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Registrations Open for 2007 SS4Q Conference

MEDIA RELEASE

Registrations Open for 2007 SS4Q Conference

(April 20, 2007) Registrations are now open for the second SS4Q (Safety in Schools For Queers) Conference, to be held the weekend of July 7-8, 2007 at Wellington High School.

190 queer youth, students, teachers, parents, counsellors and health professionals attended the last conference in 2005, a collaborative effort between the Out There Youth Development Project, the Human Rights Commission, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, the Family Planning Association, the Post Primary Teachers’ Association, Rainbow Youth, gay welfare groups and a large number of individuals from GLBTI communities.

“The well-being of queer students and staff in New Zealand schools is a critical human rights issue for our community,” says Nathan Brown, National Co-ordinator of Out There. “Homophobia and transphobia is affecting New Zealand schools by restricting life choices for all students, staff, and their whanau while contributing to an unsafe environment in which to learn and work.”

"Where the first conference was characterised by identifying, and rallying around the issue, this second conference will be focused on how participants can take affirmative action in manageable ways in their region,” Brown continues.

"Some amazing achievements have taken shape in the past two years, including successful Diversity Groups at Nayland College, Papatoetoe High School, and Thames High School. It will be really important to bring these sorts of initiatives into the spotlight so that people can see how they can contribute to gradual overall change,” he concludes.

The theme of this year’s SS4Q conference is “acting for change”, and will include discussions on:

- How queer communities are being mobilized to develop learning communities that are inclusive of queer students, teachers, and whanau

- Successes and challenges of working to create change

- Consolidating the campaign against homophobic bullying

- Applying pressure to the government and schools to make a commitment to addressing sexuality and gender identity prejudice

Registration forms for the conference are available from the Out There website: www.outthere.org.nz

ENDS

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