On Sunday, HRC Foundation’s seventh annual Time to THRIVE Conference held in support of LGBTQ youth came to a close after a day of workshops, award honorees, speakers and a musical performance.
HRC presented Upstander Awards to Camika Shelby and Nicole Maines, and Youth Ambassador Nicole Talbot gave a beautiful performance of the song “You Say” to wrap the weekend.
The annual event is held in partnership with the American Counseling Association and the National Education Association, with AT&T, BBVA and Toyota as presenting sponsors. In its seventh year, the HRC Foundation’s premier national event addresses safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth, and brings together youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, health care settings and beyond.
Following the final morning of breakout workshops, HRC Foundation Board Chair Jodie Patternson kicked off the closing plenary. Patterson is a founding member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council and the mother of a trans child.
Camika Shebly became an advocate and activist after her 15-year-old son Nigel Shelby, who struggled with depression and had also faced homophobic bullying for being gay, died by suicide. She currently serves as a National Black Justice Coalition Black Youth Advocate and Ambassador.
Heartbreaking to hear from Judy and Dennis Shepard and Camika Shelby. Grateful for their efforts to protect LGBTQ youth! From Camika’s acceptance speech: “For Nigel & too many others school was unwelcoming & hostile.” 1/ #TimeToTHRIVE pic.twitter.com/ZLOH2gg3dC— Tiferet Ani (@tmalkaa) February 16, 2020
“He loved singing, he loved dancing. He recorded himself all the time...He radiated joy.”— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 16, 2020
We are so proud to present Camika Shelby, who lost her son Nigel to suicide, with an Upstander Award for her incredible advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ youth. #TimeToTHRIVE ���� pic.twitter.com/mV3HA3OMX5
Transgender activist and actress Nicole Maines stars as Nia Nal/Dreamer in The CW’s hit series “Supergirl.” Dreamer is the first transgender superhero on television.
Mighty Rebekah and Dreamer! ����♀️����♀️ Congratulations @nicoleamaines on your @humanrightscampaign Upstander Award, from one trans superhero to another... even if I’m @marvel and you’re DC, we gotta stick together! ���� #TimeToThrive #MightyRebekah #Dreamer #representationmatters #transisbeautiful #youngactivist #heroproject
“Family support is crucial—it was my foundation...That is what every parent needs to be responsible for doing: Putting aside their own fears to love & support their kids unconditionally.” - Upstander Award recipient actress & trans advocate @NicoleAMaines ������ #TimeToTHRIVE pic.twitter.com/knor297VAZ— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 16, 2020
Other speakers included Youth Ambassadors Gia Parr, Sam Moehlig, Sameer Jha, Jacob Kanter and MaKayla Humphrey, Executive Director and CEO of the National Association of Secondary School Principals JoAnn Bartoletti, Judy and Dennis Shepard and HRC’s Sarah McBride.
#TimeToTHRIVE has come to a close. It was a very emotional weekend. Hearing stories of hardship & perseverance, rejection & loss is crucial to creating a society that is accepting. Having 1 accepting adult can reduce the risk of a suicide attempt by 40% for #LGBTQ youth— Charlotte McConnell (@trustinkind) February 16, 2020
Great discussion to kick off the morning here at #TimeToTHRIVE with @dixierae4 @dm12osu @20Pres @jackryantucker.— Greg Waples (@GWaples) February 16, 2020
Principals set the culture in their building and play a crucial role in ensuring schools are supportive places for LGBTQ students and staff. #principalsadvocate ��️�� pic.twitter.com/UsxEaeC9zt
The @HRC Youth Ambassadors have so much heart! Moving words by Jacob Kantor: “Home is a place where you are cared for and loved. The most solid support & truest home is in yourself. Go find your home & become the hero you once needed.” #TimeToTHRIVE— Tiferet Ani (@tmalkaa) February 16, 2020