On Saturday, May 6, HISD held its second annual Pride Summit, a virtual event for LGBTQ+ students, parents and guardians, and allies to learn and connect in a supportive and safe environment.
Attendees signed up for participation in either middle school, high school, or parent sessions—with each session providing specially-curated resources.
“It’s great to see so many people come together to help create a platform for our LGBTQ+ students where they can feel seen, heard, and respected while providing much needed resources and information they might have not otherwise received,” said Miranda Perez, HISD Student Enrollment Manager and spearhead of the HISD Pride Committee. “As a district, the goal of the summit was to create an inclusive place where our LGBTQ+ students, parents, and allies could come together and experience a sense of identity and belonging, and to develop skills for self-care, advocacy, and leadership as they navigate through their years at HISD.”
The summit began at 10 a.m. with a welcome from Master of Ceremonies Lara Hulin, a social work manager with HISD’s Academic and Career Counseling Department. Following messages from Superintendent Millard House II and HISD School Board President Dani Hernandez, attendees heard from keynote speaker Melanie Pang.
Pang is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Houston and lifelong Houston resident who has more than 10 years of experience in community organizing and human rights advocacy. In addition to her efforts to organize initiatives to feed first responders and increase nutritional literacy in food deserts.
Attendees engaged in discussion with Jenn Brock and JuJu Faragher of The Montrose Center’s HATCH Youth program. The Montrose Center has provided aid to LGBTQ+ Houstonians since its inception in 1978, offering free wellness programs and support, including HATCH Youth, the oldest social group for LGBTQ+ youth in Houston. Brock and Faragher spoke on the value of self-care, creating support systems, and empowering yourself through social justice.
The purpose of the Pride Summit is to create an inclusive space where LGBTQ+ students, parents, and allies could not only network and gain access to important resources, but also to experience a sense of identity and belonging in the HISD community and beyond.
To learn more about the resources discussed at the Pride Summit and for information about future summits, visit the Pride Summit website.