HVTF Workshop 1 on Friday, January 21st | 10:35-11:50am EST
Understanding Pronouns: How to Get "Them" Right
Workshop Description: What are pronouns, how do they relate to gender, and how do you use them? In this interactive workshop, we will go over basic concepts of gender and identity, traditional and neo-pronouns, how they are used, how to ask for them respectfully, and how to quickly memorize the pronouns of folx you meet.
Workshop Format: This 75-minute workshop will involve a powerpoint presentation, interactive activities, and a Q&A
Shepard Verbas (they/them) 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.
Kira Lingala (she/her/hers) began participating in groups at The LOFT in 2019 and joined the team in May 2020 as a Peer Navigator for The LOFT’s PROUDWST Me program
Prior to that, Kira graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she concentrated in Political Science and African-American studies. While in school, Kira investigated wrongful convictions as an intern for the Invisible Institute before going on to write and edit for New America’s weekly newsletter as an intern.
Kira is passionate about prison abolition, LGBTQ+ rights, and destigmatizing mental health. She writes creatively, avidly follows film, practices yoga, and escapes to nature anytime she needs a break.