Post submitted by Kimmie Fink, Welcoming Schools Consultant

HRC’s Welcoming Schools Program is in New York City this week to train educators and staff at the New York City Department of Education (DOE) on building more inclusive schools for all students. On April 16 and 17, four members of our team — Deputy Director Cheryl Greene; expert trainer Michele Hatchell; and facilitators Mitchell Klages-Bombich and Ariana Goswick — are working with city elementary school health and physical education teachers, social workers and guidance counselors.

Each day a group of participants will be trained in the Welcoming Schools approach. The professional development will cover prevention strategies for bias-based bullying and how to create LGBTQ-inclusive schools. The participants will also receive training in creating gender-inclusive schools and strategies for supporting transgender and non-binary students. Key DOE stakeholders will be onsite to learn more about the Welcoming Schools Program for possible future work with the New York City DOE.

Welcoming Schools applauds the New York City DOE’s commitment to meeting the needs of all students, and we look forward to a continued partnership. If you would like to bring Welcoming Schools to your school or district, please fill out a request for professional development here.

HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to:

  • Welcome Diverse Families;
  • Create LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Schools;
  • Prevent Bias-Based Bullying;
  • Support Transgender and Non-Binary Students.

For more information, visit

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