Waymon Hudson

Creating Change, Day 3: So Many Sessions, So Little Time!

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 30, 2009 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Creating Change conference, Denver, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

I've been doing my best to cover as many events as possible over Day 1 and Day 2 of the Creating Change Conference in Denver, but today it was impossible to get to everything, even for a speedy guy like me! CIMG1350.JPGWith over 75 smaller breakout sessions on every imaginable topic, today was a day you had to sit and map out (or plan with friends to try and get as much information as possible, of course using our amazing transgender equality pen).

What a great problem to have!

What really made me happy today was talking to other attendees about what session they went to and how they decided to go where. While many did go to sessions that matched their passions/work/organizations, the majority of people said they chose sessions on things they wanted to learn about- other parts of our movement and community they wanted to get involved in or had never been exposed to.

It was amazing to see the hunger to reach across the internal divides we often have within the LGBTQ community.

CIMG1357.JPGI should also talk for minute about last night's events! The Opening Reception was a great chance to meet and talk with everyone attending. I ran into tons of Projectors- like Ricci Levy, Nadine Smith, Sue Hoffman, Kate Kendall, the fantastic Tobi Hill-Meyer, and lots of great readers. It was also good to chat with some of the organization folks that I really love, like Charles Robbins, Executive Director of the Trevor Project. It was also cool to see the different groups and orgs set up their booths and to have a chance to chat with folks from all over the country.

The Plenary session was great and featured Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez (check out Bill's interview with her!). We will hopefully have video for everyone soon! And a special shout out to the Denver Mosaic Youth Choir, who performed and were incredible!

CIMG1352.JPGThe night ended with a huge gather, meet, and chat in the lobby/lounge area. I had some of the most thought-provoking, interesting conversations of my life there! And to see the completely lack of any hierarchy, everyone was talking to everyone, was phenomenal.

Day 3, as I said in the intro, has been chocked full of sessions. Literally, if you can imagine the issue or topic, there is a breakout session for it.

I attended a morning session called "You Want Online Tools But Do You Have an Online Strategy" moderated by Justin Cole, Director of Digital & Online Media of GLAAD. It was a great look at making sure that we didn't just hop online without a plan in place first. It was a great and informative session (especially for online geeks like me).

I also sat in on an afternoon session called "Generational Creation: An Intergenerational Collaboration", which took a look at combining work between LGBTQ seniors and youth. It seems like a great idea and way to pass along life experience and histories from both perspectives.

One of the great highlights of the day was Rea Carey, the executive Director of the Task Force, and her "State of the Movement" plenary (which we will hopefully get a video of soon). She really laid out the past year in victories and defeats and called out the horrific behavior by some in our community in the aftermath of Prop 8. And not only did she give a great and moving speech, but she twittered while she did it! Talk about multi-tasking!

So now I'm off for more great meetings with other activists and community folk. If there was a topic that you want to know about or see if it was covered, drop me a comment and I'll do my best to track someone down that attended the session to get details!


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steve tabarez | January 30, 2009 9:02 PM

WONDERING: 1. WAS THERE A DEFINED OUTCOME FOR THIS CONFERENCE? 2. AS RESULT, WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED OF THE PARTICIPANTS? WHAT QUANTIFUABLE, SUBSTANTIVE THINGS WILL OUR COMMUNITY SEE ON THE FRONTLINES, IN OUTREACH, IN NAVIGATING THE DIVIDES OF CLASSISM AND RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION? WHAT IMMEDIATE THINGS WILL WE SEE? 3. WAS ANY THOUGHT PUT INTO USING A 50 STATE STRATEGY IN PUTTING ON MINI SEMINARS, AND ,TRAINING UTILIZING WHAT WAS DISCUSSED, LEARNED THERE? 4. WAS THERE ANY KIND OF DISCUSSION OF WHY RACISM, CLASSISM, BIAS SEEMS TO BE SO PREVALENT? AND THE REVERSE: OVER OBJECTIFYING, FETISHIZING BASED ON RACE, CLASS, LOOKS? 6. ANY DISCUSSION ON EXCESSIVE INDULGENCE, IMPULSE CONTROL: DRUGS, ALCOHOL, HYPER-SEXUALITY? ATTACHMENT DISORDERS AND MONOGOMY ISSUES? JUS WONDERING. STEVE

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 31, 2009 3:20 AM

Whew dude!, cut back on the caffine!

steve tabarez | January 31, 2009 10:51 AM

Cut back on the caffeine he says. Its not the caffeine that compels me, or drives me. This conference eschewed CHANGE. I'd like 2 kno how and when. So far all reports I have seen all over the net/blogosphere are I/ME REPORTS detailing who they saw, what they did, and how enlightened they feel. A MEGA EVENT THEY GOT TO EXPERIENCE. Some of us care to kno more. People are suffering. People are affected by the many "isms" that exist in our "community". Some question the cost, the commecializing, the insular nature of the LGBTQ leadership, and how this conference will helps at all. Questions that deserve answers. Your indifference demonstrates the work that needs to be done as does the fact that RENT gets more attention here than does RACE DISCRIMINATION AND INEQUALITY. WoW.

steve tabarez | January 31, 2009 10:54 AM

Cut back on the caffeine he says. Its not the caffeine that compels me, or drives me. This conference eschewed CHANGE. I'd like 2 kno how and when. So far all reports I have seen all over the net/blogosphere are I/ME REPORTS detailing who they saw, what they did, and how enlightened they feel. A MEGA EVENT THEY GOT TO EXPERIENCE. Some of us care to kno more. People are suffering. People are affected by the many "isms" that exist in our "community". Some question the cost, the commecializing, the insular nature of the LGBTQ leadership, and how this conference will helps at all. Questions that deserve answers. Your indifference demonstrates the work that needs to be done as does the fact that RENT gets more attention here than does RACE DISCRIMINATION AND INEQUALITY. WoW.

I understand exactly what you are saying, Steve.

I know my posts are a little I/Me experience, but at the end I'm going to do a larger post about the conclusions of what I felt the conference offered. For now (with the limited blogging time I have), I'm just trying to give an impression of what it is like for me to be here (which can sometime let others know how effective/engaging the event is).

As for your questions and wanting to know more, I think the goals of this is for those attending to go back to their communities to spread the information. I haven't heard of a specific 50 state strategy. but it is something I'll talk about with the folks here. it's a great idea.

There have been sessions and forums on all of the subjects you mentioned (I've been to a few, but there are so many that it is hard to get to them all). I will say the focus has been on not only identifying "isms", but also combating them or finding ways to break them down in our orgs and community.

Like I said, I will try and do more substance at the end of the experience. Thanks for the great questions!

I can't believe you have the energy to write!

the equality pen was fabulous. I mean... one of the best things I've seen.

My energy (and supply of red bull) are running low. :)

steve tabarez | January 31, 2009 1:38 PM

Is no indictment waymon. I'm just getting to a deeper issue of if this CONFERENCE even had planned outcomes, or a pinpointed focused, cohesive strategy designed to see quantitative results. leading up to this, alls I saw was a media blitz. But no position papers. Noo advertisements detailing what was to be accomplished. Just kno that I laud your efforts. I sense a real desire in you to do what is right by those affected. I would love to be able to talk at length with you about the conference, and your impressions. I will be joining GAYAGENDA.COM as a contributor soon and these issues are definitely something I wish to talk about. Keep in touch. PEACE. STEVE