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Piece of Mind

LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Symposium
April 19th 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Tpke, Norwich CT 06360

OutCT's Education Committee is hosting the second annual LGBTQIA+ Health and Wellness Symposium. Workshops will be centered around the 6 components that make up health and wellness; Emotional, Spiritual, Social, Physical, Sexual, and Mental Health.


Chevelle Moss-Savage


Chevelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor in CT and VA. She has more than 20 years of experience working in mental health as a therapist, group facilitator, trainer/instructor, and case manager. She holds a Master's Degree in Human Services Clinical Counseling From Lincoln University is certified in Bereavement and Grief Counseling, is a Human Services Board-Certified Practitioner, is a Board Certified-Telemental Health Provider and Seasoned Group Facilitator. Chevelle’s plethora of experience has been acquired both in higher education and the private sector. Although she is a trained Mental Health Therapist, she is also versed in promoting diversity and multicultural awareness through intersectionality training with hopes of eradicating stigmas related to mental health, disabilities, spiritual beliefs, or LGBTQ+ identities.  Chevelle identifies as a black cisgender femme who lives in Old Saybrook, CT with her spouse, and (pre-COVID 19) they enjoy traveling and hosting theme parties.


Ala Ochumare


Ala Ochumare.jpg

ala’s first and most beloved label is that of mother. ala describes herself as a change-making, hood healing, liberation seeking, divination practicing person committed to creating Black Centered Spaces of liberation and joy, who wakes up every day and chooses to be a pro black, pro nap, pro-queer community co-creator. ala is one of the founding members and Principal Organizer of New Haven’s chapter of Black Lives Matter. She is also one of the creators and facilitators of Marsha P. Johnson Black and Brown Queer Camp also created and facilitated by Jahnice Cajigas. In addition to her work at the New Haven Pride Center, ala is an anti-bias and anti-racist Life Coach, Consultant, and founder of Liberating Us. Liberating Us has a central focus on healing, decolonization, abolition, and transformational justice. Part of that work was the creation and community offering of “ABAR 4 you”, a series of abolitionist, anti-bias, and anti-racist workshops, trainings, and consultation guides that shed light on our socialization into the systemic institutions of Racism, Capitalism, Patriarchy, Anti- blackness and, most importantly to ala, our collective transformation out of and the undoing of these systems. ala is a graduate of the 2018 BOLD AMANDLA cohort, the CEIO Organizer’s Path, The City of New Haven Democracy School, and the Yale University and Southern Connecticut State University’s C.A.R.E. New Haven Health Leader program. ala is a recipient of the 2021 New Haven Pride Center’s Lion Award for service to her community, The 2021 Southern Connecticut State University Women and Gender Studies Conference’s Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa Service Award, and The 2021 Southern Connecticut State University President’s Medal.



Kris Wraight.jpg

Kris is a white, queer, non-binary Restorative Justice Educator and Trainer working to transform schools and communities across Connecticut. Born and raised in Southern Oregon, Kris's understanding of the world and themselves began to radically shift at Smith College in Northampton, MA. After graduating in 2003, Kris began to see her whiteness more clearly then ever and sought to work in fields that would address both interpersonal and institutional oppression.  For 12 years Kris taught healthy dating relationship programs to middle and high school students, in an attempt to prevent teen dating violence.  Now Kris lives in New London with their stunning wife Laura, and seeks to build a Community Conflict Center to support residents in addressing conflict and harm outside of the criminal legal system.



Audre's Lessons ala keynote
Supportig and Mainainig a queerYouth Community
I'm Still Standig
Trauma in the
Healthy Spirituality
Unearthing the Opp
Navigatig Intersectonalities


Audre's Lessons: Black Queer Liberation by Ala Ochumare

Keynote Speech: 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM     (Room F-117)

To be LGBTQIA+ in 2023 in any part of the world, is to live a maligning experience. For Black LGBTQIA+ folx the intersectionality of oppressions in our lives weighs heavily on our minds and bodies. Yet, we are still here, still surviving, some of us thriving. ala discusses the unique challenges faced by the community, as well as strategies, Inspired by Audre Lorde's work, for holistic liberation out of some the emotional and mental oppressions we have no choice but to work through. Attendees will learn how to create an inclusive environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and celebrates the gifts extended by our  Black LGBTQIA+ ancestors. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get back in touch with our collective self determination and make a positive impact on the health and wellness of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Supporting and Maintaining a Queer Youth Community

AM Workshop: 10:55 AM - 11:40 AM

Facilitated By: Lindsay Gillette (She/Her) This workshop gives insight on how to create a space for LGBTQ youth and to actively adapt to their ever changing needs. By being thoughtful, open and receptive to youth, you can help create a space that potentially allows youth to feel safe, to flourish and to engage in an optimistic view of themselves, their community, and the future of both.

I'm Still Standing

AM Workshop: 10:55 AM - 11:40 AM

Facilitated By: Crowley (He/Him) I'm Still Standing

Trauma in the Black and Brown & LGBTQIA+ community: Road To Acceptance & Healing

AM Workshop: 10:55 AM - 11:40 AM

Facilitated By: Rahisha Bivens (She/Her) Trauma & The Black Brown LGBTQIA Community: Compounded Oppression & Providing Safe Spaces For Healing

Healthy Spirituality for All God’s Children

AM Workshop: 10:55 AM - 11:40 AM

Facilitated By: Pastor Todd (He/Him) Healthy Spirituality for All God's Children

Unearthing the Oppression Within by Kris Wraight

Keynote Speech: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM     (Room F-117)

We live in a society that assigns each of us identities such as gender, sexuality, race, and ability at birth. We are then socialized, or taught how to fulfill the expectations of each specific identity, as well as how we should treat those of different identities. These socially constructed messages impact our health and wellness through damaging messages about who we are supposed to be. In turn they negatively impact our ability to work and connect with those outside of our identities. The Social Discipline Window is a tool that can help you reflect, grow and change.

Navigating Intersectionalities through Spirituality & Religion

PM Workshop: 2:05 PM - 2:50 PM

Facilitated By: Ace (He/Him) Join in a conversation on the many complexities and intersectionalities that one can experience while navigating religion and spirituality. This interactive discussion will examine some of the personal struggles we may have faced within ourselves and the ways people around us have influence over those struggles. I will share my own personal experiences with my journey through religion and spirituality as a black trans man. I hope you join me to explore the many ways each of our journeys can grow and evolve.

Ally is a VERB: The role of helping professionals in advocating for LGBTQ+ clients

PM Workshop: 2:05 PM - 2:50 PM

Facilitated By: Robin P. McHaelen, MSW (She/Her) This workshop posts the perspective that all humans have a moral obligation to stand up for equity, inclusion and full access to human rights. At the same time, life happens. Barriers arise. Time gets away from us. This collaborative workshop will lay out the areas in which LGBTQ+ people most need allies, explore some of the barriers to action, and identity a spectrum of ways that participants can make a difference with as much - or as little time as you have. (PS. You don't have be in the helping professions to participate in this workshop. You just have to be human. )

Fair Housing Overview

PM Workshop: 2:05 PM - 2:50 PM

Facilitated By: Rashida Rattray (she/her) Housing discrimination is illegal! Join the Connecticut Fair Housing Center's Education & Outreach Coordinator in a training geared towards learning about your rights under the Federal and State Fair Housing Acts. Learn about the different ways to identify housing discrimination and where and how to report it. I will tailor the presentation to focus on gender identity/expression and sex discrimination which will benefit the LGBTQIA+ community.

Reality of Transgender Homelessness: Inequities, Discrimination and Recommendations

PM Workshop: 2:05 PM - 2:50 PM

Facilitated By: Nichole Mayweather-Banks LCSW (She/Her) This workshop is designed to empower you to reflect on your personal biases surrounding gender. It provides basic terminology and data on the root causes of transgender homelessness. Highlighting the significance of an intersectional, cultural humility and best practices approach toward making housing and shelter programs safe and welcoming for transgender individuals.

Allyis a VERB
Fair Housing
Trans Homlessness
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