National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Report from Creating Change

Sunday, February 10

Detroit conference closes on a powerful note
Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon:
      Sharing the ‘Kindness’


 

Detroit conference closes on a powerful note

The 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change closed out today to the powerful rhythms of members of the First Nations Two Spirit Indigenous People’s Collective, the dynamic speech of self-described “queer disabled woman of color” Mia Mingus and the cultural and musical voices for freedom and justice, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon.

The morning began with the recognition of Mia Mingus with the Creating Change Award ($5,000), generously funded by the Anderson Prize Foundation and administered by Allen Schuh. Mingus is a South Korean transracial adoptee, organizer and one of the co-executive directors of SPARK: Reproductive Justice Now! in Atlanta, Ga.

She was honored for her work on disability, race, reproductive justice, gender, sexuality and transracial adoption issues. In accepting her award, she said: “Organizing at the intersections is not only a winning possibility, it is the only way we will survive.”

[ Watch a video excerpt here ]


 

Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon: Sharing the ‘Kindness’

The conference ended with a riveting performance by the mother-daughter duo of Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon. For more than 40 years, Bernice Johnson Reagon, who founded the acclaimed African-American women’s a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, has been a major cultural voice for freedom and justice. The multitalented Toshi Reagon is a passionate singer, songwriter, producer and activist.

The duo came to the stage, saying they were delighted to be at the conference and hoped to “add another ingredient to the great pot that moves us forward.” They sang about struggle, kindness, liberation and the true meaning of home.

[ Watch a video excerpt here ]


 

All photos by andrewpotterphoto.com.


We thank the Detroit Host Committee for helping to make this such a successful conference.

Please join us on Jan. 28–Feb. 1, 2009, for the 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Denver, Colo. See you there!

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