Liberation and Change Taking Hold in Colombia

Issue 3, 2010
re (ri) n. 1. anew, again vision (vizh‘e n) n. 1. the manner in which one sees or conceives of something
The Source For Knowledge On Gender & Orientation
Liberation and Change Taking Hold in Colombia
broadened the reach of our work as priests
returned with their wives and colleagues. Over half
of this year’s participants were women, and it was
apparent the conversation has now firmly entered
the family circle.
Other community leaders in the room included
the Lieutenant Colonel of the Colombian Police
Department, the Deputy Chief of Staff for the
Senator of Indigenous People, and several
distinguished attorneys.
YES staff with new friends in Bogotá, Colombia.
YES recently made a second trip to Bogotá,
Episcopal Bishop of Colombia, paved a path for
Colombia to continue an unprecedented
clergy, their families, and community leaders to
conversation on gender and orientation with
participate through his commitment to creating
people throughout Latin America. Bishop
a unified country.
Francisco Duque-Gómez, the Presiding
Last year, participants were mainly male priests
from small villages and distant cities. This visit
I will share everything I learned
with my family back home. I’m ready
to practice my new communication
skills and build stronger relationships,
especially with my children.
Participants in Essentials of Orientation.
Years of silence, denial, and invisibility created an
immense fear for people and stopped them from
sharing authentically. As participants reflected on
the life and death consequences surrounding
gender and orientation, people started to speak
- Course Participant
Priests participating in Communication Solutions™.
Education Week Inspires, Transforms a Global Audience
Participants from Colombia, Panama, Italy,
With over 50
Australia, and throughout the U.S. came to
participants and
experience the first completely bilingual YES
volunteers, our course
Education Week. Thanks to the tireless efforts of
room reached full
volunteers and YES supporters, our entire
capacity for YES’
curriculum of courses and materials has been
hallmark course,
translated into Spanish.
Solutions™. Young
I have new tools and language to
sharpen my organization’s mission
statement and establish a tone of
optimism and certainty for our team.
people took center
stage to practice their
new communication
Participants in Communication Solutions™ at YES Institute.
around producing results and generating
As they shared their struggles to simply be
effective action. One participant shared, “This
themselves, everyone in the room was moved and
Education week began with “Leadership In
course is valuable to everyone because it offers
inspired by their courage.
Action,” a course designed for both established
real-world solutions that are easy to understand
and emerging leaders. The course is focused
and implement at every level of leadership.”
- Caroline Lewis, Educator and Entrepreneur,
Participant in Leadership In Action
These programs are made possible by your generosity. To participate in
keeping all youth safe, visit and learn more.
A speaker practices during
Communication Solutions™.
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Please contact: [email protected] or
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New Guidelines
Invite Education
for Law
Today, the hard shell that I put
around my heart to protect myself
broke open. Now I feel like it’s safe to
love the people in my life again. This
course has changed my life.
- Middle School Student
With the implementation of new guidelines
for changing one’s gender on U.S. Passports,
leaders at U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A staffer from a local nonprofit shared, “I was
taught that if I just fought hard enough, I would
always win. Now I see that all I’ve done is make
Andy, with his mother Denice and sister Liz, during the
Gender and Orientation Series at YES Institute.
(CBP) recognized a need to provide
education for their employees. CBP invited
YES Institute to facilitate a dialogue for 60 CBP
myself, and others, exhausted! Now I have a
new choice, and I’m giving myself permission to
her daughter Liz, shared, “This course has greatly
officers on gender and orientation to
finally put down my sword.”
impacted my life. I am taking with me not only
familiarize them with the information they
information, but a new world in which me and
need to do their jobs in this changing world.
For many participants, the Gender and
my family will make a difference. Thank you for
Orientation Series was the first opportunity to
your excellent work.”
discuss these topics openly and without fear. A
religious leader from a town in Colombia said,
“If you are discovered as gay, you are killed. It
isn’t safe to even talk about orientation or you
will become a target.”
Families from across the state of Florida came to
YES to participate in this course. Denice, who
came with her son, former YES intern Andy, and
The violence perpetrated against
youth who identify as gay and
transgender could be erased if this
education was experienced in our
schools, churches, and families.
- Course Participant
Communication Turns the Globe
The June Communication Solutions™ course
Prior to our visit, the only times these subjects
brought new friends from Australia, Kenya,
were mentioned were as insults and
Venezuela, and South Africa. They spoke of
harassing humor. The self-report post-
the global relevance and urgency of YES
evaluation revealed that 1 in 4 officers
education on communication, gender, and
witness co-workers using “anti-gay” verbal
slurs on a weekly or daily basis.
Youth leaders courageously practiced the
model of communication, eager to finally be
heard. “Thank you YES for showing me that I
Miami-Dade County Public School teachers in
Communication Solutions™.
don’t need to be afraid! I feel like myself
Damien, a middle school student wise
again,” shared Athan, a college student from
beyond his years, said, “Being ‘right’ does not
South Africa.
change anything. Life is a lot easier when you
don’t make everything about the right
As a student from Kenya, I feel
it’s my responsibility to come to YES
and go back to share this education
with as many people as possible in
my country.
- Student, University of Miami
- Customs Agent
With such a diverse audience, there were
YES speaker Lorenzo, a Miami Dade County
many unique perspectives in the room. “I
Police Officer, spoke about the reactions of
want to learn how to communicate effectively
his family when they learned his orientation.
so I can contribute more to my students,” said
Lorenzo’s sharing gave the CBP officers the
an elementary school teacher from Miami-
opportunity to open up and share their own
Dade County. Officer Lorenzo of the Miami
experiences of gender and orientation at
given me a way to feel powerful without my
badge and my gun.”
their jobs and in their homes. The posturing
and bravado faded once they began
speaking openly. What was left was a rare
We went from being a desperate
family in a catastrophic crisis to a
family full of hope. To see my son
happy, and get up and speak in
front of the room was a moving
experience for me, and I know it
was empowering for him.
Beach Police Department added, “YES has
A participant practices the YES model of communication.
This is something I see
everyday... we have to do a better
job of communicating with each
other in a way that shows respect,
not discrimination.
-Parent, Broward County, FL
opportunity for honest dialogue about
things that impact the lives of these officers
every day.
The culture of law enforcement
is all about being a ‘real man.’ You
have to talk about women, guns,
beer, and cars to avoid being
- Customs Agent
Kiaora Society Membership
Kiaora Society
Kiaora Society members donate $1,000 or more
to YES Institute annually.
We are grateful to Visionary Thomas Blount for
For the past 14 years, YES Institute’s Kiaora Society
increasing his contribution to YES Institute in
of donors has formed the lifeblood of our work.
support of the expansion of our programs in
Ninety-two percent of every dollar directly
Spanish. His enduring generosity continues to
supports our educational programs in the
create new possibilities and partnerships with
community, allowing us to take our work where it
Spanish-speaking communities across the
is most needed.
For information about joining our Kiaora Society,
We welcome and thank a new Kiaora
or to structure your contribution, please contact
Champion, who wishes to remain anonymous,
Eva at 786-301-3940 or [email protected]
for a contribution to the Doug DeBoer
Memorial Fund. We thank Howard Kurzweil for
his continued commitment to the work of YES in
honor of one of our dearest friends and
Luminary $25,000 or more
Joseph Blount
Ed McAmis & Gerson González
Thomas Blount
Tim Gill & Scott Miller
Timo Kipp
Jonathan & Tina Kislak
F. Lynn Leverett
Adam Lewis
Daniel Lewis
Peter Lewis
Toby Lewis
Paula Morabito & María M. Yip
Hon. Katy Sorenson
Champion $5,000 or more
Howard’s partner of many years, the late Doug
Erik Alonso/R&S Community Mental Health
Colson Hicks Edison
Mel Heifetz
Millares, Inc.
Raymond Jungles
Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Renwick
Joseph Serrins
Jon Stryker
Charlie Urstadt
Walid Wahab/William Brown Construction
Anonymous Donor
Anonymous Donor
We welcome long time friends Coral Gables
Congregational Church who, through their
foundation, continue to support YES
educational programs.
Leader $2,500 or more
We thank Leader Kevin Miller for once again
renewing his commitment to YES. We also
thank Ivy Lewis, Larry Luing and the Larry L.
Luing Family Foundation, Lane Park, Lee
for renewing their commitment to the work of
Jonathan Lewis
Rev. Marta S. Weeks
Visionary $10,000 or more
country and throughout Latin America.
Schrager, Rachel Sottile, and Joseph Zolobczuk
Philanthropist $150,000 or more
Laurie Hafner and Peter McDougal from the Coral Gables
Congregational church present a check to YES Executive Director
Rachel Sottile and Eva Leivas-Andino, CFO.
YES at the Mentor level.
Dear Friends,
It is the extraordinary commitment of our Kiaora Society donors that gives us the freedom to create
groundbreaking courses on gender and orientation. Now the power of our education is reaching
beyond South Florida and into Latin America.
We thank the many Kiaora members who have structured their contributions as multi-year pledges,
and those who have added Planned Giving. Such long term commitments allow YES to stay cutting
edge and grow regardless of the funding priorities of standard foundations. Over 60% of our budget
is met by the inspiring generosity of Kiaora members whose pledges sustain the work we do to keep
youth safe. We thank you, and we are very proud of you.
A big hug to all !!!!!
- Eva Leivas-Andino, CFO
Emerging Leaders Broaden Impact
Bishop Duque-Gómez leads a panel discussion and incorporates YES education.
Every major religion is grappling in some way
Duque-Gómez shared key concepts from YES
with the impact of gender and orientation, as
Institute’s educational courses and presented
these topics affect everyone within every faith
slides from YES Institute's curriculum.
Maria Alonso & Alex Montague
Douglas DeBoer & Howard Kurzweil
Tony DiLucia
Thomas Gellman & Carlos Yudica
Jahn & Christie Kirchoff
Kevin Miller & Allan Hunter
José Luis Peré
Russell Tolley
Mentor $1,000 or more
Dr. Patrick Abuzeni & Angela Patt
José Alonso
Connie Barden
Garry Bevel
Tim & Meredith Birrittella
Sam Blum
David Castillo
Bruce A. Christensen
David B. Cole
John M. Cooney & Julio Fernandez
Carlos Cuartas & Jim O’Connor
Olga & Ignacio del Valle
David & Madelaine Doyle
Virginia Dunn & Jackie Cartier
Martha Fugate
Randall R. Gluss
Walter F. Goodman & Robert A. Flanders
Eric T. Gottlieb
Barbara T. Gray
Chad Griffin
James Gross & Justin Bolinger
Marty Harris & Nikki Korval
Jeri Jenkins
Robert Johnson & Layne Tidwell
Douglas Kinsley & Gabriel Pou
Joseph M. Kraus & Joe Martin
Ellen L. Leesfield & Pamela Perry
Eva Leivas-Andino
Ivy Lewis
Larry Luing & Dario Espinosa
Ralph Lutrin & Alan Lewis
Nancy P. Magoon
Michael W. & Diana B. Maler
Dr. John J. Martin, Jr. & Forrest McSurdy
Humberto Mata & Maximiliano Novoa
Dean Mealy & Peter Barbatis
Richard Milstein & Eric Hankin
Robert Oldakowski & Luis Mendoza
Lane W. Park
Luis Guillermo Pons
Scott Prosan
June Raben
Karen Raben & Andrea Pernick
Gordon Rhodes
Janet M. Rosel
Bill Ross
Howard Perry Rothberg II &
Paul A. Scolieri-Rothberg
Don Sadler
Scott Sasich
Juan Carlos Sagrera
Janice & Howard Scholl
Lee Schrager
Esther Schumann
David Schwarz
Mark Scott & Joseph Falk
Richard Shannon
Hortensia V. Soriano
Roxy-Cary Sora
John & Ann Sottile
Gary B. Stross
Mike Syers
Thomas Taylor
Cynthia & Emilio Vázquez
Laura White
Carol & Ed Williamson
Trae Williamson
Patricia Woodson
Mel Wymore
Mark Zampella
Joseph M. Zolobczuk
Foundations & Corporations
Bishop Duque-Gómez writes, “We want to
Leaders from an array of faiths, including Islam,
infinitely thank you for the shift in consciousness
Anglican, Roman Catholic and Judaism sought
that you have generated among us regarding a
guidance from our partner Bishop Francisco
community we have misunderstood for many
Duque-Gómez, Presiding Episcopal Bishop of
years. Today we have new horizons and tools to
Colombia, after learning about his work with
continue working.”
Bank of America
The Children’s Trust
Coconut Grove Bank
Dade Community Foundation
Dennis Edwards & Mark Steinberg Foundation
Ernst & Young LLP
Gill Foundation
Kiwanis Club of Key Biscayne
Lawrence R. Hyer Fund at Dade Community Foundation
Osiason Educational Fund
Ruth Anderson Foundation
Vega & Oprandi
YES Institute. For the presentation, Bishop
A community in which all youth develop as
healthy individuals free of suicide, violence,
and discrimination.
Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN, Chair
José Luis Peré, Vice Chair
Emilio Vazquez, Treasurer
Karen Raben, MD, Secretary
Garry Bevel, Esq.
Randall Gluss, JD
Jahn Kirchoff
Bill Ross, MBA
Scott Sasich
Martha Fugate and YES volunteer Luis Ottley take quetsions from
participants in Bogota, Colombia.
Bishop Duque-Gómez convened all parish priests for
the YES training, leaving every Episcopal church in
Colombia without a priest the Sunday of our visit. His
leadership and commitment resounds as he
continues to invite “more institutions, schools,
universities, community organizers, youth, and parents
to have access to the education so that they too can
have the tools to continue working for the safety of all
our youth.”
Associate Vicar Juan Carlos Restrepo and several
others asked to be trained as YES course leaders so
they can continue to bring the work of YES to their
communities in Colombia. Within days, 3 obtained
visas, purchased airline tickets, and traveled to YES
Institute for five days of courses during Summer
Education Week. Others, unable to make the trip,
volunteered to translate presentations and course
materials into Spanish.
am right. After today, I will be able to handle
to find their own solutions without convincing them I
to listen and through communication, allow others
stereotypes. One participant exclaimed, “I learned
- Linda Greenhouse
openly about their own judgements and
Knowledge can change
which in turn
can change reality.“
Issue 3, 2010
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Permit No. 1767
Board of Directors
Miami Children’s
How can I help a patient who just tried to commit
suicide? Could my patient be transgender? How
do I ask patients about their orientation? What
can I do to keep children safe and stop hurting
To prevent suicide and ensure the healthy
development of all youth through powerful
communication and education on gender
and orientation.
• 50% of elementary & middle school
bullying incidents are based on gender
and orientation slurs.
• 80% of high school youth harassed
as gay actually identify as heterosexual.
• Youth who identify as gay or lesbian, and are
rejected by families, are 8 times more
likely to attempt suicide.
• 32% suicide rate for youth identifying as
Research citations:
Rachel Sottile, MS, Executive Director
Ext. 1122
[email protected]
Martha Fugate, Founding Director
Ext. 1111
[email protected]
Bishop James Ottley, D.Div., Global Education
Ext. 1123
[email protected]
Eva Leivas-Andino, Chief Financial Officer
Ext. 1114
[email protected]
Joseph Zolobczuk, BPA, Education & Production
Ext. 1112
[email protected]
Brittney Hoffman, MA, Program Coordinator
Ext. 1121
[email protected]
Tim Wagoner, Technology Services
Ext. 1113
[email protected]
YES courses are accredited to provide continuing
education for Florida mental health and nursing
professionals, and professional development points
for MDCPS employees.
themselves? These are only a few of the questions
psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical
professionals at Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH)
had for YES Institute facilitators during a
presentation in July.
After today, I am considering
changing my doctoral dissertation
topic and conducting more research
on gender and orientation.
- Intern, Miami Children’s Hospital
For MCH staff, the dialogue was eye opening.
“I had no idea that gender can become an issue
for children at such an early age,” shared one
MCH has asked YES to come back in the Fall to
train their incoming interns and psychology
Subscribe to the YES Institute Podcast on iTunes® or go to:
See where we’ve been and who we’ve reached in recent months. Our podcasts
include footage from YES Institute presentations and interviews with participants.
practicum students. Dr. Rosen, a psychiatrist at
MCH, has also expressed an interest in providing
this information for MCH physicians. Several of the
participants attended our Summer Education
Week to experience our full curriculum of courses.