HVTF Keynote Address | Friday, November 11th | 10:15-10:30am
The Power of Visibility
Keynote Description: As a member of this community is can feel like "visibility" is both a necessity and a curse. This keynote address will focus on highlighting the need for visibility for the TGNCNB communities, the complications that can bring, and what we can do as community & as allies to shoulder the burden for ourselves and others.
Shepard Verbas (they/he) joined The LOFT's team in November 2015, and currently serves as the center's Director of Programs and Services. Through this role Shepard oversees The LOFT's programming, support services and special events, including: The LOFT's Peer Support Groups, annual Hudson Valley Trans Forum conference, and Rebuilding Rainbows: LGBTQ+ survivor advocacy program, among others.
Shepard is dedicated to heightening visibility and inclusion for trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary (TGNCNB) community in every facet of their work. They have been active in LGBTQ+ activism since 2014 through volunteer and professional roles with several LGBTQ+ organizations including GLSEN Hudson Valley, WJCS Center Lane, and CANDLE Rockland Youth Pride, where they currently co-facilitate the Trans Youth Group for TGNCNB youth ages 12-18.
Shepard holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education/Special Education from Marywood University, and oversees the center's Educational Training Team which speaks to pressing topics within the LGBTQ+ community. Shepard has spoken at hundreds of trainings, workshops, panels and interviews educating on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community.