Category Archives: Events

Announcing the LGBTQ History Stakeholder Forum

We have an exciting change of plans to share: in putting together California’s inaugural Make History, Teach History: An LGBTQ History Symposium over the past few months, we have connected with many stakeholders who’ve been eager to help co-create a high quality LGBTQ-inclusive professional learning program for teachers and administrators. During this process, one thing has become clear: many more organizations want to contribute than we’d anticipated.

So we’re shifting the focus of our October 12 event:  it will now be an LGBTQ History Stakeholder Forum.  Its goal: to convene key stakeholders to provide input on the best way to deliver the state’s inaugural LGBTQ-inclusive professional development program for K12 history and social science educators.

Rather than exploring lesson plans, classroom engagement, and school community trouble-shooting and advocacy, we’ll be inviting interested community members and thought leaders – this means you – to influence the larger planning processes, with facilitated sessions on key questions such as:

  • What are the best structures, content, and strategies to provide professional development for administrators and teachers around implementing the teaching of LGBTQ history in our schools?
  • What does the research inform us about teaching LGBTQ history?
  • How can we best collaborate and leverage the resources we each have, to get the best materials to educators?
  • What academic institutions, education professionals, organizations, companies, and others should be involved?
  • How do we support school districts in the implementation of policies consistent with the FAIR Education Act and of LGBTQ history teaching that is aligned with the new state History/ Social Science Frameworks?
  • How can we impact the education of all students so they are more engaged in learning, in a way that improves retention and graduation rates, and leads to more college- and career-readiness?

We’ll facilitate discussion among educators and educational stakeholders, bringing all our collective insight to bear on the content and structure of the inaugural LGBTQ history professional learning program (to be hosted in Spring 2019).

We look forward to planning this important work together with you October 12th, at the Google Community Space in San Francisco, and in the months to come.

For further info and to register, visit the event page here.

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS CHANGED.

SEE THE LGBT HISTORY STAKEHOLDER FORUM FOR FURTHER INFO. 

Schools across California are now, for the first time in our state’s history, required to include Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) representations of the LGBTQ community in K-12 History and Social Studies curriculum. Now it’s time to ensure ALL teachers and administrators receive the necessary support to properly implement and incorporate the new material into their lesson plans and school districts across the state.

“We want to make sure that the people that come after us are better off,” says Rick Oculto, Education Manager of Our Family Coalition. “And not just better off but better than us: better understanding, better caring, better at empathy, better at creating a world where we understand that we all belong.”

Our Family Coalition is proud to invite you to the inaugural “Make History, Teach History Symposium (MHTH),” a groundbreaking conference in San Francisco where attendees will access successful strategies to teach and effectively incorporate this subject matter into existing teaching practices. All will receive sample lesson plans and opportunities for 1:1 coaching on best practices for mitigating and addressing potential concerns from parents or schools as we move to incorporating LGBTQ inclusive instructional materials. Mark your calendars for October 12th!  Continuing Education Units provided.

Audience: K-12 Administrators and Teachers.

Subjects covered include:

► Elementary, Middle, and High School Lesson Plans and Curriculum
► Respectful Language for Identities of Historical Figures
► CA Textbook Adoption Criteria
► Communicating with Resistant School Communities
► Legal Responsibilities and Connecting with SEL Initiatives
► Building a network of teachers and learners to teach LGBTQ history

The “Make History, Teach History (MHTH)” SF & LA initiative is brought to you by Our Family Coalition in collaboration with the Committee on LGBT History, the GLBT Historical Society, and San Francisco State University. Symposium promotional partnership and sponsorship opportunities still available. The L.A. Symposium will be hosted in the Spring. Please complete this form should your organization be interested in becoming a sponsor or promotional partner. Make History By Teaching History! Please contact education@ourfamily.org to join us!

Our Annual LGBTQ-Inclusive Preschool & Kindergarten Fair: an SF Tradition

by OFC Education Director Tarah Fleming

Our Family Coalition’s 5th Annual LGBTQ Inclusive Preschool & Kindergarten Fair was an incredible success!

Over 35 schools set up display tables at San Francisco Day School to show off their teachers and curriculum that foster respectful learning environments for all families. Over 90 caregivers strolled through with toddlers and infant carriers to have introductory conversations with school leaders. Families learned about the different community partners that worked together with Our Family Coalition to host this important and informative evening. The San Francisco Library displayed books featuring all kinds of families, and Community Well served fresh scones and berries while informing caregivers about the free classes they host for parents. San Francisco Unified and Parents for Public Schools took the mic and talked about the school enrollment process and People of Color in Independent Schools shared about their upcoming workshops.

As we enter into an era more aware and inclusive of LGBTQ families in schools, it is important to remember that it is also a time where the opposition is feeling emboldened to try and limit visibility, access and even rights. For this reason OFC is fully committed to creating spaces like the LGBTQ Inclusive Preschool & Kindergarten Fair, which also compliments the work of the FAIR Education Act, signed into law in 2011 and designed to ensure LGBTQ People are fairly represented in California public school curriculum and text books.

As we continue to engage families, teachers, community partners and school leaders in the work of creating equitable and just schools for all, we are reminded of the values many of us learned in kindergarten; love yourself and love others. This is much easier to do when your family is not only reflected back to you in all your school books, but loved and respected by the entire school community.

Check out the schools that participated here.

Three Things Parents of Toddlers and Young Kids Need to Know

We’re offering a fantastic workshop this Thursday, September 14: The First Five Years: Developmental Milestones and Parenting Matters.  In anticipation of it, we spoke with Dr. Dhara Meghani from University of San Francisco’s Parentline, an incredible local resource for parents offering free, confidential counseling (!) for parents of children 0-3 years old, and the source of our expert workshop facilitation.

Our question to Dr. Meghani: What three things do you think are most important for parents and caregivers to know about their babies, toddlers, and young kids, and yet most commonly misunderstood? Here’s what she had to say.

One: it’s normal for a baby to take a while to settle into a compatible sleep pattern. This is definitely a large source of family stress and anxiety. Knowing more about what a baby is capable of can help. And setting expectations realistically may alleviate concern.

Two: cognitive development is not a linear process: backsliding is not just common, it’s necessary. Just prepare for regressions and try to enjoy the ride. Dr. Meghani’s example was  brilliant: you know when you’re cleaning out the fridge? And the first thing you have to do is empty it all out on the kitchen counter? Well, that’s what kids are doing when they’re on the verge of a major developmental leap: in order to create the capacity for that new cognitive capacity, their brains literally prune out unnecessary neuronal pathways.

Three: it is totally normal to be freaked out! Rather than beat yourself up about being stressed, just keep your pediatrician on speed dial, or contact Parentline for support. Support groups for parents and caregivers – like those offered from organizations like Our Family Coalition – can provide critical life lines as well. Knowing others are going through what you’re going through can offer perspective, companionship, and sometimes some helpful new angles on a sticky challenge.

Want more of all this? Lindsey Rogers and Alicia Ranucci, doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology PsyD Program at USF work at Parentline, and will have a whole lot more to say at our workshop The First Five Years: Developmental Milestones and Parenting Matters, held this Thursday, September 14, 6-8pm at our San Francisco office. Advance registration always helpful (we calculate dinner and childcare based on it), but drop-ins welcome.

Some Families Built Art and Taught In to Fight White Supremacy Last Weekend

Our Family Coalition was hugely honored to collaborate with with Abundant BeginningsBolochos San FranciscoSURJ Bay Area Youth and Families, SURJ SF – Showing Up for Racial Justice and Kehilla Community Synagogue to create a loving and peaceful space for all families to come together while the grown up world spent the weekend trying to figure out how to confront overt racism and anti-semitism in our own back yard.

The “Family Art Build and Teach In to Fight White Supremacy,” held at the Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland, boasted close to 100 kids and families sitting in circles, reading anti-racist children’s books, learning chants for liberation and just having a raucous good time! Outside one could see four and five year olds collaborating on making Black Lives Matter signs, and in the back room families sat in dialog circles to talk about our greatest hopes and fears for our children living in a time where the words Nazi, KKK and White Supremacists have been part of our daily conversations more than usual.

The Artivists, “three intersectional feminists that use art for activism,” provided us with the opportunity to silk screen T-shirts with a powerful fist image stating “No Silence in the Face of Bigotry.” On top of all this were healthy snacks for all! Kids and families were able to have challenging conversations with each other, with the support of a beloved community and in an environment of solidarity.

OFC stands proudly with all marginalized communities and also appreciated the intentional efforts to lift up the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people present, and to create a positive and beautiful place where we could all finger-paint together for justice.

On Facebook? Check out our photo album of the event.