The secret to building trust in education... Relationships, relationships, and relationships.
I can’t remember who said this. I found it the other day while I was scrolling through Twitter. I’m pretty sure the author is a teacher. At any rate, it’s the ideal way to begin a piece about the upcoming HoCo Rainbow Conference. The idea for the conference was born out of conversations between a teacher and her students, and their willingness to share openly and listen to each other.
Danielle DuPuis, Media Specialist at Hammond High School and advisor for the school's SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Alliance) Club, was inspired by conversations she had with club members. Some voiced concerns that teachers didn’t really understand them or that they were harassed by other students. They also expressed a desire to meet LGBTQ+ students and allies from other schools. Ms. DuPuis conceived of the HoCoRainbow Conference as a way to engage and educate within the school system as well as in the broader community while allowing students to make connections with their peers as well.
Despite the pandemic, the first HoCoRainbow Conference was held last year on May 15th, 2021 using a virtual format. And they’re back in the virtual format again this year on Saturday, May 15th. This year’s theme is: Focus Your Vision, Find Your Voice: Be Seen, Be Heard.
Here’s the big picture: the conference is free and open to anyone in the Howard County area: students, teachers, staff, parents, community members. All you need to do is register. (Did I mention that it’s free?)
HoCo Rainbow Conference (9 am - 5 pm) consists of:
- A keynote speaker
- Over 26 sessions to choose from
- Rainbow Vision Literary Magazine
- Read the Rainbow Bookclub
- Rainbow Pridecast (a podcast)