Slesaransky-Poe Addresses Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner

By Purnell T. Cropper | November 1, 2011

Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, Associate Professor of Special Education and Special Education master’s program coordinator, addressed 3,000 guests moments before President Barack Obama took the stage at the 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1, 2011.

Slesaransky-Poe is a trainer and consultant for HRC’s Welcoming Schools Initiative, which promotes LGBT-inclusive approaches to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping, bullying and name-calling in elementary schools. In addition to making remarks in follow up to a video presentation that focused on her experiences with LGBT-related issues in connection with her children’s school, she also introduced emerging music celebrity Greyson Chance, who performed at the event.

Slesaransky-Poe commented on her participation in this event, saying, “As a teacher educator, and a parent of a child who challenges society’s assumptios and expectations of what it means to be a boy, I see the value of the Welcoming Schools approach. It equips schools and educators with very useful tools to create safe and welcoming environments where all students, regardless of their family composition, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation, feel welcomed and full members of their classroom and school community.”