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Radical Welcome

We are excited to be in New Orleans for the Creating Change Conference 2024!

We invite you to join in this extraordinary conference experience in the spirit of radical welcome: love, curiosity, and respect for each other and our LGBTQ family. The Creating Change Conference convenes people of varying and diverse political opinions and strategic focus. Our individual and collective capacity to hold multiple perspectives, even when we disagree, is a valuable movement-building tool. The Task Force welcomes you to our conference community of activists, organizers, and advocates as we work to build the strongest possible LGBTQ and allied movement. As we gather this year to learn, connect, and persist, we feel enormously proud to host you –– our beautiful, diverse LGBTQ and allied community! Creating Change is a movement space where vibrant differences in race, socio-economic class, geography, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression is welcome. Some Creating Change attendees are not accustomed to sharing space with so many different people who identify as living with HIV, or talk about surviving sexual abuse, or discuss their sobriety, or gender identity, or religious beliefs, or immigration status as openly as some people will at our conference. The Task Force works hard to create an engaged, inclusive, and safe space for all of our attendees. Thank you for helping us make the magic!

Practicing Radical Welcome at Creating Change

A core value of the National LGBTQ Task Force is Radical Welcome. Thank you for your help in ensuring that Creating Change is an environment where all participants feel welcome, comfortable and celebrated as members of the Creating Change family. We are committed to being a welcoming space for the LGBTQ community and our allies. We want everyone to learn a lot, meet fabulous new people from all over the country, and experience full and authentic connections to build a stronger, more inclusive, LGBTQ movement. You are welcome here— This is a place filled with new people and movement veterans and we want you to contribute to what makes this community special. Please join us in creating a warm and friendly space for all. Catch up with dear old friends and make some new ones. Know that you are free to introduce yourself, share your pronouns, and be curious about who you meet. Be radical by being you!

Access—Please be mindful of how physically accessible public spaces are and join us in supporting our friends who may need wider space to pass. Additionally, work with us and each other to support language justice in our workshops and plenaries. It really helps when we all slow down.

Intentional about Power and Privilege—Be intentional about your privilege and show up for folks who may be vulnerable. Recognize how much space you are taking up (either with words, actions or your stuff) and think about how to create space for others.

Consent—Many Creating Change attendees create and build social and sexual relationships while at the Conference. We flirt! We celebrate! Please be mindful that consent is essential.

Practice Wellness—This should be a place to create change, not create flu. Be mindful of how others may be put at risk by catching cold or flu, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and respect others that don’t wish to share food or drinks.

Welcoming Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Non-Binary Community Members!

To create radical welcome for our transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary and genderqueer members of our movement, please remember that a person’s purposeful gender expression or external appearance may not match their internal gender identity.

About pronouns:

  • At Creating Change, we don’t make assumptions about anyone’s gender identity based on the way they look, sound or behave.
  • Ask “What pronouns do you use?”
  • When in doubt, use a person’s name or gender-neutral pronouns.
  • Please call people what they ask you to call them and use the pronouns that people ask you to use.
  • Remind yourself that some people may be expressing gender differently than the last time you encountered them.
  • When you make a mistake about someone’s pronoun, make the correction and move on.

About gender inclusive bathrooms:

  • One way that the Conference supports trans and genderqueer people’s needs is to designate restrooms gender inclusive.
  • Transgender and gender nonconforming people have often experienced a great deal of unwanted attention in the bathroom. In many of our states and institutions, there are political debates about access to public accommodations like hotel bathrooms. Gender Inclusive bathrooms support an environment where everyone can use the bathroom without being policed regarding their gender expression.
  • Regardless of what bathroom you are in, please let everyone pee in peace. Each of us can decide for ourselves in which bathroom we belong.

Showing up:

  • Respect people’s privacy and boundaries and do not ask questions that you wouldn’t ask of anyone else.

Public Health

The National LGBTQ Task Force recognizes that COVID-19 remains an ongoing public health concern, and we comply with all local and federal regulations at our in-person events. The National LGBTQ Task Force also recognizes the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on those who are immunocompromised, managing pre-existing conditions, and/or those who may care for loved ones at home.

During our time together at Creating Change 2024 in New Orleans, the National LGBTQ Task Force will strongly encourage all participants to wear masks in public areas, as able, and to test/self-isolate when experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms. Any additional public health policies (including mask and/or vaccine requirements) will be adopted and enforced at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s discretion. Prior to arriving in New Orleans, all Creating Change registrants will receive information regarding CC24 policies and on-site health resources (masks, testing, local medical services, etc.).

By registering to attend, you agree and understand that Creating Change and the National LGBTQ Task Force are released and held harmless from all liability related to COVID-19 and arising from participation at Creating Change 2024 in New Orleans.

Each of us is empowered to help make Creating Change a safer, healthier, and more accessible conference for all. Thank you for joining us in this commitment.

Conference Policies

You and Your Badge

We are so happy that you are part of our family at Creating Change 2024! We ask you to visibly display your registration name badge when attending plenary sessions, workshops and caucuses and evening events; your badge is your “ticket.” Wearing your badge is a friendly thing to do because it makes it easier for folks to call you by name. Also, the wellbeing of all of us is a top priority: your name badge means you are part of our Creating Change family. Please wear your badge. Creating Change registrants without badges will be asked to retrieve them; or to purchase a new badge at Registration for an administrative fee of $5. Save yourself the inconvenience. Wear your badge. Thanks!

Creating a Positive Environment

Creating Change is committed to creating a positive environment for the LGBTQ community and our allies. We want everyone here to learn a lot, meet fabulous new people from all over the country, and feel good about talking and connecting with each other as we build a stronger movement.

To that end, we want to remind everyone of guiding principles that are essential to maintaining respectful and positive space for each other.

There are two fundamental principles to the Creating Change Conference: human rights and solidarity. Sexual harassment and other forms of violence strike at the heart of both. Harassment, violence, bullying and bigotry create feelings of fear, uneasiness, trauma, humiliation and discomfort. They are expressions of perceived power and superiority by the harasser over another person. Sometimes, even when our actions are not intentionally hurtful, what we say and do can hurt others or make them feel uncomfortable.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and potential violence and refers to any unwanted attention of a sexual nature, including:

  • Unwanted flirtations or advances
  • Offensive written or visual depictions like graffiti or degrading pictures
  • Touching someone without their permission (groping, grabbing, hugging, petting, biting)
  • Unwanted sexual demands, pressure, propositions, or requests for sexual activities
  • Graphic comments about an individual’s body or dress
  • Verbal abuse, including sexual insults and name calling
  • Rewards for granting sexual favors or the withholding of rewards for refusing to grant sexual favors
  • Sexual assault, rape, and sexual violence

Many Creating Change attendees create and build social and sexual relationships while at the Conference. We want to remind you that, if you are thinking about hooking up, consent is essential. Please be sure that all involved have similar expectations. And please play safe!

Creating Change is proud to host a beautiful and diverse LGBTQ and allied community where vibrant diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression is welcome. It is all our responsibility to ensure that each member of our LGBTQ and ally family feels welcome and affirmed.

Thank you for your help in ensuring that Creating Change is an environment where all participants feel safe, comfortable and celebrated as members of the Creating Change family. If you experience sexual harassment or violence or feel threatened, please ask to speak with the Conference Director Danny Linden at [email protected] or 202.639.6306.

Hate Speech is Not Welcome at Creating Change

The Task Force supports free speech. Hate speech will not be tolerated at Creating Change. With all of the hate speech directed at others in politics, society, and communities across the country, we seek a Creating Change Conference space in which we are not expressing hate speech towards each other. Hate speech is defined as abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group. This includes words, phrases, and chants that target specific groups and are widely recognized as racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, transphobic, bi-phobic, homophobic, ableist, ageist, classist, sexist and misogynist, or attacks a person or a group on the basis of other protected attributes.

The Task Force reserves the right to address instances of hate speech that may occur at Creating Change in ways it deems appropriate, including asking people to not participate in some or all the conference. If you have experienced hate speech at the conference, please ask to speak with the Conference Director Danny Linden at [email protected] or 202.639.6306.

No Guns at Creating Change!

The National LGBTQ Task Force joins with the millions of people working to end gun violence. We ask, in the interest of everyone’s comfort and wellbeing, that no guns be brought into our conference spaces, sessions, and gatherings. We do not want guns or other deadly/dangerous weapons at Creating Change! If any attendee is observed carrying a gun while participating in the Creating Change Conference, you will be asked to remove it from the premises.

National LGBTQ Task Force Values

All participants at Creating Change are expected to uphold the values of the National LGBTQ Task Force.  These are some of our values:

  • Justice and Liberation
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Intersectionality
  • Love, Commitment and Compassion
  • Grassroots Power
  • Innovation
  • Centrality of Sex and Sexuality

We also oppose:

  • Ableism
  • Ageism
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Classism
  • Heterosexism
  • Homophobia, Bi-phobia, Transphobia
  • Islamophobia
  • Racism
  • Sexism and misogyny
  • Hatred or prejudice of any kind, including hate speech

Protest Policy

Political expression is an essential principle of democracy and in our LGBTQ+ movement for freedom, justice, and equality. We welcome debate and dialogue as key elements of the Creating Change Conference.

While some participants may want to engage in nonviolent protest, the Task Force discourages the disruption of conference sessions, plenary sessions, meetings or exhibits that result in attendees not being able to fully participate in learning and educational opportunities available at Creating Change. We ask that this core principle of free exchange of ideas be respected as essential to the mission and spirit of the Creating Change Conference.

Protests that occur on the plenary stage may not exceed 5 minutes. Anything longer than that is disrespectful to those we’ve invited as plenary speakers, whose voices are often the most marginalized and silenced in society. 

Protests within the hotel must be nonviolent “moving protests,” that is proceeding in a walking formation to avoid violations of Fire Code regulations regarding impeding the movements of others through the hotel and blocking doorways to meeting rooms. 

Hotels are not public spaces. The Hilton New Orleans Riverside can report any protest to local law enforcement at their discretion. 

The National LGBTQ Task Force reserves the right to determine whether a demonstration is disruptive and/or detrimental to the conference programs at Creating Change and to act accordingly. We seek to provide avenues for political expression while also balancing this with the needs of attendees, presenters, and exhibitors.

For those who may be organizing protests within the Hilton New Orleans Riverside during the Creating Change Conference, we ask you to inform Conference Director Danny Linden ([email protected]; 202-639-6306) and designate a contact person for your protest.

Policy Violations

Anyone who violates these policies may be asked to leave Creating Change 2024 and may not be allowed to participate in future conferences.