To create a non-restrictive environment for students and LGBTQ+ individuals, the conference is offered to the public free of charge. Space is limited, so persons who plan to participate are encouraged to register early. GPACC welcomes students, faculty, staff, community members and other interested individuals to engage in the educational experience.
The conference is sponsored by NDSU, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State College of Science, Mayville State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
For more information, contact GPACC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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