Rainbow Families Presents Annual LGBTQ+ Family Conference; Announces Whitman-Walker Health CEO as ‘Hero of the Year’
(Washington, DC) – Rainbow Families is proud to present their annual family conference – Together Again – a tradition for LGBTQ+ families, parents, and prospective parents taking place at the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland on May 14th, 2022. The day-long event will feature informative workshops, an award ceremony, inspiring speakers, and community building.
Additionally, today the nonprofit organization announced the recipient of their 2022 ‘Hero of the Year’ award, Naseema Shafi, CEO of Whitman-Walker Health, to be presented at the conference. This is in recognition of her leadership and service to improving the health of all LGBTQ+ people, and not only maintaining, but growing, services for our community during the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shafi shared these remarks upon learning of the award, “On behalf of the entire team here at Whitman-Walker, I am thrilled to accept this honor. Rainbow Families and Whitman-Walker share important and overlapping visions which rely on our community to respond when we are called upon, in order to advance access and equality to all members of the LGBTQ+ communities. The team at Whitman-Walker
has done incredible work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are grateful for this recognition of that service as “heroes”. We hope it goes without saying that we also believe families have been major “heroes” during the past two years. We are part of the Rainbow Families Family. We See You – and We hope to see you in care, too.”
Jon Kidder, Head of School at the Barrie School expressed his conviction in hosting this return to an in-person program, “We are honored to host our long-time partner organization, Rainbow Families, for an in-person conference on our 45-acre campus. Given the challenges of the pandemic, we can think of nothing more important than bringing families together in celebration and community as we dream to remake the world not as it is, but as it should be.”
Rainbow Families has brought this influential event since 2003. Among the many activities planned for this year’s event, attendees can expect to mingle with local LGBTQ+ owned and inclusive businesses, take part in a dedicated family meetup for LGBTQ+ Parents (and Prospective Parents) of Color, plus hear from activists, volunteers, and host of Under the Desk News and LA Times’ TikTok, V Spehar.
“Rainbow Families has been a trusted source of education, support, and resources for LGBTQ+ families for 39 years. These past two years have been especially challenging for our community, not the least of which has been the limited opportunities for families to gather, connect and share with one another. We are excited to return to our treasured in-person conference, and to celebrate LGBTQ+ families together again” says Executive Director, Darren Paul-Vance.
Tickets are available to the public for purchase through rainbowfamiles.org.
Rainbow Families supports, educates and connects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) families, parents and prospective parents by offering a wide variety of education programs, support groups, opportunities to connect and more. Rainbow Families is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization supported by members, community sponsors, private and public grants and foundations.