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Nearly 200 students participated in the first ever LGBTQ+ Student Summit at Evanston Township High School on April 7. The summit was planned as part of the high school’s ongoing Social Consciousness Series dedicated to supporting the academic success and well-being of all students. The April summit focused on the unique yet diverse lived experiences of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) and their allies.
Through a theme of “Pride Not Prejudice,” summit participants addressed topics that affect LGBTQ students, such as representation, gender inclusive education, bullying and discrimination, and being a supportive ally. Participants also identified ways to help effect change to positively impact the experiences of LGBTQ students in school and in the local community.
The summit was planned by student and adult members of the school’s Gender & Sexuality Alliance and supported by ETHS staff volunteers. Workshops, presentations, and performances were held throughout the school day to foster a greater understanding of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation within the school community. Organizations such as Angles, Howard Brown Health Center, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance & Youth Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) provided support for the summit, with representatives helping to facilitate discussions and activities.
Other SCS student summits hosted at ETHS this school year include the Black Female and Black Male Summits, the Latinx Summit, and the SAME (South Asian Middle Eastern Alliance) Summit.