This cross-disciplinary project is focused on preparing the next generation of social workers, teachers, school counselors, and nurses to better serve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their families. The integrated project team is working with partners from the Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia and The Attic Youth Center, a support community for LGBTQ youth, to examine courses, propose content changes, and create new courses that reflect new understandings of gender and sexuality. Significantly, the team is working to develop a new LGBTQ Certificate Program across multiple professional schools to deepen and expand the fluency, sensitivity, and knowledge that students have of LGBTQ youth and their needs. Field training is also being expanded to include more engagement with LGBTQ populations.
Since the onset of the pandemic, politicians, Hollywood actors, and ordinary citizens alike have reminded us that “We are all in this together”. The statement is meant to calm fears and reinforce the idea that a united front is better than our individual desires—a kind of gestalt moment when we aim to see the whole and not simply the parts. Despite the strength of this statement, any observer would also have to take note that we have all been in this differently as well, not in the past two months alone but over generations.