Rainbows Over the Rockies Large Extension Logo

Celebrating Diversity with Leadership and Learning
is the annual educational and networking summit for LGBTQ+
youth, families, professionals and allies. 

The Summit is April 30 - May 2, 2020
This event is FREE and EVERYONE is welcome!

The 2020 Summit is Going Virtual! 

Follow the Summit for the latest news!

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Leadership in Action Awards
Questions and More Information


Leadership in ActionIn conjunction with the Summit, youth (prioritizing those under age 18 but open to all) have the opportunity to apply for awards of up to $250. Youth who want to take on a leadership role to increase LGBTQ+ inclusivity in their community, school or family and friend groups - anywhere outreach, compassion and friendship can be found - are encouraged to apply.

These funds can be used in lots of creative ways, including:

  • Start a QSA or similar organization in your community or school.
  • Support a QSA or similar organization that is already in your community or school.
  • Hold a social or educational event.
  • Attend a leadership, educational or social meeting or camp.
  • Create materials to distribute.
  • Purchase software or hardware to meet and interact virtually.
  • Lots of other stuff – get creative!

Two easy ways to apply!

  • Go to the on-line form here (works great on computer or smart phone).
    If you can’t access the form, email responses to the below questions to virtualrainbow2020@gmail.com.
  • Make a video answering questions 5-8 belowand email it to virtualrainbow2020@gmail.com and answer questions 1-4 in the body of the email.

    Show off your great application and encourage others to apply by posting your video with #VirtualRainbow2020 to:

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Application Questions

  1. What is your name (or group name if applying as a group)?
  2. What is your age (or ages if applying as a group)?
  3. How can we contact you – email address (preferable) or phone number?
  4. Should you receive an award, do we have your permission to share your story on our social media sites and website? Email and/or phone number WILL NOT be shared.
  5. What change/effort/event to increase LGBTQ+ inclusivity would you like to lead in your community?
  6. What are the current or potential barriers to your idea and how do you feel you could lead your community to overcome these barriers?
  7. What do you celebrate about your identity and how or why does it make you want to be a leader in your community?
  8. If your idea to create change will cost more than $250, how much do you think you will need and why?

That's it!! Have fun and be creative - we can't wait to read your applications!! 



Thursday, April 30th - What's Happening Nationally 

Join presentations from professionals in California, Ohio and Maryland that explore the role of Extension, 4-H Youth Development and other organizations that serve and support LGBTQ+ youth and families. Presentations include:

  • Understanding the LGBTQ Community and Implications on 4-H Youth Programming
    Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, and Questioning ( LGBTQ) people are part of the majority of communities in the United States, and in recent history societal acceptance is rapidly increasing.  LGBTQ youth are coming out at much earlier ages as well as straight children having same sex parents is an increased norm.  This presentation will help to develop a better understanding of the LGBTQ community, how youth development practitioners can be prepared to support them, and implications on youth programming will be discussed   
  • LGBTQ+ Clientele and Food Insecurity During COVID-19 Crisis
    this presentation will allow participants to learn about current research and related issues affecting LGBTQ clientele, including COVID-19; develop local strategies for addressing food insecurity with LGBTQ clientele; and learn about best practices working with LGBTQ clientele.

  • More to Come....

Friday, May 1st & Saturday, May 2nd - What's Happening in Montana

Join presentations from and for youth, professionals, parents, families and allies. Confirmed presentations from:

  • EmpowerMT

    Building Inclusive Schools and Communities for LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse Youth
    The session creates long-term collective impact by empowering participants with skills to transform their school & organizational cultures into more safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse Youth. Goals include: learn skills in identifying our own cultural lenses and in understanding the lenses of others; build a shared language and foundation of understanding around oppression and its impact on LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse youth; identify skills and actions necessary to improve multi-tiered systems of support for LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse Youth; and build tools for effective leadership, collaboration and advocacy in the school and community.

    Strengthening Supports and Active Allyship for LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse Youth 
    Participants will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from teen LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse Montanans on their experiences in the school system and identify systems changes needed to improve multi-tiered systems of support to LGBTQ+ Gender Diverse youth. Students will also have the opportunity to engage their peers across the state of Montana while creating a resource map that will help create a more comprehensive list of resources and supports accessible to LGBTQ+ Montanans, while also revealing the gaps present within our state.  Goals include: increase comfort with and awareness of the experiences of LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse youth; and identify systems changes needed to improve multi-tiered systems of support to LGBTQ+ Gender Diverse youth.

  • Forward Montana
    Spilling the Tea: Transforming Identity and Passion into Social Change

    Come join Terry and McKeely from Forward Montana Foundation to spill the tea! We know community organizing can be an unfriendly place for most young people. It’s boring, wonky, and feels slimy some of the time. Our goal is to deepen young Montanan’s’ culture of civic engagement and build the knowledge, skills, and leadership of young Montanans who reflect the diversity of our state. This is turn creates change in their communities, with more young people becoming lifetime voters and activists, running for and winning public office, and advancing issues and conversations that address the complex challenges facing young Montanans today and tomorrow. In this workshop we will give skills for young people to transform different aspects of their identity and their passion for issues into social change. Participants will discuss how people with diverse race, ethnicity, age, gender and sex, and sexual orientation bring new viewpoints into leadership roles. 

  • Pride Foundation 
    Open To All – Montana: Shifting the Culture & Building Inclusive Spaces

    Open To All – Montana began around a table in Helena with seven local business leaders in 2016 with a vision to create more safe and affirming places for LGBTQ+ people, identify supportive businesses and non-profit organizations and help shift the culture. We now have over 315 businesses across the state of Montana signed up with Open To All – Montana. We have businesses and organizations in all of our largest communities, as well as almost 30 businesses in rural areas such as Chinook, Corvallis, Ennis, Lewistown, Glendive, Miles City, East Glacier and more. The Initiative works with these businesses on strategies such as updating a non-discrimination policy, modifying facilities to be gender inclusive, holding LGBTQ-specific events and announcements. Open To All – Montana is critical in sending a message of support to LGBTQ+ people that they are valuable and they matter; and elevating supportive business and organizational leaders. It is even more successful with the help of our supporters across Montana.

  • Transvisible Montana

    Navigating Allyship through the Genderverse
    Join TransVisible MT to learn and practice effective allyship for transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit community members. In this training, folks will explore gender as a fluid part of the human experience that expands beyond the binary, learn about the challenges that misinformation and cisnormative systems create, deepen their understanding and comfort with using pronouns in everyday interactions, and identify effective (and ineffective) allyship qualities.

  • Glee Dunbar, MSW, LCSW, MHPP

    Mental Wellness for Sexual and Gender Minorities
    In this presentation attendees will learn about common mental health concerns and risk factors faced by sexual and gender minority youth. Attendees will gain an understanding of what protective factors they can enhance and how to combat risk factors. Attendees will also learn about common adjustment concerns parents of LGBTQ+ youth may face and how to be empathetic to this adjustment.

  • Katie Mustretta, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
    Medical Management of Gender Transition
    This presentation will cover the pharmaceutical treatment options for those seeking medical gender transition. We will explore the different medications that are offered as part of the treatment plan for gender diverse children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Medications used for both reversible and partially irreversible stages of gender transition will be reviewed, including dosing, side effects, and monitoring.
  • Angie Ostowski, MD 
  • Hannah Wilson, LCPC 
  • Lots More to Come!

Presenter Bios 

Terry Bradley

Terry Bradley is the Development Manager for Forward Montana. Terry (He/Him/His) is an enrolled member of the A’Anniih (Gros Ventre) Nation. Out of six children, he is the second to graduate from high school and the first to graduate from college. His professional experience ranges from diversity and inclusion best practices to fundraising and events management. Outside of work, Terry can be found producing the It Takes a Nation podcast, thrift shopping, and talking to his various houseplants.

Spencer Czech, BSW

Spence Czech is the Youth Programs Specialist for EmpowerMT. After growing up in Cut Bank, Montana, a small town on the edge of the Blackfeet reservation, Spencer moved to Missoula in search of a more inclusive and accepting community. The injustices that transpired in his hometown inspired Spencer to pursue a degree in Social Work with hopes of creating a more just society and advocating for those whose voices need to be amplified. Spencer is a Bachelor's of Social Work Graduate from The University of Montana. As Youth Programs Specialist, Spencer supportsEmpowerMT's work as the contact for Montana's GSA Network and facilitates EmpowerMT’s queer youth programs. Spencer is passionate about creating spaces where LGBTQ+ folks feel safe and empowered to be their authentic selves. In his free time, Spencer enjoys listening to music, playing video games, and spending time with his partner, Caleb.

Glee L. Dunbar, MSW, LCSW, MHPP

Glee Dunbar is the founder of Manhattan Area Counseling. Glee moved to Manhattan, MT from North Carolina after her husband started as a counseling professor at MSU. Go Cats! Glee has held several positions in the mental health field including several crisis management positions. During a project as a BSW student, Glee realized the numerous mental health risk factors gender and sexual minorities faced. From that moment on, Glee dedicated her BSW and MSW research to the LGBTQ+ community. Glee presented has presented her research on how to be inclusive in healthcare settings, provided trainings to mental health providers, school personnel, and students, lobbied against HB2, collaborated with producer of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel regarding inclusive practices for transgender students in sports, started and facilitated a transgender support group, collaborated to start a local PFLAG chapter, was Board President of PFLAG chapter, completed media interviews on concerns for sexual and gender minorities, advocated for LGBTQ+ population at community events, and participated in panels as a LGBTQ+ ally.


EmpowerMT supports, mobilizes, and engages LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse youth and allies as leaders in tackling
individual and institutional transphobia and homophobia in an effort to build safer schools and communities. This is
accomplished through their local LGBTQ+ drop-in groups, Youth Forward and Be You Crew, the coordination of the
Montana GSA Network which is a resource to statewide Gender and Sexuality Alliances (formerly Gay-Straight Alliances)
led by youth leaders and adult mentors, and by coordinating a coalition of statewide partners working towards LGBTQ+
inclusion through the Montana Safe Schools Coalition. EmpowerMT is a sought-out resource and model for supporting,
empowering, and creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in Montana.

Kim Leighton

Kim is the Regional Philanthropy Officer for the Pride Foundation. Kim was born and raised in Helena, Montana and graduated from the University of Montana in 2003. Throughout their career in Montana, they have worked with the YWCA of Missoula’s Domestic Violence shelter as an advocate and also as the Program Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, working both on the policy level as well as doing grassroots advocacy throughout the state to ensure that reproductive freedoms remain protected in Montana.  They have volunteered on several political campaigns as well as Non-Discrimination campaigns in Montana. Over the last six years, Kim has committed much of their work with Pride Foundation to their LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness Initiative, partnering with Empower MT and the Poverello Center to convene the first Youth Homelessness Summit in Montana. They are eager to continue this work to elevate the voices of those most impacted and searching for increased support systems and solutions. Kim joined Pride Foundation’s staff in 2013 after being a donor and engaged supporter. They are constantly moved by the passion, dedication and thoughtful and intentional approach taken to address the growing disparities and issues affecting LGBTQ+ people across the Northwest, particularly LGBTQ+ youth, youth of color; and trans*, non-binary and two-spirit people.  

Katy Mistretta, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Dr. Katy Mistretta is a board-certified family nurse practitioner who graduated with her doctorate from University of Colorado in 2019. She has been working as a family nurse practitioner with Bozeman Creek Family Health since 2013, after graduating with her Master of Science in Nursing from Montana State University. Dr. Mistretta offers comprehensive care to individuals across the lifespan, and she specializes in gender-affirming and transgender health care. She is passionate about offering inclusive and evidence-based care to those seeking medical gender transition and works with gender diverse individuals of all ages. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Mistretta is an assistant teaching professor at MSU College of Nursing and is co-founder of the non-profit organization, Gender Equality Montana, whose mission is advocate for Montana’s gender diverse and transgender individuals. When not working you can find her running in the mountains with her husband and playing outside with her two children.

Jeff Myers

Jeff's passion for LGBTQ+ Diversity and Inclusion training is particularly focused on rural and agricultural audiences.  The heart of  Jeff's passion comes from his own personal journey as a gay man, and a desire to lift and support other LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as their friends and families.  Jeff's most recent article, What difference did I make? Living as a Gay Man in my Home Rural Community can be found on his LinkedIn page, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-myers-6396bb5/. Jeff retired as an Area Director for University of Maryland Extension, worked for Penn State Extension, and owned and operated Del-Myr Farm, the family registered Holstein operation.  Jeff served in national leadership roles in Extension and the Dairy Industry.  Jeff additionally serves as a Life, Career and Executive Coach.

McKeely Shannon

McKeely (She/Her/Hers) is the High School Program Manager at Forward Montana Foundation. The mission of Forward Montana Foundation is to educate, engage, and organize young Montanans to shape their democracy to improve their lives and the lives of their fellow Montanans. While based out of Bozeman, she has the chance to travel around our beautiful state of Montana frequently. Her goals in her travels are to connect with people who are just as stoked about opportunities to engage young Montanans as she is!

Katherine E. Soule, Ph.D.

Dr. Katherine Soule is the Director for the University of California Cooperative in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties Extension and youth, families, and communities advisor. In this capacity, Soule oversees youth, family, and community development programs that reach thousands of youth, individuals, and families each year. Soule chairs a National 4-H Vulnerable Populations Workgroup and serves as the Superintendent of Research & Development for the national Cultivating Change Summit, focusing on supporting individuals who identify as members of LGBTQ+ communities in the agricultural industry. She is working to help others around the nation increase the inclusivity of their cooperative extension programs for individuals who identify as members of LGBTQ+ communities through related work with universities and other youth-serving organizations. Locally, she is involved in research and offers related workshops for professionals, volunteers, and community residents. 

TransVisible Montana

TransVisible Montana is a coalition consisting of transgender, non-binary, two-spirit and allied Montanans from social justice organizations and local communities. We create a space for trans, two-spirit, and non-binary individuals to build community and take the lead on projects in their communities. THey promote awareness and education within all Montana communities on issues affecting trans, two-spirit and non-binary individuals.

2020 Summit Partners (to date) 

MSU Extension Community Development 
Western Rural Development Center 
MSU Office of the President
MSU College of Agriculture 
MSU College of Arts & Architecture 
MSU College of Education and Health and Human Development 
MSU College of Letters & Science 
MSU College of Nursing 
MSU Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering 
MSU Honors College 
MSU Office of Dean of Students 
MSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion 
MSU Diversity & Inclusion Student Commons 
MSU Counseling and Psychological Services 
Montana IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence 
oSTEM at Montana State University 
MSU Queer-Straight Alliance 
MSU Black Student Union 
Bozeman Health 
Bozeman High School Sexuality and Gender Alliance+ 
Shodair Children’s Hospital 
Forward Montana 
Abuse Support Prevention Education Network (ASPEN) / ASPEN Queer-Straight Alliance 
TransVisible Montana 
Hopa Mountain
Gender Equality Montana (GEM) 
Rev. D. Gregory Smith, LCPC
Planned Parenthood of Montana
Pride Foundation
Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Manhattan Area Counseling

Questions and More Information

Community Development Program
Montana State University Extension
deborah.albin@montana.edu / 406.994.1907