LGBTQIA+ Youth of Color Institute Recap, Spring 2024

“I’m from a line of courageous women. I’m from the motherland of my community. I am enough.”

Blessing Omoruyi, 9th grade King-Drew student attendee

WLP’s fifth annual LGBTQIA+ Youth of Color institute was facilitated by alumnus and El Camino student Lizette Nsilu. During the session, high school youth participants wrote autobiographical poetry, participated in a Black queer-led Earthlodge drum circle and voguing demo by Jet Finley, discussed the racial and gender politics of news coverage of communities of color with Guardian journalist Abene Clayton and gained knowledge about advocating for LGBTQIA+ campus climate issues with GSA Network coordinator Troye Peters.

The session also spotlighted video commentary from nonbinary author Kacen Callender (author of Felix Ever After and numerous YA novels) on finding queer-affirming communities and literature from Callender, George M. Johnson and Jacquelyn Woodson. Youth learned about queer icons and activists such as Sylvia Rivera, Audre Lorde and Gabriel Aurao and wrote affirmations to strengthen their since of self-esteem and agency. The day culminated with Pride flag artmaking, led by WLP #Standing4BlackGirls coordinator and artist Brianna Parnell.

For more information on creating safe, culturally responsive, Black and BIPOC queer youth affirming spaces in your school community, contact WLP project director Jessica Robinson