The Gender Spectrum Conference: Youth Programs

Jun 18, 2017

The annual Gender Spectrum Conference is fast approaching and we are thrilled to have a great lineup of activities for young people. This year we are especially grateful to William Alvites of Across Gender and to J Mase III for their partnership in creating our Conference Youth Programs (and see a video of Mase describing his exciting new project, the Black Transgender Prayer Book).

If you have not already registered for the Conference, you can register online here. Online registration closes on June 30 so don’t delay!

Our Youth Program leaders are getting excited to bring you a great weekend of activities. Here are some highlights to look forward to from four of our fabulous program leaders!

Zara Drapkin is a co-leader of the Conference Art Room. Zara is a social worker and art therapist who is passionate about engaging folks in non traditional forms of healing and empowerment. Zara loves nature, art, creativity and dogs! The art room is open to folks of all ages and anyone can enter and engage in art making during open art hours. The art room can be a safe and supportive place to reflect, process and create. Youth as well as parents, caregivers and family members are encouraged to dedicate some time to the art room.

Laura Gorrin is the leader for the 3rd – 5th grade Program. This is Laura’s ninth year leading youth activities at the Conference! During the school year they are known as Mx. Gorrin, and teach math at Berkeley High School. They also organize gender neutral folk dancing in their spare time. This year at camp Laura is looking forward to playing games, doing science projects, singing, and having great conversations.

Corey Pessin is the leader of the Middle School Program. Corey is a fun-loving fourth year student attending the University of California, Santa Cruz for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. He enjoys rock climbing, running, biking, and exploring the Santa Cruz forests. Corey is both a past participant and previous volunteer, and he says, “While I love all the physical activities and games we do in the middle school program, what I think I am most excited for is all the engaging group discussions we have planned. Hope you’re ready for a fantastic weekend–see you soon!”

Jessica Alaimo is the lead for the Pre-K Childcare Program, the very youngest people to attend the conference. Jessica volunteered for the first time last year, and is thrilled to return this year to create a fun, engaging, safe and mindful space for children to be while their families attend workshops and forge connections with other families! Jessica is an Early Childhood Educator from Santa Cruz, and has been working with young children and their families for just over 20 years.