Report from Creating Change

Thursday, January 29

Dolores Huerta: Si se puede!
‘We Can Get There From Here’
Media highlights today from Creating Change


Dolores Huerta: Si se puede!

The 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change got off to a rousing start tonight in Denver, Colo., when legendary social justice and labor leader Dolores Huerta gave a powerful call for justice for all in the opening plenary.

Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW), is a strong advocate and leading Latina voice for full equality for LGBT people. Speaking about how progressive groups, including those in the LGBT, labor, immigration reform, women and economic justice movements, need to work together, she told the crowd: “We need to educate each other’s movements to create change. ...

“We have to get out there and talk to those who even disagree with us. To paraphrase Gandhi, sometimes conflict is good because if there’s no conflict, there won’t be any change,” she continued. “This movement is about people saying, ‘I’m going to fight for my sexuality and who I am.’ It’s talking about truth but also talking about justice.”

Huerta reminded the audience, “We have a mandate to remove the ignorance from society until we get the human rights that we all deserve.” While quoting the first president of Mexico, Benito Juárez, when he famously said, “The respect of other people’s rights is peace,” she finalized with a passionate call for the coming together of the human race. While assuring that we will achieve equality and justice for all, she invited participants to join her in the chant that was made famous in her the struggle for farm workers: Si se puede.

[ Watch a video excerpt on YouTube and post a comment there — what’s your message of justice? ]


‘We Can Get There From Here’

Earlier in the day, many of the 2,000 gathered for Creating Change attended a compelling opening session titled We Can Get There From Here: A Movement Dialogue, a conversation among some of the LGBT movement’s most accomplished thinkers and activists: gender and women studies professor John D’Emilio, Inner Light Ministries President Rev. Deborah L. Johnson and Arcus Foundation Executive Director Urvashi Vaid.

In his remarks, D’Emilio (pictured) dissected the prospects facing the LGBT movement during an Obama administration, while the Rev. Deborah L. Johnson examined steps the movement should take in this moment of change. Vaid, meanwhile, closed the session with the top lessons this moment holds for the progressive LGBT movement, among them the power of the LGBT vote in this last election.

[ Watch an excerpt of the discussion here ]


Media highlights today from Creating Change

There’s been a great deal of media interest in the 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Denver. Coverage so far includes a front-page story in the Denver Post featuring opening plenary speaker Dolores Huerta; an Associated Press story with large pickup; interviews with NBC and Fox television news affiliates; and postings in the blogosphere, including a video interview on the Bilerico Project with Creating Change Director Sue Hyde.

[ Read/watch coverage: Denver Post, NBC9, AP, Bilerico ]


Tomorrow: State of the Movement address by Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey.

Photos: David Mejias

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