“There’s something particularly powerful about meeting and learning from other queer students. Knowing there is a significant community of students dedicated to serving and empowering each other, especially here in Arizona, gives me a sense of pride and inspiration to fight for my peers.”
~Mary Knudson, Pride Alliance Co-Director
The Queering Arizona Conference is a free, annual, statewide conference held in partnership with UA, ASU, NAU and other Arizona colleges that allows LGBTQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual) and allied students to network and develop skills to take back to their respective campuses. In its fifth year, this conference has grown steadily each year with 172 people attending in 2015, including 50 students from the UA.
Proposals for the conference come from students and community members in Arizona, covering a range of topics including leadership development, activism, community organizing, immigration, faith and sexuality and more. Encouraging students to submit proposals, as well as running proposals through a student review committee, greatly contributes to the professional development of students.
The impact of the conference on student development is affirmed through post-conference evaluations. Evaluations demonstrate that, as a result of the conference, attendees feel more connected with LGBTQA+ students across Arizona, feel a greater commitment to advocating for LGBTQA+ issues on their campus, and feel that the conference developed them as LGBTQA+ student leaders.
The conference impacts students in other ways as well. One student describes, “I really appreciate the financial accessibility. This experience gives me so much more faith in our humanity.” Another student shared, “the diversity of workshop choices was great. I liked having options that I may not have expected.”
This year, the conference will be held at the ASU Polytechnic campus on Saturday, February 27, 2016. Registration is currently open.
For more information please visit: www.tinyurl.com/queeringarizona
To register visit: www.tinyurl.com/qaz2016
Written by: Chris Sogge & Jen Hoefle Olson
January 19, 2016