Centering Queer Voices - Fernbrook Family Center's EDI Series

Centering Queer Voices - Fernbrook Family Center's EDI Series

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Rochester International Event Center

7333 Airport View Drive Southwest

Rochester, MN 55902

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Fernbrook Family Center invites you to join us for our free Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Series: Centering Queer Voices.

About this event

This event is open and free to all community members and is supported by grant funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the Olmsted Bridge Collaborative, and federal funding.

The series will feature the following:

Camouflage vs. The Rainbow - Living life in color

Donovan Thompson

Curious to his core, Donovan is a rule-breaker hell-bent on moving culture forward. As a content creator, producer, writer, and performer, he harnesses the power of storytelling to normalize empathy. Growing up Black and gay in Brooklyn during the 90s put him at odds with the world around him. Fitting in wasn’t an option and luckily, he’d have it no other way. His love for music and art provided a great escape, but it has also fueled his passion to confront outdated social attitudes. He’s on a mission to prove through The Grapevine, his hit digital talk-show, as well as his upcoming tv and literary works, that confrontation and compassion together, are a great recipe for progress.

Allyship or Accomplice? How to take allyship to the next level.

Jeni Kolstad

I am a cisgender queer female, and my pronouns are she/her. I'm a clinical social worker specializing in mental health therapy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer individuals. I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a master's degree in social work in 2014 and opened Pride Counseling Services in 2021. My experience as an out Queer provider enables me to offer individualized and effective outpatient mental health care to LGBTQ+ people. I am married to my wife of 16 years and have 2 adult children.

Framing the Conversation: How to approach centering queer voices

Heather Thonvold

Heather C. Thonvold (they/them) currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the PrairieCare healthcare system. Striving to make an impact to dismantle systems of harm and oppression is what Heather is passionate about. Heather earned an Master of Divinity from Seattle University and this Fall will begin the final year of study at Saint Catherine University in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program. Heather is an ordained minister and earned their Board-Certified Chaplain credential in 2016 through the Association of Professional Chaplains. They believe strongly that in order to do the work of justice and equity, we must first deeply listen to people’s stories. By approaching the work from a stance of curiosity and care for one another, movement and transformation can begin to happen. During this conference Heather will speak about the importance of framing the conversation around queer voices and how to ensure marginalized communities are afforded the opportunity to have a place when decisions get made. Heather grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. They and their spouse Aubrey have been married for nine years and live just north of the Twin Cities metro with their dog, Mo.

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