by Barbara Jensen, Faith Action Ministry
On January 10, in the community room of Hopewell Valley Central High School, a speaker from Garden State Equality gave a workshop, LGBTQ 101, to a packed house of over 100 attendees. The workshop was free and open to the public, and provided participants with basic information, terminology, and key concepts around gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and intersectionality. We learned the challenges faced by LGBTQ youth in school, including the Hopewell Schools, and community settings and how to to be inclusive and affirming of the LGBTQ community. The mayor of Hopewell and Tom Smith, the Superintendent of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, also spoke.
With funding from UUCWC’s Faith Expression and Funding Team/Council for Faith in Action, the Faith Action Ministry supported the workshop by providing refreshments for the event, working with Ronnie Dobrowolski of the Pastoral and Caring Ministry .
When Dr. Rosetta Treece, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, spoke, she said she hadn’t had any luck in finding a sex education curriculum that included the critical topics addressed in the workshop. After the presentation, members of the FAM (Barbara Jensen an OWL instructor and Elizabeth Downie, a freshman at Hopewell Valley Central High School and currently a student in OWL) spoke to her about what our church is doing. We agreed to set a meeting to share ideas. We’ll let you know what comes of this.