Press

Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists to converge in Denver to strategize on heels of inauguration

Date: 
December 19, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 — Just one week after the inauguration of a new administration, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists will converge in Denver, Colo., for the 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, Jan. 28--Feb. 1. Activists will strategize on how to advance LGBT equality in this new political climate, share lessons from the 2008 election, and acquire the skills needed to build the political power of the LGBT community in 2009 and beyond.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey will present the annual State of the Movement address at the conference, in which she will lay out a vision and plan for the year ahead in the struggle for LGBT equality. Says Carey: "We are clearly entering a new time and there are tremendous opportunities to influence social change."

Critical legislative issues specifically affecting the LGBT community include passing a strengthened and expanded federal hate crimes law, passage of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Other broader areas of focus will include the need for affordable housing, access to quality/affordable health care, and racial and economic justice-related issues.

Turning anger into action into long-term change

The passage of Proposition 8 in California has galvanized community activists across the country. Some of those activists will be featured at Creating Change on panels and in workshops, as attendees discuss regaining the freedom to marry in California and gaining it elsewhere.

For example, Join the Impact co-founder Willow Witte, one of the key organizers of the Nov. 15 national grassroots protests against the passage of Prop. 8, will lead a session about mobilizing the LGBT movement at this critical moment. Participants will learn how to use the Internet to organize on a worldwide level and how to make an impact in local communities. Also, at a daylong pre-conference institute, attendees will discuss the marriage equality landscape and strategize on how to make gains.

Conference attendees will also participate in sessions to learn how to defeat future attacks against LGBT people on statewide and local ballots on issues such as nondiscrimination and adoption.

For more information about the conference program and registration, visit www.CreatingChange.org.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and 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.