Game Change Conference

Posted by CANAPI ; Posted on 
Game Change Conference


The Game Change Conference is a unique opportunity for you to connect with up to 250 area professionals who work in a variety of government and private sectors.

The Game Change Conference was first held in conjunction with the 2014 Gay Games. The 2014 Gay Games, also known as Gay Games 9, were an international multi-sport event and cultural gathering organized by, and specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes, artists and musicians. It was held from August 9 to August 16, 2014 in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. An estimated 10,000 athletes from more than 60 nations participated in 37 sports and cultural events. The purpose of Gay Games is to foster and augment the self-respect of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all sexually-fluid or gender-variant individuals (LGBT+) throughout the world and to promote respect and understanding from others. Gay Games are held internationally every four years.

In an effort to promote further inclusivity in the greater community, a collaboration of local social service agencies and professionals hold the annual Game Change Conference for professional development in current LGBTQ issues. “Often times, a lack of LGBTQ inclusion in the professional arena comes not from prejudice but from a lack of understanding,” said Rebecca Callahan, Executive Director for Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI). “The Game Change Conference provides an opportunity for professionals in the area to gain that understanding so they can play a more active role in making the greater community a more inclusive place for LGBTQ individuals.”

The Organizing Committee is committed to engaging attendees through an energizing and informative program of speakers, and facilitating networking and business opportunities for sponsors through and interactive exhibition and a dynamic program. Attendees will include social workers, healthcare providers, educators, and local business owners and employees from a wide range of industries. Sponsors will receive acknowledgement prior to, during and after the conference through conference materials and the CANAPI website, and enjoy significant contact with delegates during the exhibition and post conference reception.

We look forward to your participation in this premier community event, and to welcoming you in Kent in October 2016.


8:00 – 8:30 Registration
8:30 – 9:00 Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:00 – 9:15 Break
9:15 – 10:45 Session 1
Civic Action/Leadership
LGBTQ Inclusive Sex Education and Service Learning
The LGBT Center has partnered with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health on a new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Called Prevention Warriors which uses All4You!, an evidence-based sex education curriculum comprised of 9 content lessons and 5 service learning sessions. LGBT teens have a 2-7 times greater rate of unintended teenage pregnancy, according to studies conducted by Northwestern University.

AKeemjamal Rollins, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
Eric Hayes, B.A., LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Inclusive Curricula for LGBTQ Students and Families: The Time is Now
Educators will investigate the use of inclusive curricula regarding LGBTQ students and families in hopes of creating safe and welcoming environments in schools for this community. While diversity awareness and acceptance in schools seem to be more commonplace, students who identify as LGBTQ spectrum, or come from same-sex households, rarely see LGBTQ-related issues reflected in any of the materials educators choose.

Karen Andrus Tollafield, Ph.D., GLSEN NEO

Health/Health Care
Prevention in the 21st Century – Understanding New Methods of Protection
HIV has not disappeared, it’s just shifted to the most marginalized populations in our communities. With 50,000 new infections of HIV each year, we must adapt our prevention strategies to include the latest and most efficacious tools. With the introduction of PrEP and PEP for biomedical intervention, we finally have a powerful tool to add to the toolbox. Now we just need people to know about it, and for providers to prescribe it.

Zach Reau, B.A., Equitas Health, Columbus

Legal Issues
The Law Is Public Health: Implications of Public Policy on LGBTQ+ Health Outcomes
This presentation will investigate the public health implications of legal issues in the LGBTQ+ community. Peer reviewed LGBTQ+ health studies will be reviewed and placed into a legal context. Participants will explore how to address and advocate on these issues in their own communities.

Julia Applegate, Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity, Columbus
Karen Rubin, MPH, Ohio AIDS Coalition, Columbus

10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:30 Session 2
Civic Action/Leadership
Gender and Sexual Minorities
An understanding of gender and sexual minorities is important to increasing acceptance. Current events have brought this issue to public awareness with differing opinions stemming from lack of education. We will examine the distinctions between sex, gender identities, expressions, and orientations. How are they different and how do they interact? What difficulties are faced by gender and sexual minorities and why is it important to make our workplaces, agencies, schools and communities welcoming?

Kat Holtz, Health Educator/HIV Specialist, Portage County Health Department, Ravenna

All Schools Should be Safe Schools: Issues that LGBT Students Face
Although great progress has been made in regard to acceptance of LGBTQ individuals, LGBTQ students continue to face issues such as bullying and suicide without support from school environments. This workshop will provide data statistics to demonstrate LGBTQ issues, address how to identify anti-LGBTQ bullying, and provide intervention strategies to support all students in K-12 schools.

Gretchen Heideloff, B.A., GLSEN NEO
Chris McNulty, M.A., GLSEN NEO
Mitch Kuntz, B.A., GLSEN NEO

There is No Pride in Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Sexual Violence (SV) are public health concerns identified by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy People 2020 goals on improving the health of all Americans include a reduction in IPV and SV statistics including promotion of awareness as a means of prevention. The LGBTQ community is still not well represented in IPV and SV, as occurances are under-reported, misreported or unacknowledged due to fear and lack of understanding.

Isaac Baez, Battered Women’s Shelter, Summit and Medina counties
Tessa Hemmi, Rape Crisis Center, Summit and Medina counties

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use of Transgender College Students
This session presents results of a study of a preexisting data set of the National College Health Assessment as it pertains to transgender undergraduate college student substance abuse. It also provides an overview of transgender health.

Dianne Kerr, Ph.D, Kent State University

Legal Issues
Bathrooms and Beyond: Preparing Your Organization for Equality
What happens when we achieve full state-wide legal equality for the LGBTQ community? Are you ready? This workshop will help you take a look at your current organizational policies and practices to identify major and minor steps you can take toward LGBTQ inclusion.

Alana Jochum, Equality Ohio
Alex Shanks, Equality Ohio
Gwen Stembridge, Equality Ohio

12:30 – 12:45 Break
12:45 – 1:45 Keynote and Lunch
1:45 – 2:00 Break
2:00 – 3:30 Session 3
Civic Action/Leadership
The Mass Cure: The Role of Activism in Proving “Gay is Proud and Healthy”
In 1972, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) classification of mental illness. The Chicago newspaper “The Gay Crusader” ran a front page headline reading “20,000,000 Gay People Cured! Psychiatrists Drop Sick Label”. Without protests, persuasive pamphlets, passionate rhetoric, personal confessions, secret meetings, and eloquent speeches, the removal of homosexuality from the DSM may have occurred years later than it did. Modern LGBTQ activism can learn effective strategies from our history, and we cannot forget the monumental efforts and personal sacrifices of our historical brothers and sisters.

Kathleen Alto, M.A., University of Akron

Normalizing Sexual & Gender Identity Across Youth Development
In this seminar, participants will learn about identity development including differences across the lifespan, as well as techniques to support those disclosing their sexual and gender identities and understanding harmful behaviors.

Kimberly Fuller, Ph.D., LISW-S, MSW, M.Ed, Cleveland State University

Health/Health Care
Cultivating Authenticity in the LGBT Community
Many LGBT people have grown up with shame of who they are and have struggled to live an authentic life. In this workshop, we will review the impacts of this shame and inauthenticity. We will work collaboratively to review and create a list of strategies to help LGBT people live more authentically.

David Phillips, B.A., M.A.Ed., Energentic Awakenings, Cleveland

PrEParing Cleveland: A Grassroots Approach to Increasing Uptake of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in Local At-Risk Communities
This sessions features a detailed description of the implementation of a tiered PrEP education and outreach collaboration between MetroHealth Medical Center and the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland. Learn about the success of the grant, outreach implementation, and the importance of community member involvement as demonstrated by utilization of Public Opinion Leaders (POLs).

Rustin Zomorodi, M.D. Candidate, MetroHealth Hospital, Cleveland
Maya Simek, Esq, LISW, MSSA, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
Josh Kratz, M.A., MetroHealth System, Cleveland
Dr. Ann Avery, M.D., MetroHealth System, Cleveland

3:30 – 3:45 Break
3:45 – 4:00 Closing Remarks


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