Teacher Workshop: Teaching Critical Thinking with LGBTQ+ Portraiture

September 14, 2021
4–5:30 pm CDT

Portraits have the ability to shape the ways people and communities are viewed. For LGBTQ+ individuals portraits can provide a means of ownership of their own stories and community histories. Artworks from the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum’s current exhibition The Outwin: American Portraiture Today and permanent collection provide backdrops for learning how portraits can be utilized as meaningful teaching tools to build inclusive learning environments and to develop students’ empathy and appreciation for the power of representation.

Led by Jess Jones, queer and transgender educator, consultant, and community leader, teachers will explore methods for incorporating works of art in the classroom to encourage students’ critical thinking around LGBTQ+ rights and representation. Attendees will participate in several activities modeling teaching strategies that can be translated into use with their own students. Each workshop participant will receive a resource toolkit that includes guidance for supporting LGBTQ+ students, sample lesson plans, and connections to learning standards across content areas.

This workshop is free and open to all educators, grades 4 and up. Registrants will receive a Zoom link prior to the workshop.  Register here >>

Questions? Contact Olivia Mendelson, assistant educator, at or 314.935.5624.

About the Facilitator

Jess Jones (they/them), founder and director of Jess Jones Education & Consulting , is an educational consultant, community leader, and former high school English teacher specializing in gender-affirming school practices. With more than a decade of experience in the education field, Jones uses their lived experience as an openly queer and transgender teacher to guide schools and organizations in creating safe, supportive environments for all students, staff, and families. Jones provides LGBTQ+-centered professional development workshops, coaching and consultation, equity audits, and more. To learn more or request additional information, please visit

Image credit

Louie Palu (b. 1968), detail of Nikki in Chinatown, 2018. Gelatin silver print, 17 ¾ x 17 ¾". Collection of the artist. © Louie Palu.