By: Juan Carlos Vega, LGBT HealthLink blogging from Tulsa, Oklahoma
LGBT communities have taken over Oklahoma! Approximately 100 Board members and Executive Directors from LGBT Community Centers across the country have gathered in Tulsa, Oklahoma for CenterLink’s 9th Annual Leadership Summit. LGBT leadership has joined together to connect, collaborate and motivate by learning new skills, identifying resources, and most importantly, to network with others doing similar work.
Last night we were greeted by our local hosts, Oklahomans for Equality and the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. Tours of the marvelous facilities included the resources library on LGBT issues, health programming like exercise and yoga, HIV and syphilis testing, the David Bohnett Cybercenter to connect individuals through the Internet, and many other support groups that reflect the diversity in Tulsa and among LGBT communities. We are very proud of all their achievements!
Today and tomorrow’s schedule is filled with panels and breakout sessions including board self-assessment, community response to conversion therapies, capacity development, and a funders roundtable. LGBT HealthLink is presenting on the state of LGBT health and will moderate a listening session to provide LGBT Centers with strategies to work with state departments of health. The exhibit tables include wonderful materials from ACT Against AIDS, LGBT Network, and the American Cancer Society, who along with LGBT HealthLink is surveying participants to gathered priorities for cancer and tobacco.
LGBT communities are an essential component of any community and we believe that great LGBT communities begin with great LGBT Community Centers. That’s why we are here!