EqualityCon 2017 on May 6 in Springfield brings together our state’s LGBTQ community and allies, progressive advocates, civic leaders, and community groups to train and share insights on how to make Illinois and the nation more just and equal.


The State House Inn
101 E. Adams Street
Springfield, IL

If you need a hotel room, the State House Inn has a discounted rate of $95/night for EqualityCon participants. Call the hotel at (217) 528-5100 and ask for the Equality Illinois rate.

The State House Inn is fully accessible. If you need an ASL interpreter, or have any other questions about EqualityCon, please contact Anthony Galloway, Equality Illinois Director of Education and Outreach, at 773-477-7173 or agalloway@eqil.org.

Some professions are eligible for up to six continuing education hours for attending EqualityCon 2017. Find details here.



3:00 – 6:00PM: Early bird conference check-in

5 – 7:30PM: Friday Reception: Club Station House, 306 E. Washington St.

Hosted by Phoenix Center of Springfield


Breakfast on your own

8:30AM: Conference check-in opens

10:00 – 10:50AM: Opening Plenary

MCs: Jonna Cooley, Phoenix Center and Anthony Galloway, Equality Illinois

Welcome | Springfield Mayor James O. Langfelder

Charge of the Conference | Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson

Opening Address | Shannon Price Minter, National Center for Lesbian Rights

11:00 – 11:50AM: Breakout #1

Organizing with Religious Leaders against License to Discriminate Bills Panel Discussion | Dr. Johari Jabir, Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago, Jean Saloan, Peoria Insight Meditation, Rev. Carole Hoke, Senior Pastor, Fon Du Lac UCC.

Panel Description: How can citizens engage religious entities in ghting against license to discriminate bills both within the public policy and faith contexts.

“Growing Your Family: A Guide for Prospective LGBTQ Foster Parents” | Jane Kelly and Claudia Mosier, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; Elizabeth & Caroline Fox Anvick, subject matter experts, George H. Sheldon. Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

Workshop Description: This panel will discuss the Department of Children and Family Services initiatives, foster care recruitment for LGBTQ kids, all teenagers, with a speci c focus on African American teen boys, medically complex children and LGBTQQ/Rainbow youth.

 “Navigating Identity Documents: Legal Name and Gender Change Processes for Illinoisans” | Owen Daniel-McCarter, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Tanvi K. Sheth, Transformative Law Project of Illinois, Chip Loghry, Rainbow Café LGBTQ Youth Center

Course Description: This workshop will prove an overview of the Illinois legal name change process as well as state and federal gender marker changes. We will cover nuances in the law such as name change processes for minors, people with criminal backgrounds, and non-citizens as well as variations and contradictions in gender change processes. The workshop will conclude with a brief overview of pending cases and legislation.

12:00 – 1:15PM: Midday Plenary (Lunch included)

“Healthcare Justice”

Regional Resource Network Program, with Sanford Gaylord, Regional Resource Network Consultant, HIV/AIDS Regional Resource Network Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Getting to Zero, an AIDS free generation, with Eduardo Alvarado, Chief, HIV/AIDS Section, llinois Department of Public Health, Office of Health Protection

ACA and LGBTQ Illinoisans, with Ramon Gardenhire, Vice President of Policy, AIDS Foundation of Chicago

1:25 to 2:20PM: Breakout #2

“Organizational Development: Board Development” | Brian C. Johnson, Equality Illinois

Course Description: Equality Illinois CEO Brian Johnson will lead a discussion and share some best practices – and common mistakes – for how to build a non-pro t Board of Directors that helps lead your organization forward.

“Queering Violence: Conversations about IPV, Sexual Violence and Trauma in LGBTQ Communities” | Randall Jenson, SocialScope Productions and Consulting

Course Description: This workshop uses multimedia clips from individual LGBTQ and HIV+ survivors in order to examine the complex ways intimate partner violence, sexual violence and trauma affect LGBTQ survivors and communities. Participants will focus on the invisibility and silencing many survivors face within mainstream anti-violence movements and help participants discuss ways to em- power, heal and advocate for LGBTQ survivors in our own communities.

“Shifting Landscape: Title IX and the Rights of LGBTQ+ Youth in Schools” | Jordee Yanez and Owen Daniel-McCarter, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance

Course Description: This presentation will provide an overview of the rights of LGBTQ youth in schools with a particular focus on the rights of transgender students. We will unpack the meaning of recent changes to Federal enforcement of Title IX and what it means for youth in Illinois schools.

2:30 to 3:45PM: Breakout #3

“Alternatives to Healing: Transformative Justice and Unpacking Collective Trauma from the Criminal Justice System” | Randall Jenson, SocialScope Productions and Consulting

Course Description: How do we work from a transformative justice framework and recognize the realities of the criminal injustice system’s impact on our clients. Further, what happens when most of our resources are inaccessible and inappropriate for our client? Often, mainstream service providers feel tied to using access points to healing. Video clips and case scenarios from survivors of trauma will provide a foundation for reflection and small group activity to discuss how clients may need to navigate alternatives to healing to help keep one another safe, particularly when working outside of traditional, mainstream systems of support (i.e. children’s division, health care, law enforcement, etc.)

“How do you Advocate to Local, State, and Federal officials” | Mike Ziri, Director of Public Policy for Equality Illinois, and Naomi Goldberg, Director of Policy and Research for MAP

Course Description: There’s a ton of work to do both here in Illinois and nationally to advance LGBTQ equality and fight back against opponents who want to take away our victories. Come learn about how to effectively advocate for LGBTQ equality with your elected officials, at the local, state and federal levels. In this hands on session, you’ll learn about all the tools in the advocacy toolbox and then get a chance to craft a constituent-driven campaign to educate and persuade your elected officials.

“LGBTQ Inequality and Health Outcomes” | Jeffery Erdman, IPHA Assistant Director for Programs and Compliance

Course Description: It is well-documented that marginalized and disadvantaged populations experience poorer health outcomes than other populations.  This is true for the LGBT population.  From sexual health, to behavioral health, to the use of tobacco products and chronic disease, the LGBTQ population fares worse on health outcomes.  This workshop will discuss the connection between LGBTQ social inequality and poor health outcomes, and will offer some strategies to improve overall health outcomes for the LGBTQ population.

4:00 – 5:00PM: Closing Plenary

“Bringing It All Together” – Special presentation by members of our community | Curtis Galloway and Malary Gregory,

Lead Sponsors: Illinois Public Health Association, Regional Resource Network Program, Lambda Legal, Franczek Radelet P.C., UFCW Local 881, SEIU Healthcare of Illinois, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and AFL-CIO Illinois

Supporting Sponsors: National Center for Lesbian Rights, PFLAG Northern Illinois Council, Rainbow Café, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Coalition of Rainbow Alliances, Illinois Federation of Teachers

Host Committee: Rainbow Café LGBT Youth Center | Writers, Planners, and Trainers | Peoria Proud | Prairie Pride Coalition | Phoenix Center

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