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The transcend transverse conference: education, advocacy, and building community for the transgender and gender non-conforming population
Throughout history the transgender and gender non-conforming community has been mired in oppression and discrimination. This community faces prejudice that is fueled by societal forces such as our current political climate, gendered norms, and misinformation. In an attempt to address this, the Transcend Transverse Conference was formed in order to help educate community members on transgender/gender non-conforming issues. The conference focus this year was pre adolescent youth. The Central Valley needs access to trans education to help bridge a gap between the transgender community and the general public. This graduate project involved a partnership with Dr. Valerie Leyva and Dr. Vickie Harvey, the founders of this conference, where I was assigned specific activities to bring the Conference to fruition. In this graduate project, I was responsible for the recruitment of panelist speakers to participate and share their lived experiences. This planning work was done through collaboration and engagement with local agencies that directly serve the transgender/gender non-conforming populations. Ultimately, due to the Covid19 pandemic, the Transcend Transverse Conference had to be postponed. Nevertheless, the work of organizing the Transcend Transverse Conference is part of the bigger initiative of resistance to the dominant paradigm simply by existing. There is a need for more action of this nature, where social workers are leaders and partners in raising consciousness through their work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.