Breaking the Silence Symposium

Breaking the Silence LGBTQ Symposium: Changing the Campus Climate

April 19-20, 2013
University of Mississippi
Oxford, MS
Cost of attending: FREE

We invite people from across the state of Mississippi to join us in a day and a half of workshops and dialogues about LGBTQ activism and visibility on college campuses.

April 19 marks the 17th annual Day of Silence, a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. The symposium will begin with a “Breaking the Silence” reception Friday evening, and we will continue conversations through Saturday about how to break through the silence surrounding LGBTQ issues on college campuses in order to effect positive change.

We are able to provide travel assistance for people coming in from out-of-town, including housing, food, and assistance with mileage. If you need travel assistance, please indicate so on the registration form, and we will be in touch.

Our keynote speaker will be Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Co-Director of Southerners on New Ground

Paulina Helm-Hernandez

Paulina Helm-Hernandez is a queer femme cha-cha girl, artist, trainer, political organizer & trouble-maker-at-large from Veracrúz, Mexico. This Chicana grew up in rural North Carolina, and is currently growing roots in Atlanta, GA. She has been the Co-Director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) for 7 years, having joined the staff after coordinating the Southern regional youth activism program at the Highlander Research & Education Center for over 4 years. Paulina has a background in farm worker and immigrant / refugee rights organizing, cultural work, youth organizing, anti-violence work, and liberation work that centers people most affected by violence, poverty, war and racism. Paulina is also a founding member of the national First Nations / Two Spirit Collective, an queer & trans indigenous movement-building cadre, and has served on the boards of YouthAction, Student Action with FarmworkersThe Third Wave Foundation and the DataCenter.  She currently sits on the  Vision and Strategies Council of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective.

If you have any questions about the symposium or travel assistance, contact Elliot at

The conference is sponsored by Pride Network, the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.