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By on February 29, 2024

Fighting Hate with Hope: Youth Power vs. Adult Fear

*NOTE: Video caption graphics note Theo’s pronouns as “they/them.” Theo’s correct pronouns are “he/they.” 

This conversation explores the importance of youth engagement and centering youth voices in the creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ students, in the context of sexual violence prevention. 

In 2023, the Youth Advisory Board at Atria Collective organized in response to parents bringing an anti-trans speaker to a local high school. Supported by staff and adults at Atria Collective, Claire, Theo and their peers organized a queer joy rally that made national news and had a lasting impact on their school climate. 

Theo, Claire and Atria Prevention Specialist Linnea Johnson discuss the planning, execution, and impact of the youth-led event, and highlights the power of youth voices and the ability to overcome adult fear.

To download a transcript of this episode, click here.

Listen to “Fighting Hate with Hope: Youth Power vs. Adult Fear” on Spreaker.

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Atria Collective

Identifying Solutions to School-Based Prevention Programming Resistance: Key themes and takeaways from PreventConnect’s Town Hall

Hundreds Gather in Vergennes to Protest Anti-Trans Speaker

Outright Vermont


  • 00:00 Introduction and Background
  • 05:16 Centering Youth Voices and Youth Engagement
  • 13:14 Joining the Youth Advisory Board
  • 17:30 Anti-Trans Speaker at Virgens High School
  • 21:17 The Power of Demonstrations
  • 29:09 Organizing the Rally
  • 42:14 The Rally
  • 44:46 Planning and Preparation
  • 45:31 Event Execution
  • 46:50 Atmosphere and Experience
  • 48:10 Youth Power vs Adult Fear
  • 49:52 Lasting Impact on the Community
  • 52:18 Lasting Impact