Waymon Hudson

Creating Change Day 2: Got Issues? We're Talking About Them Today!

Filed By Waymon Hudson | February 04, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

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

Everybody has an issue near and dear to their heart, but it's not just preaching to the choir at Creating Change. IMG_0437.JPGIt's also about learning about other issues that are going on in the LGBTQI community.

Today in Dallas is a full day of day-long institutes, trainings, discussions, and all around brain expanding on all things queer. The hardest part is deciding which sessions to go to!

Besides the amazing training and sessions, the magic of Creating Change also happens in the lobby, restaurants, and gathering areas. You get to meet and talk to activists from all over the country, discuss and debate any issue you can imagine, and just generally expand your worldview with every meeting! Last night in the lobby I had amazing idea exchanges and discussions with other attendees about everything from campus organizing to parenting to the history of dance and voguing in the LGBT community with the dance crew Vogue Evolution from MTV's America's Best Dance Crew. You never know who'll you'll meet or what you'll talk about with over 2000 activists running around!

Here are some of the amazing topics at Creating Change Day 2:

Old and Fearless: Aging, Ageism, and the LGBT Community

This Institute is designed for LGBT people confronting homophobia in the mainstream senior-serving community and aging issues in the LGBT community. It addresses "getting ready to make change as we age," and using lifetimes of skills and experience to effect change in our lives. Learn how aging services are funded and delivered in your communities, incorporating LGBT equality into the discussion, and making your voice heard.

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TRANS RIGHTS NOW: Building a Strong Transgender Movement

The trans/allied movement needs people working in rural and urban areas, in formal organizations and in informal groups. To successfully achieve our goals, we also have to manage our relationship(s) with the rest of the LGB(T) movement and their organizations and work with other social movements, whether they are single-issue organizations or groups focused more on one area of advocacy (such as racial inequality, classism, disability rights, or the environment). Join a cross section of trans/ allied movement leaders in this Institute as we feature problem- solving, skills building, strategy sharing, and lively discussion of the difficult questions facing the trans/allied movement today.

Community Center Institute

This Institute for community center staff, boards and volunteers will focus on enduring and growing during challenging economic times.

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The Familiar Made Strange: Integrating Disability Politics into Racial and Economic Justice Work

The politics of disability, economic, and racial justice are inseparable in the lived experiences of poverty, the struggles of First Nations peoples for sovereignty, work-related injuries, homelessness, gentrification, sterilization, immigration, the closure of mental health support systems, and on and on. The first half of this Day Long Institute will focus on the fundamentals of build- ing a Disability Justice framework. During the second half, we will explore the many connections between disability, class, race, queerness, and social justice work.

Moving Marriage Forward: The Tools to Keep Winning

Over the last year, we've shifted the landscape of the marriage movement with advances in numerous states. Now, we turn to the next stages of the work and take this opportunity to discuss key strategies to keep the momentum going to achieve the freedom to marry nationwide. We will present the latest findings on how to foster conversations which move people to support marriage equality and the best ways to deliver these messages.

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Best Practices for Queer Youth Work: Transforming Strategies for Youth Participation

This Institute is geared towards adults who are interested in increasing their ability to effectively mobilize, engage and collaborate with youth in movement build- ing efforts. We will highlight research and initiatives related to LGBTQ youth, introduce tools to assess organizational readiness and consider approaches to increasing organizational capacity to do long term movement work that is inclusive of young people. By the end of the day you will have improved your understanding of the ways in which adultism halts effective youth/adult partnerships, articulated the forms and levels of youth participation in your organization and gained language to support you in establishing healthy personal/organizational boundaries with and for youth.

Focus on OUR Families: Defining a vision for the inclusion of families in the movement for equality

In the first half of this two-part institute, participants will explore whether there are core interests and principles in the movement for LGBT family equality that can guide family-inclusive efforts in the broader movement for LGBT equality. What constitutes a family? What does it mean to run a family-inclusive campaign for LGBT equality? How do we ensure that all kinds of LGBT families are included in both LGBT-specific and broader legislation impacting families, such as healthcare reform? The second half of this institute will focus on one specific area in which the voice of the LGBT family movement can play an important role - messaging about the impact LGBT equality will have on children, particularly in schools.

Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Organizing Institute

Spend a focused, fun, productive day with bi/pan/fluid leaders to learn how to grow bi and bi-friendly groups and communities at the local, regional and national levels. You'll identify issues, brainstorm solutions to challenges, set goals, pinpoint strategies, develop media skills/campaigns and special projects, target funding, learn a little history (BiNet USA turns 20 and the Bisexual Resource Center is 25) and network with others.

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Sexual Liberation Institute

Do we still believe that LGBT people have a unique contribution to make in American life in the areas of sexual liberation and sexual expression? Or is our desire irrelevant to the quest for "equality"? This year's Sexual Liberation Institute will focus on desire - our individual desires: how we have shaped them and how they have shaped us. The personal is still political. Come to this work- shop and find out how to connect the dots between claiming your power in the bedroom and seizing power in the streets or the halls of justice.

Voice & Action: Young Adult Leader Institute

Vision change. Dig deep. Take action. Young adult leaders from across the country will learn valuable strategies for empowering their voices and being advocates for social justice.

Digging Deeper for Racial Justice

Designed for those who have already been introduced to racial justice theory and practice, we will explore some of the deeper personal and communal questions that arise over the course of long-term racial justice work. We will also explore the published visions of our racial justice heroes and sheroes, as a toolset for digging deeper into these questions, and as a toolset for guiding our activism.

Health Care for All: Health as a Tool for Social & Economic Justice

We'll look at the history and lessons of women's health organizing and HIV/AIDS activism, our successes and challenges in Washington, DC, and the current action plans that are in play. Combining new strategies with proven organizing successes, this Institute will address this key challenge: Creating and Advancing an LGBT Health Agenda on a federal, state and local level.

New Media Training Institute

Join GLAAD and new media experts from the progressive and political worlds for an interactive day of training aimed at exploring how you can utilize digital media and online community-building strategies to enhance your organization's engagement, public education and direct action goals.

Whew! I told you it was a full day!

The great thing is that even if you couldn't make it to a session you wanted to, you're sure to meet and talk with someone who did, which often leads to amazing discussion.

It's hard to put into words the amazing, communal learning feeling that happens at Creating Change- everyone is open to new ideas and hungry to discuss them so they can expand their learning. Walls and barriers come down, new understanding is forged, and hopefully a stronger core of activists emerge ready to take the lessons back to their communities.

(To get real time updates and glimpses of the conference, you can follow me on Twitter or follow the Creating Change hashtag #cc10!)

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