Keynote Speakers

Jama Shelton (They/ Them) | Keynote Speaker (In-Person Conference from June 13 – 16)

Jama Shelton is an Associate Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and the Associate Director of the Silberman Center for Sexuality and Gender. Dr. Shelton’s program of research focuses on cisgenderism in social services and social work education, as well as LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and structural inequity. Having worked for years as a direct service provider with unstably housed LGBTQ+ youth, Dr. Shelton prefers to work on participatory projects with young people directly impacted by housing instability and houselessness. Most recently, they contributed to a participatory research project with True Colors United.

Jose Alfaro (He/ Him) | Keynote Speaker (In-Person Conference from June 13 – 16)

Jose is a consultant and Lived Experience Expert on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking, Public Speaker, Author, Advocate and Activist. He is a board member of The Human Trafficking Legal Center, HEAL, and has worked with several anti human trafficking organizations around the globe, to spread awareness on trafficking, specifically within the LGBTQ+ Community and on males. He has been featured in several publications and has worked with law enforcement, DHS and the DOJ to name a few.

Christopher “Yungchris” Thomas (He/ Him) | Keynote Speaker (In-Person Conference from June 13 – 16)

Christopher Thomas has visited 24 countries around the world as a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer. Thomas spent a performing at events throughout Southeast Asia before he moved back to Houston in 2011 to start his own dance company, Sonkiss’d Dance Theater. In his keynote, Thomas will discuss the power of art and artistic expression, especially for youth who face adversity. Attendees will learn about “encouraging small beginnings,” how to create opportunities for youth to experience art, and encouraging creativity in places and at times where youth are often shut down or cut off from these opportunities.

Schedule Outline & Program

Get the details on the 50+ workshops that are available at this year’s event. View the in-person program preview to see workshops and tracks, or check out the digital program preview below for details!

TNOYS’ 40th Annual Conference takes place from Wednesday, June 14 to Friday, June 16, with pre-conference institutes taking place Tuesday, June 13.

Tuesday, June 13: Pre-Conference Institutes

Pre-Conference Institutes are full-day (4-6 hours) training sessions on an in-depth clinical skill or evidence-based tool or approach. Please note that Pre-Conference institutes require a separate registration on the registration form.

  • 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Pre-Conference Institute Registration & Check-in
  • 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: CSE-IT User Training
  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Youth Thrive Training
  • 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Is Compassion Really Fatiguing? Components for Enhancing Clinician Experience and Reducing Trauma (CE-CERT)

Wednesday, June 14: Full Conference Day 1

  • 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Registration & Check-in
  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Welcome + Keynote
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Workshops, Youth Programming
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch on Your Own
  • 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Youth Lunch
  • 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Workshops, Youth Programming
  • 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Performance + Keynote: Panel with TNOYS Young Adult Leadership Council
  • 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: 40 Years of Brilliance anniversary Gala (The Gala is free for the first 50 TNOYS members to register).
    • TNOYS will present our member awards at the 40 Years of Brilliance Gala. Learn more about the member awards here, and nominate an individual or program here.

Thursday, June 15: Full Conference Day 2

  • 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Registration & Check-in
  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Keynote
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Workshops
  • 12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: Luncheon + YALC Graduation
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Workshops
  • 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Workshops

Friday, June 16: Conference Day 3 (Half Day)

  • 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: CSEY Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.: Registration & Check-in
  • 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: Workshops
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Closing Performance + Keynote