Founded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. PFLAG’s network of hundreds of chapters and more than 250,000 members and supporters works to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
Family Acceptance within Families of Color
Track: Build the Future
Workshop Block 3 – Saturday, October 26 – 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Room: Julia Lee AB
Parents of LGBTQ+ children from Asian, Latinx, and African American backgrounds will share their stories of transforming parent’s fear, shame, and guilt into unconditional love and acceptance for their children and their broader LGBTQ+ communities. Participants will discuss the challenges and successes in building acceptance in their family, extended families, and communities that have own unique historical, cultural, and language barrier challenges. Participants will also develop a deeper understanding of family dynamics, gain strategies, resources, and support to create stronger connections within their families and the LGBTQ+ communities they are part of or serve.
Kelly Brooks-Hailey, PFLAG National Diversity & Inclusion Committee and PFLAG Howard County
Kelly Brooks-Hailey is a member of the PFLAG National Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator at PFLAG Howard County, and has recently accepted a board seat PFLAG National. Kelly works with businesses and organizations in Maryland to help mobilize a strategic D&I strategy that works for everyone. She is a speaker, trainer, and consultant having obtained her Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from UMBC, and is committed to organizational change starting at the top and throughout the company. She is passionate about her work and journey at PFLAG and hopes to help create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable chapter network throughout the US.
Blanca Leos, PFLAG Regional Directors Council, PFLAG Denver
Blanca’s involvement with PFLAG started when her son came out. She wanted to get educated about the LGBTQ+ community and learn how to break the stigma of raising a Catholic, Latino, gay son. As a single Latina mom, her work with PFLAG and experience raising her child helped her learn how to educate people on their preconceived notions about LGBTQ+ people. Shortly after Blanca's initial involvement with PFLAG Denver, she became the president of the chapter. She has used outside-of-the-box-thinking to grow the chapter, adding satellite meetings, developing new ways to raise money, and creatively increasing the chapter's visibility in the LGBTQ+ and wider community. As a leader she has been challenged in new and surprising ways, achieved things she never thought possible—and done things outside of her comfort zone that have made her grow in her role.
Robert Marchman, PFLAG National Board, FINRA
Robert Marchman is Special Advisor to the Head of the Department of Enforcement at FINRA. He also plays a major role in providing guidance to FINRA senior management with regard to its diversity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining FINRA, Mr. Marchman headed the New York Stock Exchange Regulation’s Enforcement Division and Regulatory Risk Group as well as its Market Surveillance Department and served as Chairman of NYSE Diversity Council from its inception. Prior to joining the NYSE in 1989, Mr. Marchman was a Branch Chief in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Allegheny College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Mr. Marchman attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development. He is the member of a number of nonprofit and charitable boards and has been widely recognized for his contributions towards equity for all.
Sung Tse, PFLAG San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander (SGV API)
Sung Tse is Korean-American and mother to a trans-masculine son. She is co-president of the first AAPI chapter of PFLAG in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, identifies as Christian, and feels called to love and advocate for the LGBTQIA community, especially those who do not have supportive parents.
Marilyn Willis, PFLAG National Board
Dr. Marilyn Devoe Willis is an internationally-recognized and award-winning educator and community service leader. She dedicated her life to providing educational support and services to underprivileged communities, and her passion is helping to make a difference in the communities in which she lives and works. Dr. Willis spent 30+ years of service in teaching and administration with Augusta Technical College, in Augusta, Georgia. Her commitments to being a champion for inclusion and diversity have catapulted her onto the national stage, having been nominated and elected to serve on the PFLAG National Board of Directors. Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Dr. Willis is a mother of three, and grandmother of five. Dr. Willis retired in 2015 and relocated to the Greater Atlanta Metro Area. She enjoys spending her time with her grandchildren, working with her arts and crafts small business, traveling the world and learning Chicago-Style Stepping.