Professional Development

iSMSS offers evidence-informed presentations and individualized case consultations for K-12 schools, government, non-profit, and community-based agencies who would like to build their professional capacity to effectively support the health, mental health, education, safety, and socialization needs of sexual and gender minority children, youth, and families. All sessions are research-based and customized to your specific context and needs.

 We offer Professional Development in many forms, and through a variety of programs: 

iSMSS Professional Development 

iSMSS offers professional development grounded in sexual and gender diversity. Our PD is available to students, classes, faculty, and support staff. In addition, we serve organizations off campus as well. Our lectures include experiential learning, and participant engagement through activities.

For inquiries regarding professional development, please contact, Education Coordinator, Evan Westfal (he/him) at ewestfal@ualberta.ca.

Some workshop topics available are as follows:  

Becoming Conscious Allies: an introduction to sexual and gender diversity and inclusion

In this workshop participants will explore concepts and terminology regarding gender and sexual diversity. We will look at intersectionality and how it relates to best practices in developing allyship skills in the workplace and community at large.

Trans Inclusion & Athletics

Have you wanted to learn about trans athletes through history, what science tells us about fair competition, and how to create an inclusive environment in sports? This workshop will cover your bases, and use peer reviewed research to inform you of inclusive practices. Let's get sporty.

Queer Music History

This workshop will walk you through significant contributions that queer and trans people have made to music history. It includes live music, and takes a playful approach to learning. Take a walk through history, and listen to some beautiful music.

Inclusive Practices for Teachers: a focus on primary and secondary education
This workshop is designed for education professionals and those who serve students. Through the lecture, participants will learn sexual and gender diverse terminology, current Alberta legislation, best practices for supporting queer and trans students, and actionable steps empowering teachers and students to create a GSA/QSA. Should you have additional specific learning outcomes, ISMSS staff are open to tailoring this session to your individual needs.
2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in the ESL/EAL classroom

This interactive workshop will discuss how to create a more welcoming and inclusive classroom for all students. Together we will also examine some methods for introducing topics that are often forgotten in an ESL course, such as 2SLGBTQ+ rights and history, both explicitly and implicitly.    

Our Where the Rivers Meet program offers Professional Development services teaching about Indigeneity and 2SLGBTQ+ issues to community groups, leaders, and schools.

For bookings and other inquiries, please contact, WTRM Coordinator, contact Gabe Castiloux (They/Them) at wtrm@ualberta.ca.

Some workshop topics available are as follows:

Anti-Oppression

This workshop dives into the pillars of oppression and how these affect us at the institutional, cultural and individual level as well as ways that we can liberate ourselves (aka: anti-oppression). Folks will be given time to break off into rooms, or work individually on ways they both benefit from and are oppressed by the systems of colonization, capitalism, ableism, racism and cisheteropatriarchy and how to apply liberation tactics into their workplaces and home environments.

(3 hours condensed) OR two hours per day for 2 days (Day 1: Explaining Oppression Day 2: Applying Liberation)
Two Spirit Identities (2 hours)
This workshop dives into the historical contexts of two spirit, the creation of the english term and ways in which we can empower the Two Spirit community. A brief overview of elder protocol will also be offered.
Two Spirit in the Workplace (1 hour)
Specifically, geared to focus on why Two Spirit people face so many barriers to accessing and retaining employment and how workplaces can create policies to empower Two Spirit clients and co-workers/staff.
Two Spirit during COVID-19 (1 hour)
A look into how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Indigenous communities and how the resilience of the two spirit community is shining during these uncertain times.
Indigenous Sexualities (2 hours)
This workshops looks into the concepts of gender and sexuality as spectrums as well as talks about traditional Indigenous models on sex and consent as well as an LGBTQ+ 101 discussing gender identity, biological sex, sexual orientation (with romantic and sexual attraction) and gender expression.
Indigenous Issues and Decolonization (2 hours)
This workshop dives into the system of colonization and how this form of oppression still affects Indigenous people to this day from MMIWG2S to pipelines and addictions will be explained and a look into how settlers can empower the Indigenous community.
Alternatives to Police Intervention (1-2 hours)
This newly developed workshop dives into how the institutions of police and the prison industrial complex is founded in colonialism and harms our societies and how individuals and work places can utilize alternative forms of transformative justice and healing justice to empower themselves and the clients they serve instead of relying on police.

Alberta GSA Network 

Through partnership with the Sexual Health Centre of Calgary we offer an annual Alberta GSA Conference that brings together queer youth and teachers. At the conference a number of workshops are offered that will focus on the legal side of organizing GSA's and rights of 2SLGBTQ+ students. Queer youth will have a variety of workshops related to 2SLGBTQ+ issues and have a number of opportunities to connect with 2SLGBTQ+ organizations. This year's conference will be an online event hosted by iSMSS and will be taking place November 11th - November 15th. 

For any inquiries regarding the upcoming GSA conference, Evan Westfal (he/him) at ewestfal@ualberta.ca.

iSMSS Online Workshops

iSMSS is happy to offer free workshops in the form of video conferencing through Google Meet and Zoom. We are able to offer distance learning keeping in line with the healthy practices of social isolation.

 Our presentations will cover a variety of different and interesting topics focused on 2SLGBTQ+ topics through. The workshops are open to everyone who is interested in learning more about 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, education, terminology and more!

iSMSS offers professional development sessions and topics that touch on the following topics:

  • 2SLGBTQ+ Terminology
  • Pronouns and best practices for the workplace
  • The differences between sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and attraction
  • Allyship Skills and Strategies

 Are there topics you want to learn more about? We want to hear from you. To learn more about specific workshops for your organization, online sessions or suggest a workshop topic, contact ewestfal@ualberta.ca.

 Where the Rivers Meet workshops focus on the following topics:

  • Anti-oppression
  • Two Spirit
  • Indigenous Sexualities
  • Decolonization

To learn more about specific workshops for your organization, online sessions or suggest a workshop topic, contact wtrm@ualberta.ca.