HRC Foundation’s Fifth Annual Time to THRIVE Conference

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, in partnership with the National Education Association, and the American Counseling Association, presents Time to THRIVE, the 5th annual national conference to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth everywhere. This conference is open to everyone and we encourage you to attend.  Discounted rooms are available until January 29th, 2018.

Registration for the fifth annual Time to THRIVE Conference, to be held February 16-18, 2018 in Orlando, Florida, is now open!

We are making progress on the road to legalize equality, yet young LGBTQ people in America still face dramatically heightened rates of discrimination in school, at home and within their community. The impact of family rejection, bullying and the negative messages they hear about being or perceived to be LGBTQ weigh heavily on our youth. By engaging a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches and youth development staff (Boys and Girls Club, YMCAs, scout leaders, etc.), we can create spaces in which LGBTQ youth are affirmed, supported and have the ability to thrive.

Continuing Education

We anticipate that Time to THRIVE attendees will be able to earn continuing education clock hours (CEUs) from the National Board of Certified Counselors, the National Association of Social Workers and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. For an additional fee, we also anticipate that attendees will be able to earn one graduate or undergraduate credit. More information on CEUs and college credit can be found by clicking on the CEU tab.

Youth Attendance

On the last day of the 5th annual Time to THRIVE conference, Sunday, February 18, 2018, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, in partnership with the Zebra Coalition, is inviting up to 100 youth (ages 13-22) and an adult chaperone (for those under the age of 18) to attend. The first 100 completed applications will receive one of the limited number of free tickets, which include tons of free resources, breakfast and lunch!  Click here to download a flyer about the Youth Day, including a schedule, and permission slip for those under the age of 18.  All interested youth should apply online for one of the free 100 slots today at  All online applications must be received no later than January 30, 2018. 

Among the many dynamic organizations and educator activists presenting at the conference, please see the three NEA-presenter led sessions:

#IamFrederick: Rallying a conservative school district around its Transgender/GNC students

When the Trump Administration rescinded the Title IX guidelines in February 2017, trans students, their parents and teachers in conservative Frederick, MD jumped into action to protect trans students. Hear how this trans student group educated a group of local educators and residents about trans issues, and mobilized hundreds to attend rallies, Board Of Education meetings etc. This advocacy resulted in the passing of one of the most inclusive and affirming policies ever in June 2017. Shortly thereafter the policy was attacked by a nationally recognized anti-LGBT organization. The students and the community fought back!

Nicola van Kuilenburg, UniServe Director, Maryland State Education Association; James van Kuilenburg, High School Student Mentor, GLSEN National Student Council

A Panel Discussion with Out LGBTQ K-12 Staff

One of the best role models for LGBTQ students is to have out LGBTQ Faculty. Come to this session and hear from a panel of Out LGBTQ Educators on their experiences of coming out and the challenges they have faced as educators. Hear how these educators have been able to overcome challenges and be able to become role models for their students.

Frank Burger, National Education Association; Emilly Osterling, GLBT Caucus Co-chair, Lakota Schools National Education Association

Why NEA Cares about LGBTQ Students and Members

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest labor union representing educational employees in public schools. NEA has a long standing history of standing up and supporting LGBTQ students and members. In this session, participants will learn about what NEA has to offer to support schools from training to other resources available to help LGBTQ Students and members.

Frank Burger, National Education Association; Emilly Osterling, GLBT Caucus Co-chair, Lakota Schools National Education Association

To attend the conference:

Click here to book your room today!

There will be a limited number of rooms for conference attendees at the discounted rate of $155 per nightRooms booked under our conference block will receive discounted parking ($22.00 per day), complimentary in-room wireless Internet and free access to the fitness center. Click here to reserve your room online. If you prefer to reserve a Hilton room by phone, please call (1-888-353-2013) and reference the discounted code HTTC. If you wish to upgrade to a hotel room at the adjacent Waldorf Astoria, please call (1-888-353-2009) and reference code WTTC. The discounted rates expire on January 29, 2018, or sooner if the limited number of rooms at this rate sells out.