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UO TeachOUT program




UOTeachOUT is an annual summit on gender identity and sexual orientation issues in education, led by the Education Studies department. The theme for 2015 is: There are no outsiders in education. For information about the 2015 TeachOUT events and projects, please visit the new UO TeachOUT website at!

In 1965, pro-democracy and anti-war academics and educators staged teach-ins to break silence and address critical social issues through teaching and learning. These teach-ins were held in public spaces and offered as seminars to break the silence on taboo topics. At teach-ins information was shared with the general public in an effort to educate toward social change.

In 2010 the Department of Education Studies began offering seminar courses on the brutalizing impacts of homophobia, sexism, racism, nationalism, classism, and ecological exploitation. Each of these seminar courses asked students to reach out into communities to learn about these social issues and their impacts on child development and education.

One of these instructors, Julie Heffernan, in her course Homophobia in Education decided to create a student outreach project titled TeachOUT through which her students would be required to "OUT" themselves as queer positive educators through a series of public projects in order to engage the community in a conversation about LGBT youth and thereby learn about homophobia.

The idea was that this project would also simultaneously teach out into public spaces in an effort to share all that we as academics know about the ramifications of social inequality on LGBT youth.

That was the first year UOTeachOUT, the annual conference on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues in Education. This course and event are now in their fifth year and growing with each new iteration.

UOTeachOUT 2014  Beyond Bullying: Anti-Oppressive Education
The UOTeachOUT hosted two youth summits and a day-long conference at the University of Oregon. The keynote speakers for 2014 were Ivan Coyote, author of Gender Failure and One In Every Crowd and Elizabeth Meyer, author of Gender Bullying and Harassment: Strategies to End Sexism and Homophobia in Schools.

UOTeachOUT 2013  Exponential Inequality
EDST’s fourth annual forum on sexual orientation and gender identity minority issues in education. The focus was on intersections of oppression in education settings. Events included a Leadership Summit, evening workshops, and school district collaborations with university students and high school students.

UOTeachOUT 2012
Focused on LGBTQ families within education settings. In this third year along with the Leadership Summit, students from the university worked directly with minority high school youth in collaboration with local school districts. Here is a link to an article in the Register Guard on the 2012 event.

UOTeachOUT 2011 was focused on supporting LGBTQ teachers, faculty, and staff in education settings. This year TeachOUT added a Leadership Summit which included faculty and administrators from secondary and higher education, as well as representation from advocacy organizations.

UOTeachOut 2010 was a series of four film screenings and panels which was offered for the UO community as well as the larger Eugene/Springfield Community. These films highlighted LGBTQ issues in high school and college:
1. Training Rules
2. It's Still Elementary: Talking about gay issues in schools
3. Out in the Silence
4. Straightlaced: How gender has us all tied up


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