Change Agents 3/2/23: Issues affecting LGBTQ people in Maine.

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

Change Agents: Conversations with Advocates and Social Justice Advocate on WERU FM

This month:
This program focuses on changes in the climate for LGBTQ people, both students and adults. Schools, parents and students are affected across the USA and Maine by efforts of conservative groups to take books off the shelf that relate to transgender students.

Gia Drew, executive director of Equality Maine. Gia leads the of the largest organizations in Maine protecting the rights of LGBTQ people in Maine.
Tracey Hair is the executive director of HOME. Tracey sees issues in their work that affect LGBTQ people in Maine.

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.