COMING IN 2022-2023

Family Focus Discussion Series:  Gender identity, sexuality, and mental health


There is well-documented mental health crisis among adolescents and young adults, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly true of LBGTQ youth, who experience higher rates of depression and suicidal ideation than the general population. Further, the role of family support and other social supports as a protective factor for mental health among gender minorities has been well documented. However, the there is a continued gap between research, practice, and policy regarding gender identity, sexuality, and mental health, especially from a relational focus. To address this gap, this Discussion Series aimed at increasing awareness of the gender identity, sexuality, and mental health from a family-focused lens, and to bring together faculty, students, practitioners, and community members on the to understand this complex social issue, the factors that contribute to it, and how the community can come together to address this crisis.

The Family Focus Discussion Series (FFDS) will include brown bag talks and panel discussions will be held during the 2022-2023 academic year. The brown bag events will focus on bringing multiple stakeholders together to discuss the topic from various interdisciplinary perspectives. The panel discussions will be designed to bring in speakers with direct lived experiences with the series topic. These events will take place via Microsoft Teams, on the University of Akron campus, and at locations in Akron such as the Akron-Summit County Public Library. The long-term goal of the series is to encourage inter-professional communication and dialogue to help develop more comprehensive, community-based solutions to confront this multi-faceted, complex social issue.


Families & Communities Interdisciplinary SeminarSeminar Logo

The Families and Communities Seminar is an interdisciplinary conference that focuses on addressing current hot button topics in the fields of law and the social/human sciences. The Seminar is held every 18 months at the campus of the University of Akron and is cosponsored by the UA School of Law, the Akron Bar Association, and the Center for Family Studies. The Seminar brings in national and local speakers to address current concerns in regards to families and our communities. Continuing Education credit is approved for lawyers, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and family life educators.

Previously, the Seminar has addressed such issues as:

  • The "Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline"
  • The implications of same-sex marriage
  • Rethinking domestic violence
  • Best interests of children in abuse and family violence cases
  • Fostering resilience in youth who experience traumatic stress

Co-parenting and High Conflict: Arguing, Alienation & Angst

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019

Time: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Location: University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Law Center - Commons

CLE, CEU, PDU, and MCE credits planned for this full-day seminar
presented by:  The University of Akron School of Law, The University of Akron Center for Family Studies, and The Akron Bar Association 

featuring Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. Co-founder and Training Director, High Conflict Institute

Visit >CLE Calendar> March 28, 2019 for complete information and registration link.

 Press release  

Photos from past seminars

2014 F&C Seminar

Before the 2014 program, WAKR interviewed Stephanie Coontz along with Dr. Pamela Schulze, Director of the Center for Family Studies. To listen to the interview, click here.