The Rainbow Connection: Fostering Empathy & Belonging for Our LGBTQ+ Community

This workshop will provide key strategies for ensuring that: your LGBTQ+ students feel safe, represented, and welcome; your LGBTQ+ staff know their rights, find connection with their peers, and feel supported by their colleagues; and that your cisgender and straight students are given a "window" into diverse stories that foster empathy and understanding. This workshop is targeted for middle and secondary grades, but all educators are welcome. You will be provided with concrete examples and strategies that are not course-dependent but that are cross-curricular and informed by the provincial SOGI123 policy--how to use inclusive language, how to address homophobia/transphobia, how to weave in inclusive strategies, etc. This workshop is intersectional, and acknowledges the importance and necessity of supporting the intersections of equity-seeking identities based on race, ethnicity, ability, gender, and socioeconomic status. We will look at these strategies through a trauma-informed and queer-affirmative lens.

Target Audience



10:15 AM - 2:15 PM

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  • Greater Victoria School District 61
    Kelli Kraft

    Kelli Kraft (she/they) is a queer, genderfluid teacher with experience facilitating workshops for teachers, counsellors, students, and prospective teachers in BEd programs. She has been a SOGI lead in 4 different secondary schools in SD61 and SD23, and has been leading GSAs in every school she's taught at. They can speak first-hand to the importance of the SOGI123 policy, and they have dozens of stories about their LGBTQ+ students sharing how safe, supported, and seen they've felt in their classes and clubs. They are the author of the Bite-Size SOGI series that has been shared across BC school districts by our provincial SOGI lead. 

  • Greater Victoria School District 61
    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah (she/they) is a middle School Drama Teacher and school counsellor. They have been working with and supporting youth in this community for over six years, acting as their school’s SOGI Lead (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) & GSA Sponsor (Gender & Sexuality Alliance Club). Her research focuses on identifying how trauma impacts trans and gender non-conforming youth, and seeks to determine what practices and strategies can be implemented within schools to mitigate harm for students within this community.