Expression Not Suppression (ENS) is a Fresno-based annual conference for LGBTQ youth and straight allies who are dedicated to creating safer schools and building the GSA movement in the Central Valley. ENS is youth-planned and youth-led.
Every year, ENS brings together more than 100 LGBTQ youth activists and straight allies from around the Central Valley who are dedicated to creating safe schools and defeating homophobia and transphobia in the Central Valley.
We encourage high school and middle school students, teachers, school administrators, parents, GSA advisors and organizations working in support of LGBTQ youth, to join us and learn about youth activism, leadership and how to make our Central Valley schools safer for all!
ENS aims to promote a deeper understanding of LGBTQ issues in a fun, yet respectful, environment. All attendees are expected to maintain a respectful attitude towards each other and be sensitive to the issues presented at the conference. By registering online, or at the event, you understand and agree to help make the conference fun, yet respectful, for everyone.
Ronnie Veliz is a queer Peruvian American agitator of faith devoted to public policy changes and advocacy efforts directed at reducing health disparities among young people.
From college activist to comprehensive risk counseling services specialist and immigrant rights organizer, Ronnie has worked with LGBTQ youth, undocumented youth, women of color, differently-abled youth, and their diverse families for the past six years in Southern California. Early in 2013, he was selected as one of five young organizers to be part of a political fellowship in the San Francisco Bay Area with The Organizing and Leadership Academy (TOLA) which ultimately inspired him to develop and take "SegreGAY✝ion: Growing Up as a Queer Latino (Im)migrant in a Religious Conservative Family" to different educational settings across California.
For the past year in Northern California, Ronnie has continued his involvement uniting LGBTQ and migrant communities for nonviolent direct actions to stop deportations, reduce homelessness, increase family reunification, and promote radically inclusive spaces with faith leaders.
Ronnie is currently a health educator at Latino Wellness Center, a community organizer with the East Bay Immigrant Youth Coalition, and a Board Advisor of Latino Equality Alliance. He is working on a series of community forums regarding sexuality, spirituality, and economic success opportunities for LGBTQ Latin@ people with Instituto Familiar De La Raza and collaborating with Chicana digital artist Carolina Alcala and 12 young activists on (re)creating family acceptance through the lens of racial, ethnic, and gender empowerment.
Expression Not Suppression 2013 was a huge success for Central Valley youth! Click here to read a recap of the day.
Expression Not Suppression 2012 was held on Saturday, March 24th at Big Red Church in Fresno and was a wonderful success for Central Valley youth! Click here to read a full recap of the day's events.
The featured speaker was Yosimar Reyes, a two-spirit poet/activist based out of San Jose, Ca. His style has been described as “A brave and vulnerable voice that shines on the issues affecting queer immigrant youth and the many disenfranchised communities in the U.S. and throughout the world.” Click here to visit Yosimar Reyes' website!
Expression Not Suppression 2011 was held on Saturday, March 26, 2011. The youth conference included speakers,workshops and a youth dance and drag show. Featured Speakers Included: Andrew McIntosh, openly gay collegiate athlete, featured in “The Advocate” and “OUT” magazines.
Robin McGehee, LBGT Rights Activist, co-founder of GetEqual.org, and one of “The Advocate” magazines people of the 2010 year. Tabling Organizations Included: Peter Robertson,The Bulldog Pride Fund
Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project
Matt Mazzei, The Rainbow Delegation.org
The Trevor Project
Youth Workshops Presented Included:
Expression Not Suppression 2010 Expression Not Suppression 2009