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Join us at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, for dynamic conversations, interactive workshops, inspiring speakers, and much more as we explore the past, present, and future of the LGBTQIA movement. You don’t want to miss this conference that will expand your knowledge, increase your understanding of the issues facing the LGBTQIA community, and give you the tools you need to make an impact on society.

In 2008, the University of the Pacific organized and hosted the Central Valley’s first conference focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQIA community. This one-day conference was so successful that a standing volunteer committee of students, faculty, and staff was established for continued planning and execution of a biennial conference. The second edition of the conference, held in 2010, doubled attendance from 100 to over 200 participants. In 2012, the conference grew again to over 700 participants due in part to our co-sponsorship with the University of California, Merced. This conference inspired a successful fundraising campaign mounted by the PRIDE Alumni Pacific Club, and attracted attendees from universities and organizations in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and around Northern and Southern California.

While the conference committee was pleased with the results of the 2012 conference, the committee believed that the size of the conference was too big to ensure deep learning and strong networking between participants. As a result, the committee has decided to reduce the size of the conference to 400 participants and renew its commitment to engaging student leaders in the LGBTQIA movement. This year’s conference theme, “Reconstructing the Rainbow: Building for a Brighter Future,” emphasizes the goal of the event to change how students are educated and trained as leaders and advocates for positive social change on their campuses and in their communities.


What to Expect

We are excited that you have chosen to join us for this exciting event. For many months, the conference planning committee has been working hard in the anticipation of your arrival. We have lined up many outstanding speakers, programs, and an amazing headline act for you to enjoy while you are with us.

LGBTQIA life has grown and enhanced over the last few decades and we are proud of our progress. While LGBTQIA leaders have come together for many years, our committee felt it was important to bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members from around Northern California. By coming together, we hope that you will have a chance to learn from each other, develop strong friendships and social networks, and learn how you can be an active leader within your community and institution. Ultimately, it is you who will make the conference a success.

We challenge you to take full advantage of the conference and learn who you can make a difference.

As a result of participating in this conference, you will:

  1. Engage thoughtfully and meaningfully in educational sessions designed to enhance your interpersonal and social development.
  2. Network in ways that cultivate friendships and relationships with other students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members.
  3. Strengthen your identity and have pride for being a member of the LGBTQIA community.
  4. Learn about opportunities for involvement and social activism in order to become an active leader on your campus and community.
Time Event Location
Thursday | February 20, 2014
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Registration DeRosa University Center Ballroom
Friday | February 21, 2014
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Registration DeRosa University Center Ballroom
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Optional LGBTQIA Leadership Academy Multiple Locations
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Optional Community Service Project Stockton Community
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Alumni Recognition Dinner Vereschagin Alumni House
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM Alumni and Advisor Reception Vereschagin Alumni House
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM Evening Act and Preformance Long Theater
Saturday | February 22, 2014
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM Registration Grace Banquet Hall
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Welcome Session and Judy Shepard Keynote DeRosa University Center Conference Rooms
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Conference Session 1 Multiple Locations
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch DeRosa University Center Ballroom
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM Conference Session 2 Multiple Locations
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Networking and Social Time Grace Banquet Hall
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM Conference Session 3 Multiple Locations
5:00 PM - 7:30 PM Dinner On Your Own Local Stockton Restaurants
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM Free Time Grace Banquet Hall
9:00 PM - 1:00 AM Dance DeRosa University Center Ballroom
Sunday | February 23, 2014
6:30 AM - 8:00 AM Continental Breakfast For Hotel Guests Local Hotel
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM Conference Session 4 Multiple Locations
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Caucus Meeting 1 Multiple Locations
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Caucus Meeting 2 Multiple Locations
12:15 PM - 1:00 PM Closing Speaker DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Friday Evening Entertainer

Steve Grand

Friday, Feb. 21 from 9-11 PM at Long Theater

Steve Grand has been writing music since the age of eleven, and dreaming about recording and performing for as long as he can remember. Yet, only recently, did he decide that he was “ready” to take his shot at building a career as an artist. And was he ever! The release of his first original song and music video, “All-American Boy” on YouTube on July 2, 2013, was an overnight success, accumulating more than 1.5 million views in the first two weeks, and more than 2 million today. Within days, Steve found himself on “Good Morning America,” CNN and in other national media, hailed as one of America’s “first openly gay country stars.” Recently, Steve released his second single, “Stay.”

More About Steve Grand »

Keynote Speaker

Judy Shepard

We are pleased to announce Judy Shepard will be our keynote speaker.

In 1998, Judy Shepard lost her son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Turning tragedy into a crusade for justice, and determined to prevent Matthew's fate from befalling others, she established The Matthew Shepard Foundation to help carry on his legacy.

Activist speaker Judy Shepard has appeared in two Human Rights Campaign advertisements urging an end to anti-gay violence and promoting a greater understanding of gay issues. She is also actively involved with Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). In this capacity, she has written an open letter to schools across the country urging officials to make schools safer for gay students by promoting tolerance and diversity.

More About Judy Shepard »

Closing Speaker

Paul Kawata - Photo Credit: Randall Gee Photo Credit: Randall Gee

We are pleased to announce Paul Kawata will be our closing speaker.

Paul graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of the Pacific and went on to University of Washington Dental School but left after just one year to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1985 and directed the National AIDS Network from 1985 to 1989. Paul went on to found the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), and he has been the Executive Director since 1989. The Council was formed after the American Public Health Association meeting that year held its first ever plenary on AIDS and no people of color were included on its panel. In response, leaders from communities of color came together to highlight the unique challenges the epidemic posed for minority communities. The NMAC is the premier organization dedicated to building leadership in communities of color to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. Under Paul's guidance, NMAC has become a powerful voice in Washington, DC for over 3,000 HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide, and provides a comprehensive array technical assistance programs and services; conferences; trainings; and printed and online resource materials.

Conference Dance

Lisa Pitman

Featuring DJ Lisa Pittman

Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 PM – 1 AM at the De Rosa University Center Ballroom.

Don’t miss this conference highlight event! Come get your groove on with your fellow conference participants as you enjoy an exciting DJ, great music, and good times!

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How to Register

This year's conference is limited to 400 attendees. To ensure a place in the conference, registration is required including a signed conference waiver. Attendees who are selected to present a program will be guaranteed the $45 registration fee per person.

Web registration is now open!

Register now! »

Registration Period Registration Fee
November 18, 2013 - Febuary 7, 2014 $45 Per Person
Febuary 8, 2014 - Febuary 22, 2014 $60 Per Person

Are you really involved in your campus’ LGBTQIA student group and want to take on a bigger leadership role but don’t feel quite ready? Are you already in a leadership position and want to enhance your leadership skills? Consider participating in the FIRST EVER Leadership Academy on February 21st! This day-long pre-conference institute will help you develop your personal leadership identity, network with alumni, and learn concrete skills to help create positive change on your campus! A short application will be required. Contact Devon Guidoux if you’d like to be sent more information and the application! Applications submitted by January 17, 2014, will be given preference. The Leadership Academy will require an additional $10 registration fee to cover materials and activities for the attendees selected.


The City of Stockton is one of California's fastest growing communities. Stockton is currently the 13th largest city in California with a dynamic, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population of about 300,000. It is situated along the San Joaquin Delta waterway which connects to the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Stockton is located 60 miles east of the San Francisco Bay Area, 83 miles east of San Francisco, and 45 miles south of Sacramento, the capital of California. While Stockton has an airport offering service to Hawaii and Las Vegas, visitors usually fly in to Sacramento, Oakland or San Francisco.

The City has a number of beautiful residential communities along waterways, with single-family homes costing about one-third the price of homes in the Bay Area. With over 100,000 trees, Stockton was recently recognized by Sunset Magazine as the "Best Tree City" in the western United States. In 1999 and 2004, Stockton was designated an All-America City by the National Civic League.

Pacific's main campus is located at 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, California and consists of 175 acres of brick and ivy-covered buildings in the tradition of Ivy League colleges. It is ranked one of the ten most beautiful college campuses in the country. A few pictures cannot begin to convey the friendly and welcoming atmosphere across campus.