New queer youth leadership program launches

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The younger generation of Utahns is already producing leaders that are equality-minded, and in order to help usher in this change in leadership, Equality Utah is starting a new youth leadership group. The LBGTQ Leaders will meet bi-weekly and host lectures from local politicians, leaders and journalists, said the group’s founder and Equality Utah representative Derek Snarr.

“We recognize that Utah’s LGBT youth and allies are going to carry this mission into the future and we want to help create an environment where this is possible,” Snarr said.

The group’s first meeting will be May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Salt Lake City Library. The meetings will include lectures and workshops.

“This isn’t just going to be sitting down and listening to a teacher talk at you for an hour,” Snarr said.

In addition to the classes and workshops, the members will have the opportunity to lobby legislators, speak with family members, the media and school administrators, Snarr said. There will be practice sessions as well as real-world implementation for the skills learned in the classes.

The group is still forming and the training options are still being considered, Snarr said. However, the classes will be specifically designed to help implement skills learned and focus on creating an environment where youth leaders, Snarr said. There will be video tapes of the practices to review and critique performances, peer reviews and a variety of other learning skills involved with the trainings.

The group is open to anyone that is interested, but is specifically designed for youth leaders interested in LGBT equality ages 15 to 21 years old and their parents. For more information go to LGBTQ Leaders on Facebook or call the Equality Utah offices.

“We’re really excited to see if this program can really take off and grow,” Snarr said. “We are expecting and hoping for about 25 people attending the first workshop, but we’d love to see it grow and have meetings in Ogden, Provo and St. George.”

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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