By Megan Lee
Despite several cancelled and rescheduled flights, closed highways and interstates, and 22.3 inches of snow, Dean and I have officially made it to the 2011 Creating Change conference! We got in half-way through the Thursday Day Institutes (ours was a focus on Health Advocacy – check out Dean’s blog entry for a great summary!) and have since been meeting, greeting, and eating.
During downtime, I’ve been trying to figure out my schedule for the weekend (yours truly falls on the ‘very’ end of the organized spectrum). Our agenda is packed to the gills with all sorts of great sessions to attend. A few that I’m looking forward to:
- Walking Our Talking: Applying a Racial Justice Lens in Our Organizations
- Beyond Transgender Inclusion to Transformation
- Need a Fourth For Bridge: Small Town/Rural Organizing
- White Privilege in the Queer Community: Holding Each Other Accountable
- How to State an Anti-Violence Project: Lessons and Strategies from the NCAVP
And I haven’t even looked at all the session options yet. I’m just beyond excited.
Oh yeah. And God-Des and She are hosting the Closing Plenary Brunch. I’m just saying.
I think one of the really important things that Creating Change does is create space for all sorts of people and ideas and identities. At home, I have a wonderful, supportive group of family and friends and have the privilege of existing in spaces that feel safe for me. But being here, surrounded not just by hundreds upon hundreds of other LGBTQ folks, but hundreds of LGBTQ folks who think like me or look like me or believe the same things I do and hundreds of LGBTQ folks who don’t. I’m really looking forward to the opportunities to experience, to watch, to hear, to learn, to teach, to listen and to speak!
The last time I attended Creating Change, back in 2007, my world was absolutely rocked. I attended sessions on sex and sexuality in the Disabilities community, break-outs on the intersections of oppression, issues facing older LGBTQ individuals/families, and a day-long institute on economic justice (held by Queers for Economic Justice). At the end of the conference, my mind was blown by Loretta Ross. She shared her personal story (the personal IS political!) and her presentation on the Seven Basic Human Rights changed my life. Coming back to Creating Change 4 years later promises to expand my horizons and open my mind yet again. I’m stoked.
Many thanks to the Missouri Foundation for Health and The Network for LGBT Health Equity for this fantastic opportunity. Be sure to follow the blogs as we dip in and out of sessions and report back to our communities what we’re experiencing here.
Much love to all those digging out from the blizzard across the country (Albuquerque to New York, it seems!) and I wish all of you reading could be here!