Professional Development

Providing highly quality, accessible professional development for school personnel, social service providers and government officials, the Alliance’s educational workshops and training programs focus on sexual orientation and gender identity within a broader social justice and anti-oppression framework. Alliance staff and volunteers work closely with participants to create specially tailored sessions for each context that are both engaging and educational.  For more information on any of the programs or to request additional programming, please contact AJ Jennings, Curriculum and Professional Development Director.

Professional Development Opportunities

Providing professional development programs on sexual orientation and gender identity topics across the state of Illinois, the Alliance’s “Safety for All” framework addresses sexual orientation and gender identity through a lens of safety and respect. Whether working with school personnel, social service providers, government officials, health workers, educators, youth workers, mental health personnel or community members, the Alliance is committed to providing unique professional development appropriate to the context in which we are invited to train. Creating a professional development opportunity with the Alliance includes:

  • Committed, professional and experienced facilitators who encourage participation and interactivity
  • A tailored agenda, activities, and curriculum designed to meet your specific needs
  • A packet of resources and materials for each participant
  • On-going support from the Alliance staff as needed
  • A summary of participant evaluations with recommendations for next steps

Working with the Alliance to create a professional development opportunity may also include:

  • A baseline assessment to determine the current climate regarding sexual orientation and gender identity
  • A post-assessment to determine any attitudinal change towards sexual orientation and gender identity
  • A facilitated brainstorm session in order to develop an action plan for addressing sexual orientation and gender identity in the future
  • On-going training during action plan execution

Other support services available upon request.

Professional Development Topics

The Alliance has developed a core set of training topics and continues to modify, adapt and add to our training repertoire. Topics include but are exclusive to:

  • Safety for All: Addressing Anti-LGBTQ Bullying & Harassment in Schools
  • Trans 101: Understanding Gender Identity
  • Creating Safe Spaces: Youth Development Organizations and LGBTQ Youth
  • Bullying Intervention and Prevention: General Information and Sexual Orientation as a Case Study
  • Toward a Common Language: Terminology as it Relates to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Youth Development: Sexual Identity Development & Peer Harassment
  • Keeping Students Safe, Accountable, and In School: Understanding the Negative Impact of Exclusionary School Discipline & Utilizing Restorative Practices in Schools

These training topics can be adapted in a multitude of ways:

  • Training time: 2-6 hours (the Alliance can also provide 1- and 2-day trainings upon request)
  • Number of participants: 10-400
  • Level of participant knowledge: beginner to advanced
  • Cultural context
  • Others as requested and available

Pre-Professional Preparation

Our Pre-Professional Preparation work is an ongoing partnership between the Alliance and representatives from Illinois colleges and universities involved in pre-professional preparation of teachers, counselors and social workers. Gathering data on the status of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) issues in pre-professional education, pre-professional education aims to support Illinois colleges and universities in further inclusion of diversity issues into their curricula in more meaningful ways. 

Training of Trainers

Known and respected throughout the state for their expertise and content, Alliance trainers provide high-quality professional development opportunities to Illinois schools. Committed to expanding our core of qualified trainers, Training of Trainers sessions are scheduled 2-3 times annually across the state. Although participation is typically by invitation only, some applicants are considered based on their professional experience. Please contact us to learn more about becoming an Alliance Professional Development Trainer.