LOS ANGELES, October 2, 2013 —More than 1,200 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and ally youth (LGBTQA) from 150 Southern California cities and more than 120 schools are expected to attend the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s 21st annual Models of Pride conference at the University of Southern California (USC) campus onSaturday, October 19.
As the nation’s largest free conference of its kind, Models of Pride offers a full day of life-enriching programming designed to help young people build confidence and self-esteem and develop valuable life skills. Hosted by the Center’s LifeWorks youth development and mentoring program, Models of Pride includes workshops/presentations, lunch/dinner, live entertainment and a Monster High Dance sponsored by Mattel for youth ranging in age from 12 to 24. The theme for this year’s conference is “Coming of Age.”
“This is a day for LGBT youth and their allies to live in the ideal world we would all like to see—a world that is safe to celebrate who they are, to build community, and to learn and grow,” says Michael Ferrera, LifeWorks’ Director. “Plus, Models of Pride is a lot of fun!”
For the 200+ parents, educators, social service providers and other youth-serving professionals who are expected to attend Models of Pride, there will be workshops tailored to them known as the Adult Allies Conference. Co-presented by PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the Adult Allies Conference is free.
To add to the excitement of this year’s Models of Pride, members of the ABC Family’s groundbreaking series “The Fosters” will host a meet and greet with their fans. Co-created by longtime Center supporter and board member Peter Paige and executive produced by superstar Jennifer Lopez, “The Fosters” follows the lives of a lesbian-parented family.
Prior to Saturday’s conference, 80 LGBT and ally students from L.A.-area schools will participate in a pre-conference leadership training on Friday, October 18, as part of LifeWorks’ Get Empathy project. They will be trained on techniques to inspire positive changes in their schools and will share what they have learned the following day in workshops. The pre-conference training is sponsored by Union Bank.
Models of Pride sponsors include the Ernest Lieblich Foundation, Toyota, Mattel, ABC Family, Comcast/NBCUniversal, The Aerospace Corporation, T-Shirt Pros, popchips, Friends of Project 10, smartwater, The Trevor Project, In Good Taste L.A., and the USC Student Affairs LGBT Resource Center.
WHAT: Models of Pride 21
A free conference that will bring together more than 1,200 LGBTQA young people for a full day of life-enriching workshops, panel discussions, entertainment and more to help attendees build confidence and self-esteem and develop valuable life skills.
WHEN: Saturday, October 19
WHERE: University of Southern California
Parking is available for $10. Public transit is encouraged. The Jefferson/USC station on the new Expo Line is located about a half-mile from campus.
For more information and to register for Models of Pride, visit modelsofpride.org.
For more information about LifeWorks, the Center’s youth development and mentoring program, visit lifeworksla.org.
About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
For more than 40 years, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of LGBT people. We serve more LGBT people than any other organization in the world with services ranging from LGBT specialty care to cultural arts programs; from housing homeless youth to hosting life-enriching programs for seniors. Learn more at LAgaycenter.org.
About the Center’s LifeWorks program
Best known for its flagship mentoring program, which pairs LGBT youth with trained adult mentors, the Center’s LifeWorks program also offers social activities, after-school programming and many other services. In conjunction with Opportunities for Learning, it even operates a charter school for youth who have faced discrimination and harassment at traditional schools.