By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
ANN ARBOR – On Saturday, March 25, PFLAG Ann Arbor will host the Michigan Circle, a day-long conference of PFLAG leaders, members and supporters across the state.
Presentations and workshops offered will include Safe Schools, Working with Faith Communities, Political Action, and Lobby Training. Elizabeth Hampton-Brown, senior field and policy coordinator for PFLAG National and Sean Kosofsky, Triangle Foundation director of policy, will be presenters for the event.
“In Michigan, PFLAG chapters from across the state are coming together for a day of training and organizing to help focus and strengthen the great work that is being done there,” said Hampton-Brown. “I’m going to be talking about PFLAG’s Safe Schools program, ways that members can reach out to faith communities, and some of the basics for grassroots lobbying. This is a great time to help chapters throughout Michigan to work together to fulfill PFLAG’s mission of support, education and advocacy.”
Mike Neubecker, PFLAG Great Lakes regional director, will facilitate chapter sharing, which he described as, “A chance for chapters to brag about what they’re doing, ask questions of each other and learn from what each other is doing. Issues will range from how to serve straight spouses of lesbians and gay men to how to conduct outreach to transgender individuals and more, he added.
Kosofsky said he will be speaking about “current legal and political realities” facing LGBTs and allies and conducting “a little bit of a training for folks on how to respond to tough questions.”
“Some of the best work being done is being done by our straight allies,” Kosofsky said. “This is a great opportunity for some of the best minds in the Midwest to get together.”
Neubecker said that about 30-50 people, including PFLAG board members, regular members and people who are interested in the organization are expected to attend. PFLAG has been holding the state meetings for approximately 16 years.