Educational Inclusivity Panel

HVTF Community Perspectives Panel on Friday, November 20th | 12-1pm
Curriculum to Campus: TGNCNB Educational Inclusivity Panel

Moderator: Eva Dolgin, LMSW of CANDLE Youth Pride
Pronouns: she/they


Lucky Hernandez, Columbia University
Pronouns: they/them/theirs

MJ Karger, GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley Co-Chair
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Dakota Gerard Piñon, Manhattanville College
Pronouns: he/him/his

Abby Waldow, University of Albany
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Jade Watts, SUNY Purchase
Pronouns: they/them/theirs


Panel Description: Join us for a panel discussion with TGNCNB students and LGBTQ+ student organizers, on the importance of including students from across the gender spectrum in educational spaces. This panel features voices from the community discussing their experiences, good and bad, in K-12 and secondary education. We'll also discuss ways in which school and college campus teachers, faculty, staff and administration can participate to build inclusive cultures at their school for TGNCNB students.

Panel Format: Panelists will answer questions related to their educational experience and the audience will have an opportunity to pose questions for the panel.

Moderator Bio:

Eva Dolgin, LMSW is the Youth Pride Program Director at CANDLE in Rockland County, where she supports LGBTQ+ youth and young adults in their efforts to support one another and change the world. For almost twenty years, Eva has worked to foster a more just world by challenging normative gender structures and systemic oppression through their work with LGBTQ+ youth/young adults, through training and professional development, and by supporting survivors of gender-based violence and trauma. She also works with children, adolescents, and their families as they search for ways to live in this world authentically, supported, and whole. Eva envisions and works to build a world where empathy, connection, safety, and care are grounded elements – a world where all can find the respect, love, belief, belonging, and support to be exactly who they are and were meant to be.

Presenter Bios:

Lucky Hernandez is an Indigenous Latinx social services worker dedicated to the advocacy of all marginalized individuals. They have worked with organizations for queer equality and empowerment for six years including student unions, The Frederick Center in Maryland, and now CANDLE’s Leadership Project in Rockland, NY. They strive to have their education, experience, and visibility be a beneficial impact on the community.

MJ Karger is a retired cis-gender school social worker who has co-chaired GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley Chapter for 20 years, covering Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties. MJ also co-facilitates Putnam PFLAG and has presented at hundreds of school and mental health workshops in the Hudson Valley.

Dakota Piñon is a 19-year-old Trans man. He attends Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. He is majoring in Psychology and minoring in creative/ professional writing. Dakota is also a poet and LGBTQ+ activist. His hobbies include but are not limited to, woodworking, horseback riding, working out, hiking and cooking. Dakota hopes to see a more accepting and healthier world in the future.

I’m Abby Waldow, a senior at the University at Albany. I'm majoring in Public Policy with a minor in LGBTQ+ Studies. I have worked for the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) as well as the Women's Resource Center (WRC) for all 4 years of my college career. And I'm currently the Advisory Board Chair for the WRC and Queer Peer Coordinator for the GSRC. I’m also interning with the Civic Action department within our Student Association. After graduationI hope to work in either the nonprofit sector or in government and I hope to continue my advocacy work as much as possible too.
Jade Watts is a junior transfer student at SUNY Purchase majoring in Communications and double minoring in Political Science and Gender Studies. Along with school, Jade also serves as the Official Coordinator for the Personal Counseling Department at Westchester Community College, and volunteers with Youth Pride Leadership Project at CANDLE Rockland. Jade's favorite forms of self-care are writing and listening to music, consuming a wide array of queer media, and spending time with friends.