Dallin Jenkins – Strategic Organizational Communication emphasis
Do we belong? If so, to whom do we belong? What or who can we lean on when we’re confused and frustrated with what we’re hearing?
These are some of the questions that Preston Jenkins addressed in his fireside talk on January 10th, at the Rexburg Tabernacle. It was an amazing event to be a part of, and looking back, I’m just humbled to have been involved.
It started with a conversation. Preston and I were discussing his story, and I suggested the idea of putting on a fireside for him so that he could share his incredible journey of same-sex attraction, abuse/trauma, PTSD, depression, hope, faith, and healing.
He was open to the idea, and the adventure began. I met with my mentor, Andra Hansen, and she was 100% on board.
Over the next several weeks, we had the date set, the venue reserved, the flyer and website created, and the RSVP QR code finalized. A title was formed, Do I Belong – Life as a Gay Latter-day Saint. Next to do was to market the event.
Preston and I had already been networking with people across campus who expressed interest in the idea, and we went to them first. We handed out flyers, confirmed dates, and invited all to come.
I interviewed Preston and dove a little deeper into some of his experiences, and the suggestions or tips that he has for those suffering from similar hardships.
In the few days leading up to the event, we reviewed the material and finalized the slides. We created QR codes and finished all preparations from observing questions coming in, to how managing the Q&A would be done.
The day of the event came, and over 80 people were in attendance. Over 30 questions were submitted, and the Q&A took about 40 minutes at the end. We were also able to sell about 10 of his books after the fireside ended.
The discussion was rich, and Preston did an excellent job of handling hard, difficult questions in a safe and inclusive way.
After it was finished, the feedback was positive and humbling. Preston did wonderfully. Especially as I sit here, writing up this post, I feel so humbled and grateful to be a part of something so incredible.