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By Ed Sibby

For members and advocates of equity and social justice in public education, Palm Springs provided the perfect backdrop for California Teachers Association’s (CTA’s) 2023 LGBTQ+ Issues Conference. This year’s conference theme, “The State of the Movement: The Fight for LGBTQIA+ Justice in Schools” ensured a sobering and ultimately hopeful conference that emphasized the power and success of local training, organizing, and action against extremism. 

CTA President and keynote speaker David Goldberg praised local chapter efforts to fight against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism coming from outside political forces in some districts throughout the state and, unfortunately even from some school board majorities. With the recent election of new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson, educators and support professionals throughout the state are responding courageously in defense of students while these attacks continue.   

This year’s timely training sessions focused on Awareness, Capacity & Skill Building, and Taking Action & Organizing. 

Kisha Borden and Robert Ellis represented a strong contingent of CTA board members advocating for our LGBTQIA+ educators and support professionals who proudly meet the needs of every student in our schools. 

By learning the language to respond effectively in this challenging time, our leaders are meeting these extremist challenges directly, and showing that organizing and defending the LGBTQ+ community around the values of fairness and equity is a winning strategy.

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