Cre­at­ing Change Con­fer­ence comes to At­lanta for 25th an­niver­sary

GA Voice - - News -

•“ Stephens and Dave Hay­ward

with Charles

“Art & Cul­ture: Spit That Truth: Pro­pel the move­ment through per­for­mance”

with Cortez Wright, Paris Hatcher and Am­ber Thomas

“Col­lege Cam­pus Is­sues and Or­ga­niz­ing for Stu­dents: Cre­at­ing a Safe Space Pro­gram for Stu­dents”

Jil­lian Ford

•“

with Gaius Au­gus­tus and

Com­mu­nity Or­ga­niz­ing The South: Sex, Pol­i­tics, & God”

with Caitlin Breedlove, Paulina Helm-Her­nan­dez, Kai Bar­row and Bishop Don­a­grant McCluney

“Peo­ple of Color: Cre­at­ing Ac­cep­tance within African-Amer­i­can Faith Com­mu­ni­ties”

with Rev. Gwen Thomas and Rev. Roland Stringfel­low

“Youth: Ad­dress­ing LGBT Youth Home­less­ness in Your Com­mu­nity; the Lostn-Found Model”

with Art Iz­zard, Rick West­brook, Allen Pee­bles and Paul Swicord

Bring­ing ‘Change’ to the South

Michael Shutt, a mem­ber of the host com­mit­tee and the di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Les­bian, Gay, Bi­sex­ual, and Trans­gen­der Life at Emory Univer­sity, said now is the time for Cre­at­ing Change to come to the South­east.

“The con­fer­ence has not been in At­lanta since 2000 and so much has changed in the city and the re­gion,” he said.

“I also be­lieve we need the con­fer­ence in the South­east. There is a lot of con­ver­sa­tion of progress around the coun­try in terms of LGBT ac­cess, in­clu­sion and eq­uity, but very lit­tle is fo­cused on the South­east. We know that a lot of work­ing is hap­pen­ing here and we are ready for an in­fu­sion of queer en­ergy.”

The South­east is of­ten “writ­ten off” by LGBT or­ga­ni­za­tions as a lost cause, but that is ex­actly why it de­serves fo­cus as the LGBT move­ment con­tin­ues to make suc­cesses.

“I want to show­case how the South­east, Ge­or­gia and At­lanta are lead­ers in com­mu­nity or­ga­niz­ing and change. The South­east is of­ten writ­ten off for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons, but those of us who or­ga­nize here know that pos­i­tive change and lib­er­a­tion within the LGBT com­mu­nity in the United States will only hap­pen if it hap­pens here,” Shutt said.

Ple­nary speak­ers this year in­clude politi- Na­tional Gay & Les­bian Task Force Cre­at­ing Change Con­fer­ence Jan. 23-27 at the Hil­ton At­lanta 255 Court­land St. NE, At­lanta, GA 30303 www.cre­at­ingchange.org cal hu­morist Kate Clin­ton; Deepak Bhar­gava, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Com­mu­nity Change based in Washington, D.C.; Rea Carey, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Gay & Les­bian Task Force; and Jose An­to­nio Var­gas, the founder of De­fine Amer­ica and a Pulitzer Prize win­ning jour­nal­ist who wrote the es­say, “My Life as an Un­doc­u­mented Im­mi­grant” in June 2011 for the New York Times Mag­a­zine.

Frenchie Davis from “Amer­i­can Idol” and “The Voice” will pro­vide clos­ing en­ter­tain­ment on Jan. 27.

Other mem­bers of At­lanta’s host com­mit­tee are Everette R.H. Thompson, the former re­gional di­rec­tor of Amnesty In­ter­na­tional USA’s South­ern Re­gional Of­fice; and Rev. Gwen Thomas of the Fel­low­ship of Af­firm­ing Min­istries and a li­censed min­is­ter at Vic­tory for the World United Church of Christ in Stone Moun­tain, Ga.

Ple­nary speak­ers at this year’s Cre­at­ing Change Con­fer­ence are Kate Clin­ton, Deepak Bhar­gava, Jose An­to­nio Var­gas, and Rea Carey with Frenchie Davis pro­vid­ing clos­ing en­ter­tain­ment. (Bhar­gava, Var­gas, Carey pho­tos via Face­book; Clin­ton and Davis pub­lic­ity pho­tos)

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