Youth Empowerment Symposium Kicks Off Sunday in Eugene

Nov 7, 2013

YEPSA members Elliot Glaser-Flynn, Denise Velasco and Aimee Fischer.
Credit Angela Kellner

Members of a Eugene-based youth empowerment group are hosting a symposium this weekend on issues of sexuality and gender identity.

Youth for the Education and Prevention of Sexual Assault (YEPSA) was created more than five years ago by two students at the Network Charter School in Eugene. After months of planning and fundraising, the group is ready to host the Youth Empowerment Symposium on Sunday and Monday. The keynote speaker is Cree Gordon who identifies as gender-queer and is HIV-positive. Network Charter School teacher Denise Velasco describes one of the highlights.

Velasco: "We have a youth panel and we're going to have six youth sit in and share their stories of what they have dealt with being a teenager and one of them is going to talk a little bit about suicide and then the other is going to talk about being a teen parent."

The symposium includes a concert, workshops and resources related to sexuality and gender issues. The Youth Empowerment Symposium is Sunday and Monday at the Hilton Conference Center in downtown Eugene. Scholarships are still available. For more information, click here.