by Cindy Lee Alves
Although I have heard many great things about Bill Taverner and the CFLE in the past, this was my first time attending their National Sex Ed Conference. I attended not only the entire conference, but a pre-conference workshop (“Sex Ed Games that Teach” with Melissa Keyes DiGioia & Jessica Shields, CHES), and was very pleased with what was offered. Kudos to all who contributed to the variety of workshops and keynotes offered; they truly reflected how diverse and multidisciplinary human sexuality is. Regardless of whether you are an independent educator, an instructor at a community based organization, or a medical practitioner, you left fulfilled and ready to tackle some teachable moments of your own. I congregated with some fabulous people from all over the globe who contribute substantially to our field, many of which are fellow Widener alumni. It feels great to consider such noteworthy individuals as my colleagues and I left the conference inspired and reassured that I am a part of a movement that affects us ALL in such a positive way.
In “Sex and Happiness”, a workshop facilitated by Molly Stranahan, Psy.D. & Bill Taverner, M.A., CSE, Dr. Stranahan stated “Happiness isn’t a result of what happens to us … it is a result of the story we tell ourselves about what happens to us.” There are indeed instances where being in the human sexuality field can be discouraging and saddening – opposition fighting against comprehensive sexuality education, populations being seen as “deviant”, professionals not taken as seriously by cohorts, media, etc. However, an event such as the CFLE conference should motivate those with such “stories” to ignite their passion for change and progression. Let us use all those negative forces as fuel to continue all of our dedicated, extensive work. Together, we are a powerhouse!