Georgia Community Education Panel Addresses Issues Affecting LGBT People

On Thursday, October 6, “Partnering for Peace,” a community education panel discussing issues that affect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will take place at the Days Inn’s Banquet Room, 1024 E. Oglethorpe Hwy, Hinesville, Ga., 6 – 8 p.m., and will feature presentations from various health care, law enforcement, education, and faith leaders. The event is free and open to the public.

“I want to educate people about the discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face each day,” explains Ja’briel Walthour, a transgender advocate, GLAAD National People of Color Media Institute participant, and creator of the community forum. “I also want to present concrete ways for them to support us and stand up against injustice.”

Panelists include Jack Harrison, a policy analyst for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Policy Institute; Officer Tracy Walden, co-creator of the Savannah Gay & Lesbian Community Police Collaborative; Alice Rogers, a registered nurse and family nurse practitioner with experience caring for LGBT patients; Susan Alt, a coordinator of HIV services and an AIDS certified registered nurse; Kelly Murphy, a licensed professional counselor; Betsy Barber, a former high school English teacher and university professor; and Candace Hardnett, a local pastor, advocate and GLAAD National People of Color Media Institute participant.

The speakers will explore topics related to using research to improve the community climate for LGBT citizens, hate crimes prevention, better access to health care and human service needs of LGBT patients, and the importance of creating a safe space for LGBT students and LGBT-inclusive places of worship.

“The discussion will be informative for students, parents, educators, clergy, government officials—any concerned citizen who wants to learn more,” Walthour adds. “These are their family members, co-workers, neighbors, classmates, and fellow church members that we’ll be talking about.”

“Partnering for Peace” is sponsored in part by First City Network, Georgia’s oldest LGBT organization. The panel will also take place in Savannah on Friday, October 7, 4 – 6 p.m., at the Southwest Chatham Library Auditorium, 10497 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Ga.