Press

Issues of racial and economic justice a top priority at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 19th Annual Creating Change

Date: 
October 31, 2006

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

“Building a movement that recognizes how racial and economic justice issues intersect with the needs and priorities of all LGBT people — of all ages, races, ethnic and language origins, nationalities, spiritualities, abilities and incomes — is a challenge that must be at the forefront of our movement.”

— Russell Roybal, Director of Movement Building,
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 — “Advancing racial and economic justice has always been at the forefront of the work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. And it will be again at this year’s 19th Annual Creating Change Conference in Kansas City,” says Sue Hyde, director of the conference. Creating Change, the nation’s premier lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizing conference, to be held Nov 8–12 in Kansas City, Mo., offers a program meant to educate, challenge and support the LGBT social justice movement.

“The Task Force has always been committed to addressing the impact of racism in this country, in our movement and in our organization,” said Russell Roybal, the Task Force’s director of movement building. “This year’s Creating Change marks an evolution in our work as we intensify that focus. We recognize the importance of building an LGBT movement that recognizes how racial and economic justice issues intersect with the needs and priorities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists — of all ages, races, ethnic and language origins, nationalities, spiritualities, abilities and incomes.”

Creating Change programming this year focuses more closely on how movements, identities and issues intersect and how to create multiracial coalitions to build an accessible and inclusive movement. For example, the Challenging White Supremacy Institute and the People of Color Organizing Institute will work together at the beginning and end of pre-conference institutes to develop strategies for multiracial organizing in the LGBT community. This year, activists attending these institutes are challenged to organize and take action at the intersections of communities. In addition, a racial and social justice track running throughout the conference will include 17 workshops that focus on a range of issues, including disability rights, immigration, Zionism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and economic justice.

Thursday evening opening plenary speakers include Andy Marra, board president for the National Center for Transgender Equality, Eddy Morales, outgoing president of the United States Student Association, Rinku Sen, publisher of ColorLines, Olga Vives, vice president of the National Organization for Women, and Cuc T. Vu, immigration campaign manager for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The closing plenary on Sunday will feature Loretta J. Ross, founder and national coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective.

Workshop leaders will include Caitlin Breedlove, Southerners on New Ground; Catina Lowery, Lambda Legal; Kris Hayashi, Audre Lorde Project; Joseph N. DeFillipis, Queers for Economic Justice; Joo-Hyun Kang, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; Marta Donayre, Love Sees No Borders; Faisal Alam, Al-Fatiha Foundation; Eli Claire, author of Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation; Mervyn Marcano, League of Young Voters; and Andy Marra, GLAAD.

Racial and Economic Justice track workshops range from White Activists Ending Racism to Adding Disability to the Mix to Queer Organizing in Working Class Communities to Queer in the South: Building a Base to Equality for All: The Meeting of Racial Justice and LGBT Rights.

A special three-hour workshop on the intersection of immigration issues and LGBT issues will be facilitated by Hans Johnson, Progressive Victory; Cuc Vu, SEIU; Debanuj Das Gupta, Queers for Economic Justice; and Sean Cahill, Task Force Policy Institute. This forum will include the release of an important new report from the Task Force Policy Institute: Convenient Scapegoats: The Connections between the Anti-Gay and Anti-Immigration Movements.

For up-to-date information about the conference, please visit CreatingChange.org. The registration form is online, as well as more detailed information about the conference schedule, travel and much more.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.