Empowering. Healing. Connecting.
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Testimonials

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WiTEACH – Resource mapping

Wisconsin’s trans community has exploded in recent years, and so has interest in serving us. In this interactive meeting we will collaborate in creating maps and directories of resources available to trans community members.

Registration: https://forge-forward.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvf-qrrT8tGtwV9y2dXvOjpc_m9bjoS0W5


Who is welcome at WiTEACH?

Everyone who wants a Wisconsin within which trans and nonbinary individuals and families are welcomed, supported, and helped to thrive.

About Wisconsin Transgender Education and Advocacy Coalition for Health:

WiTEACH is a new trans people/service providers/community members statewide coalition designed to focus and make more effective efforts to improve the lives of transgender and nonbinary individuals and families. We invite you to join us!

Our first year will be devoted to expanding and improving the availability of quality mental health care for transgender and nonbinary people throughout the state.

WiTEACH Community Meetings (Zoom)
2nd Wednesday of the month

 

 

WiTEACH Launch with James Santelle

Former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, James L. Santelle, will help launch WiTEACH with the presentation, “What is Our Government Doing About Transgender Rights and Opportunities in 2022 and Beyond? A Discussion of Recent Federal and State Developments in the Law.” There will be a Q&A session.

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Central

More about James Santelle:  James L. Santelle served for 6-1/2 years as the Court-appointed and Presidentially-appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, in which capacity he was the chief federal law enforcement officer for the area encompassing the 26 eastern-most counties in the State.  For approximately 25 years prior to that, he was employed as an Assistant United States Attorney, assigned responsibility for the prosecution of a wide variety of criminal actions (including violent offenses, human trafficking/child exploitation, drugs/guns/gangs matters, and financial crimes, and many others) and civil actions (including health care, program fraud, and housing, employment, civil rights, and tort litigation).

From 1999 – 2001, Mr. Santelle worked as a Principal Deputy Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys at the United States Department of Justice, during the tenure of Attorney General Janet Reno.  From 2006 – 2008, he served as a Resident Legal Advisor, the Justice Attaché, and the Rule of Law Coordinator at the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.  Mr. Santelle has also worked as the Civil Division Chief in the Offices of the United States Attorneys in both Eastern Wisconsin and Western Michigan.  He received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his Bachelor of Arts Degree (English & History) from Marquette University.  Mr. Santelle was born in and has lived and worked in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area for most of his professional career.


Who is welcome at WiTEACH?

Everyone who wants a Wisconsin within which trans and nonbinary individuals and families are welcomed, supported, and helped to thrive.

About Wisconsin Transgender Education and Advocacy Coalition for Health:

WiTEACH is a new trans people/service providers/community members statewide coalition designed to focus and make more effective efforts to improve the lives of transgender and nonbinary individuals and families. We invite you to join us!

Our first year will be devoted to expanding and improving the availability of quality mental health care for transgender and nonbinary people throughout the state.
WiTEACH Community Meetings (Zoom)
2nd Wednesday of the month


 

Connecting with Community: Pods and Mutual Aid
Pod mapping is a useful way to identify the resources you need, where to connect to those resources, as well as what you have to offer others. Pod mapping can be useful in building community and creating mutual aid structures. In this pod mapping workshop, we will discuss creating supportive networks, navigating stalking or harassment-related behaviors by others, reducing violence in our communities, and protecting ourselves and communities from COVID-19 and other illnesses through connection and mutual aid.
While pods are not a perfect solution, they are useful as a way to increase support and reduce risks. Join us on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 for conversations about the positive impact of pods and pod mapping.
When: Aug 9, 2022 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Connecting with Community: Pods and Mutual Aid
Mental Health First Aid Training
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults. Join FORGE and Rob Vallentine for a two part training to develop skills for supporting people in crisis.
Trans and nonbinary communities often support each other. Many of us and our loved ones experience challenges with our mental health. This course will help people learn how to identify symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges, interact and connect with a person in crisis, and support others in accessing the care that they need.
The training involves a two-hour pre-training self-paced course, and two three-hour workshops (6:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern on September 12th and 13th).
Please register for Mental Health First Aid Training at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MHFirstAid22
Registration will close two weeks before the training, on August 29th, 2022.
Presenter: Rob Vallentine
Rob is on a mission to ignite personal passion to find purpose, and in turn make a positive impact on the world. While his work and community service have enabled progress and lasting improvement, he is most proud of his roles as father to his four children and partner to his wife. Each member of his family has, in their own way, created positive social change at home and at work, advancing LGBTQ, mental health, autism and youth empowerment.
For most of his life, Rob promised himself that he would never talk about being a survivor of childhood sexual trauma. He struggled daily with anxiety and felt like he had carried around a backpack full of rocks his whole life.
Rob is now dedicating his time to breaking the stigma of mental health by sharing his own story of hope, healing and growth with people around the world. He is a National Instructor for Mental Health First Aid.
Rob serves on the National Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Depression Center and the National Advisory Council for the National Network of Depression Centers. Rob also serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and Shelterhouse Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center and is a Community Director for Huntington Bank.
Out of the Shadows: Mental Health First Aid

Register in advance: https://forge-forward.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dtgnYamkT1q1nzB-F2k4Kg

There are powerful benefits when we bring our whole selves to our interactions with others.  Doing so has a direct impact on our friends, co-workers, family, and community. Rob Vallentine, a national instructor for Mental Health First Aid, will discuss the importance of investing in our own Mental Health and how to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health challenges in others.  He will share how to improve interactions with someone struggling with their mental health using the 5 step action plan of Mental Health First Aid.

Rob is proud to help shed light on an important health issue too often kept in the shadows. Sometimes all it takes is one moment and one story to spark an inspiring movement.

Presenter: Rob Vallentine

Rob is on a mission to ignite personal passion to find purpose, and in turn make a positive impact on the world.  While his work and community service have enabled progress and lasting improvement, he is most proud of his roles as father to his four children and partner to his wife. Each member of his family has, in their own way, created positive social change at home and at work, advancing LGBTQ, mental health, autism and youth empowerment.

For most of his life, Rob promised himself that he would never talk about being a survivor of childhood sexual trauma. He struggled daily with anxiety and felt like he had carried around a backpack full of rocks his whole life.

Rob is now dedicating his time to breaking the stigma of mental health by sharing his own story of hope, healing and growth with people around the world. He is a National Instructor for Mental Health First Aid.

Rob serves on the National Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Depression Center and the National Advisory Council for the National Network of Depression Centers. Rob also serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and Shelterhouse Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center and is a Community Director for Huntington Bank.

Trans-specific ACES: How culture, experiences, and trauma influence health disparities

Description:

Many of us are familiar with ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences – and how they influence the health and wellness of both youth and adults.  This webinar will explore and compare ACEs data in the general population with rates many trans/nonbinary people experience. Additional information will examine trans-specific ACEs that layer on extra challenges in childhood that have long-lasting impact throughout the lifespan.  Concrete suggestions will be discussed of how and where each of us can intervene and change the trajectory of health disparities for trans youth and adults.

Objectives:

  1. Name at least two Adverse Childhood Experiences that are specific to transgender/non-binary individuals.
  2. Explain some of the steps by which Adverse Childhood Experiences lead to health disparities.
  3. Name at least three interventions that can be used to help lower the health consequences (disparities) for transgender/non-binary individuals.

Presenters:

michael munson
Loree Cook-Daniels

Thank you to our funder:

This webinar is supported by funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health under cooperative agreement number UG4LM013729 at the University of Iowa, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

 

Four trans and nonbinary survivors of sexual abuse/assault will share their stories of resilience and healing in this Live Premiere event on April 10, 2022.

The Live Premiere is the culmination of four months of workshops, sharing, growth, and connection. Each presenters’ powerful story emerges in a unique, dynamic way through prose, poetry, spoken word, art, mixed media, movement, and dance.

The Trans & Nonbinary Survivors Speak Out project was collaboratively developed and facilitated by team members from FORGE and MenHealing.

Queerly Creative Daily Art Journaling with Sassafras Lowrey
For nonbinary and transgender people of all ages putting our stories onto the page is important and can even be personally transformative. Creative daily art journaling is a way that we can document our queer lives for memory and self-reflection. Art journaling involves combining words, photos, drawings, cut/paste from magazines/newspapers/mail, stickers etc. onto the page to document memories. Especially during the pandemic which has brought so much isolation and uncertainty, art journaling can be a personal (or collaborative) way of documenting the special and mundane moments of daily life. In this workshop we will explore tips for no/low-cost ways of getting started with art journaling, techniques for art journaling, and strategies for queerly incorporating creative journaling into your life.
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
SUPPLIES NEEDED:
— Notebook of any kind and size (optional)
— Paper (lined or unlined)
— Pen, pencils, crayons and other art supplies of your choice (optional)
WHO IS SASSAFRAS?
Sassafras Lowrey’s novels and nonfiction books have been honored by organizations ranging from the American Library Association and the Lambda Literary Foundation to the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers Association. Sassafras’ work has been published widely in publications including The New York Times, Catapult, Narratively and The Rumpus. Sassafras has taught queer writing courses and workshops at LitReactor, the NYC Center For Fiction and at colleges, conferences, and LGBTQ youth centers across the country. www.SassafrasLowrey.com
Trans-Inclusive Therapy Practices, Part II
Join us for the second of two panel discussions with experienced therapists whose practices include transgender and nonbinary clients. We’ll hear from a group of therapists about inclusive practices, gender-affirming therapy, and how individual therapists approach working with transgender and nonbinary clients. Bring your questions for our panel about therapy in general, or about their specific practices.
Panelists:

Caitlin Myles Weber, LMFT, CST
Jasmine Jaime Lammers, MA, LPC
finn phoenix, MSW, CAPSW
Ellice Plant, LCSW, CHT, HHC

Liberatory Responses to Suicide and Crisis
In this session, we will discuss the history of carceral responses to suicide and crisis. Beginning with the conflation of madness and queerness, we will explore the ways queer and trans people have been targeted by carceral psychiatric and psychological “interventions.” We will trace the persistence of this historical trauma’s legacy in current crisis response models. After grounding in historical and contemporary responses to crisis and suicide, we will imagine liberatory frameworks for responding to suicide and crisis that resist paradigms of punishment and pathology.
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Presenter: Jess Stohlmann-Rainey.
I am Jess (she/her) and I love to talk about suicide. I am a mad, queer, feminist, care worker. I am a trainer and consultant, and work as Director of Peer Services at Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners (who provides the statewide crisis and peer lines, RAINN hotline, Colorado Lifeline, and others), and an instructor at the University of Denver’s School of Professional Psychology. I live as a white settler on the unceded territory of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) people, (so-called Denver, CO). In my work, I aspire to be a useful person and create pathways to intersectional, justice-based, emotional support for marginalized communities. I believe mutual aid, disability justice, abolitionist, and other liberation ideologies are integral to solve the problems that lead to suicide. Right now, I am really into talking/thinking about epistemology, capitalism, and ethics in the context of suicidology.
Trans-Inclusive Therapy Practices, Part I
Join FORGE for the first of two panel discussions with experienced therapists whose practices include transgender and nonbinary clients. We’ll hear from a group of therapists about inclusive practices, gender-affirming therapy, and how individual therapists approach working with transgender and nonbinary clients. Bring your questions for our panel about therapy in general, or about their specific practices.
Panelists:
Jan Singer, LCSW
Kim Skerven, Ph.D
Travis Trott, LCSW
Black Trans Leadership Panel

In collaboration with FORGE, Dezjorn International is facilitating a panel discussion – “Black Trans/NB Panel: How to Lead at Any Level!” This online event will highlight Black Trans & Nonbinary leaders from across the country. The panel will cover a wide range of topics focused on BlackTrans leadership, what makes a great leader, and some challenges of being a leader. Additional content will focus on why diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential in any industry and what non-BlackTrans people and systems can do to promote conversations and change about social justice.

Moderator and Host:

Dezjorn Gauthier, Dezjorn International

Dezjorn Gauthier is the CEO of Dezjorn International LLC, a small business firm compiled of several subsidiaries jointly committed to helping clients reach their goals of branding, public relations, investing and global influence. He is also the founder of The DIF Inc, a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate, empower, and inspire people of marginalized communities to advance equality and equal opportunity. As well as Community Partner with FORGE. He is featured in the award winning documentary series “America In Transition” as well as features in The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Vogue and Vanity Fair. Dezjorn has also partnered with top companies like Adobe, Dell Technologies, Forbes, Verlo Mattress and Dollar Shave Club.

Panelists:

Renae Taylor (they/them/mx)

Renae Taylor (they/them/mx) is a 46-year-old Disabled Black Non-Binary Trans Organizer located in Memphis, Tennessee. Renae Taylor is originally from  Tupelo, MS. They are HIV Educator and Activist associated with many HIV prevention organizations.They are also National Advisory Board Member of Positively Trans. Renae believes in the right to be Sex Positive and Reproductive Rights. Renae is seeking an Equitable Future for all Black and Brown people with multiple identities that intersect.

Alonda Talley (Queen/Mother/She/Her)

Alonda Talley (Queen/Mother/She/Her) is a powerful black trans woman who is an outstanding leader in her community. In 2017 became the Pennsylvania Chapter-Director for The Dezjorn International Foundation, Inc. She has survived police Brutality. This woman has learned how to take her trauma and made it work for her in many ways.

Dom Giovon (he/him)

Dom Giovon (he/him) is a jack of many trades beyond being an advocate for the trans community he is also a drag show director a lead trainer for group homes throughout the Midwest and he is a musical artist as well. He has dedicated his transition to being visible for those who can’t be.

Jacobi Gray (He/Him/His)

Jacobi Gray (He/Him/His) is Licensed and Ordained Christian Minister in Fort Worth, TX. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Servant of Born To Battle Ministries; An online-based unconventional, fully inclusive Prayer and Support Ministry. Born To Battle Ministries was formed foremost, to combat any/all false barriers placed on LGBTQIA+ folk in areas of Faith, Spirit & God, with focus on Grief, Loss, Mourning and Restoring Hope.

Amir Belt (He/Him)

Amir Belt (He/Him) is an energetic, bright, and passionate sixteen year-old from The GenderCool Project he is an aspiring barber, who enjoys helping others feel good about themselves by providing them with a fresh haircut. Addition to being a transgender youth advocate, he is also actively supporting the fight against cancer in honor of his mother.

Kodi Ernewein (they/them)

Kodi Ernewein (they/them) is a Neurodivergent Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). They received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Marquette University and a Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis from Lindenwood University. They aspire to provide the highest quality of service and accommodations to consumers and are passionate about autistic autonomy, authenticity, and masking reduction. They have worked closely with at-risk, LGBTQIAA+, and homeless youth and continue to pursue equal opportunities and accessibility for all marginalized individuals they work with.

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