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Spotlight: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth: Panel Discussions
Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
Category: Events

Spotlight: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth: Panel Discussions

Join us for the second of three special "Spotlight" sessions hosted by the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice and the Coming Together for Action Conference. These bonus live sessions will be recorded and available as on-demand content during the conference. Access is free but you’ll need to register for your space in each spotlight session.


Register now at zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_D9UhjZtzSWisq9n3Iof7ew. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining this Zoom webinar.


Special Introduction

VGRVirginia Gil-Rivas, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Program in Health Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research has focused on identifying factors at multiple levels that contribute to successful adjustment among individuals exposed to major negative life events (e.g., serious illness, disasters, mass trauma, violence exposure, and forced migration) and chronic adversity (i.e., poverty, discrimination, chronic health conditions). She has also been involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of brief health interventions that are culturally and contextually appropriate. Virginia is also a Global Alliance Board Member. 

Panel 1: Advocating for Supportive Environments for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youths

Jill McLeigh

MODERATOR: Jill D. McLeigh, PhD (She/Her) (@jill_mcleigh) is the Director of Policy, Advocacy, & Research at Children's Health in Dallas, TX. She currently serves as the co-editor for American Journal of Orthopsychiatry and associate editor for the Kempe-Haruv Journal on Child Abuse and Neglect. Her primary research interest has been in preventive measures and interventions that seek to strengthen communities' capacity for family support, participation, and mutual assistance. Jill has been the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award from the American Psychological Association, Division of Psychologists in Public Service, and the South Carolina Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Community Award.  She has a Master's degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in International Family & Community Studies from Clemson University. Connect with Jill on LinkedIn

Kate MurphyAs Senior Child Welfare Policy Associate, Kate E. Murphy (@K8MurphysLaw) leads Texans Care for Children’s work to keep children safe at home through an effective Child Protective Services (CPS) workforce, prevention services, and other efforts, and our work to ensure child safety and success in foster care and beyond. Since joining Texans Care for Children in 2016, Kate has played a leading role in proposing and passing legislation to improve support for pregnant and parenting youth in foster care, among other legislative victories. She is frequently invited to testify at the Texas Legislature, speak at conferences, and comment in the media about foster care, the Family First Act, and other child protection policy issues. Kate serves on the Texas Supreme Court’s Children’s Commission Collaborative Council and the Steering Committee of the Texas Child Protection Roundtable. She participates in several state-level or local collaboratives that focus on supporting young families. She is regularly invited to serve on workgroups that shape internal policies at the Department of Family and Protective Services. Kate is also a member of the Child Protection Section of the State Bar of Texas. Connect with Kate on LinkedIn

Dr. Taylor ScottThe Co-Director of Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC), Dr. Taylor Scott earned her Ph.D. in community psychology in the Health Psychology Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research interests include broad-based promotion of well-being and success among at-risk children via community-based programs and public policy. She served for five years on the Community Research and Evaluation Team at UNCC, supporting evaluations in the context of local child-serving systems including mental health, child welfare, public housing, and education. Beginning in 2015, Taylor worked to co-develop the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, starting at the National Prevention Science Coalition and continuing at Penn State University. She also investigates approaches for (1) reaching legislators with research messages, (2) writing a research basis into law, and (3) enhancing policy training and engagement among researchers.

Rev. Alex Patchin McNeillRev. Alex Patchin McNeill (He/Him) (@presbyqueerian) has served as the Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians since 2013. During his tenure at More Light, he has equipped congregations to live into policy change for inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and has successfully enacted policies for marriage equality in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Under his leadership, More Light now serves as a capacity-building organization, equipping congregations to work intersectionally on justice issues. As a trained professional coach through the International Coaching Federation, Alex brings a coaching approach to his work with church leaders and congregations seeking to follow God’s call to widen their welcome, increase church vitality, or develop and implement new programs. In addition, he coaches leaders taking a leap of faith to launch a new project, stepping into a leadership role, or discerning a new calling. As an openly transgender man with a wealth of experience both professionally and personally, he is a sought-after trainer and facilitator of workshops on gender identity and sexual orientation. He has over a decade of experience training hundreds of community leaders, and has played key roles organizing faith communities for marriage equality in Maryland and legislation to promote LGBTQIA+ rights. Alex was the first openly transgender man ordained in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Connect with Alex on LinkedIn

Panel 2: Experiences and Challenges for Providing Care for Transgender Youth in the South

Megan McComas

MODERATOR: Megan McComas, MA (She/Her) is a doctoral student in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She formally served (2018-2020) as a behavioral health intern at Levine Children’s Center for Gender Health providing behavioral health care to adolescents, emerging adults, and families. She was also involved in the development and implementation of the Center for Gender Health. Her current research investigates systemic factors that influence transgender and gender expansive youth health and health care disparities. Her work aims to promote gender-affirming health care in diverse geographical regions. Connect with Megan on LinkedIn

Shamieka Dixon

Shamieka Virella Dixon, MD (She/Her), a native of the Bronx, NY, graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development. Shamieka obtained her doctorate degree from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, completed pediatric residency training at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and an adolescent medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. She serves as the Director of Adolescent Medicine at Levine Children’s Center for Gender Health providing primary and consultative care to adolescents and young adults. Connect with Shamieka on LinkedIn

Betsy Thompson

Betsy Thompson, MEd, LPC (She/Her) is the Program Coordinator of Mental Health Services for Teen Health Connection, supervising a team of 6 licensed therapists. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) and a licensed school counselor. For thirteen years, Betsy has worked with adolescents in a variety of settings, including as the Clinical Program Manager for two locked psychiatric treatment facilities, in the school system as a middle school counselor and with youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System. Betsy is trained/rostered in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and has presented at a variety of conferences and school districts on trauma, adolescent development, gender health and integrated healthcare.

Laura Levin

Laura Levin, MD (They/Them) is a graduate of Drexel University with a B.S. in Physics. They graduated from Hahnemann University with a Masters in Applied Human Physiology. Their medical degree comes from Temple University School of Medicine and they did an internship and residency at University of Maryland Medical Systems in Baltimore, MD. They have been practicing medicine for the last 29 years with Piedmont Pediatric Clinic in Concord, NC. Laura started taking on transgender patients 9 years ago when they were asked to do so because the current provider in Charlotte who worked with gender diverse children was retiring. Laura currently provides medical care to the gender diverse community at Levine Children’s Center for Gender Health and has been professionally involved in the transition of over 150 adolescents and young adults. Connect with Laura on LinkedIn

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