University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Lecture: LBGT Youth Homelessness

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.

Today's lecture is entitled, "LBGT Youth Homelessness: Structural Barriers & Innovative Responses" and it will be presented by Jama Shelton.

Synopsis: LGBTQ youth and youth of color are overrepresented in the population of youth experiencing homelessness. Service providers report that the LGBTQ youth they work with are more likely to experience physical and mental health issues, and are more likely to be homeless for longer periods of time than cisgender and heterosexual youth. The disparities are greater for transgender youth. What are the reasons for this disproportionality and what can be done to address it? Based on 9 years of direct practice experience with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, 4 year of national organizing work to address LGBTQ youth homelessness, and current research projects conducted with transgender youth experiencing homelessness, Dr. Shelton will discuss the state of LGBTQ youth homelessness in America.

Biography: Jama Shelton, MSW, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dr. Shelton’s research examines the needs and experiences of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and the service providers with whom they work. In particular, Dr. Shelton is interested in identifying and addressing systemic barriers rooted in hetero/cisgenderism that frequently constrain the successful transition out of homelessness for LGBTQ youth and young adults. Previously, Dr. Shelton served as the Deputy Executive Director of the True Colors Fund. In this role, Dr. Shelton was engaged in systemic change efforts directly informed by years of direct practice experience. Having worked in the areas of clinical practice with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, as well as program development, evaluation, research, technical assistance and training, Dr. Shelton brings a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing both LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and also the service providers with whom they work. Most recently, Dr. Shelton co-edited the peer-reviewed text Where Am I Going to Go? Intersectional Approaches to Ending LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in Canada and the US, published by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunches.


Rainbow Center (primary), UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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