SOGI Initiative

Pawley Hall, Room 470G
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-4614

2014 Conference

Keynote Speaker:
Kisha Webster
Director of Education and Community Engagement for Welcoming Schools Human Rights Campaign

Kisha Webster provides consultation, training, and technical assistance to professional educators and other key personnel charged with utilizing Welcoming Schools within their school communities. She is also responsible for developing Welcoming Schools materials and training tools. Webster is a committed educator who advocates for children and families.

Prior to joining the Welcoming Schools team, Webster spent twenty years as an educator and seven years as a school administrator in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County. As a school administrator, she always focused on the needs of students to make decisions on instruction and school climate. Webster has facilitated trainings and workshops on closing the achievement gap, safe schools and instructional equity at numerous national conferences and is a member of ASCD and the National Association of School Principals.

Jerry Peterson 
Executive Director, Ruth Ellis Center

Jerry Peterson joined the Ruth Ellis Center in June, 2013, bringing more than 30 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector, including several years dedicated to working with lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Jerry most recently served as facilitator for the LGBTQ Youth Advocacy Collaborative in Concord, California. He managed an innovative collaboration with six non-profits in Contra Costa County to reduce rejecting behaviors and increase accepting behaviors toward LGBTQ young people in families, schools, service providers, and faith groups. He also spent 14 years with the United Way of Allen County in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he served as its president and CEO for four years. In this position, Jerry led the $6 million, 30-person organization, nurtured community partnerships and launched a 10-year initiative to improve reading levels of children.