Experts from around the globe will speak to the power and agency of LGBTQ youth and their stories. 
Wednesday, December 27, 2023

This year’s Provost’s Global Forum (February 23-24), LGBTQ Youth in Global Perspective: Resistance, Resilience, Reimagination, will assemble experts from around the globe to speak to the power and agency of LGBTQ youth and their stories. 

Experts in education, the arts, human rights policy, and healthcare will convene on campus on Friday, February 23, in 1117 University Capitol Centre for a one-day academic symposium. As part celebration of youth identity, and part opportunity to build global strategy around supporting and building healthy and culturally sustaining environments for youth, this forum will create a space for analysis, for community, and for hope and joy for LGBTQ youth and their advocates around the world. 

“This forum is an opportunity to learn about the myriad ways in which LGBTQ youth and their advocates find agency and create opportunities to thrive in a world that feels increasingly hostile to them,” said Will Coghill Behrends, clinical associate professor in the UI College of Education, and co-organizer of the forum. “As the LGBTQIA+ community gains more visibility, the attacks and attempts to silence – even eradicate – this community are on the rise. This forum assembles advocates and allies to create community and build strategy to support our youth.” 

Highlights of the forum include: 

  • an academic symposium that is free and open to the public (register online); 
  • the 2024 Joel Barkan Memorial Lecture by Daniel Arzola, senior graphic designer at the University of Minnesota;   
  • a 'pay what you can' documentary film screening of Lotus Sports Club at FilmScene;  
  • PrideCon, an annual, free day of programming for youth, hosted by United Action for Youth (UAY). For more information on PrideCon, please contact UAY directly

“This year’s Provost’s Global Forum is unique because it shines a light on the communities and support networks LGBTQ youth and allies create to affirm and celebrate their identities,” said Russ Ganim, associate provost and dean of International Programs. “As our perspective is global, the goal is to learn about the different forms LGBTQ youth advocacy takes worldwide.” 

This event is made possible through the generous support and contributions from the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization, UI International Programs, UI College of Education, the UI Linda R. Baker Teacher Leader Center, the African Human Rights Coalition, and United Action for Youth. In collaboration with FilmScene. 

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Daniel Vorwerk in advance by email at or call 319-467-1619. 


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.