Events: Love on the Rocks, Cre­ate Love for Women.

Work­shop fo­cuses on women who love women

GA Voice - - News - By Shan­non Hames

Imani Evans and Shar­Ron Jami­son, cre­ator and co-founders of “Cre­ate Love for Women,” share a pas­sion. As coun­selors and coaches, they be­gan to see the need for women who love women to stop fol­low­ing the “fail­ing” re­la­tion­ship tem­plate for het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples and forge a new way for women to move for­ward and be suc­cess­ful in their re­la­tion­ships.

What was born of their pas­sion was the web­site/blog www.cre­atelove­for­ and the up­com­ing “Cre­ate Love for Women” con­fer­ence on Feb. 16 at the Down­town De­catur Mar­riott Ho­tel.

“The con­fer­ence is for women who love women,” Evans says. “We don’t want to limit it to the term ‘les­bian’ be­cause you can be bi­sex­ual, queer-iden­ti­fied... if you have in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships with women, how­ever you iden­tify that, you are wel­come.”

Evans says women need to change how they view the het­ero­sex­ual mar­riage model.

“The mar­riage statis­tics in this coun­try show that some­thing isn’t work­ing. As we move to­ward this mo­men­tum-built mar­riage equal­ity, it’s im­per­a­tive that we be­gin to build a frame­work for what a healthy gay mar­riage looks like,” she says.

“Most of us did not grow up with gay par­ents,” Evans con­tin­ues. “We want to throw away that fail­ing model and cre­ate a new, suc­cess­ful model so that 50 years down the road, the gay com­mu­nity doesn’t see the same dev­as­tat­ing di­vorce rate that is seen in het­ero­sex­ual mar­riages.” Jami­son agrees. “We grew up with­out any gay re­la­tion­ship role models in our homes or in the me­dia. We knew we needed to of­fer women some skills that they nor­mally don’t take the time to de­velop like lis­ten­ing, shar­ing, com­pro­mis­ing, ne­go­ti­at­ing, af­firm­ing… those things don’t al­ways come nat­u­rally when it hasn’t been mod­eled for you,” she says. “We want to em­power women.”

To­ward this end, the two women have di­vided the re­la­tion­ship needs into two main work­shops at the con­fer­ence: one on how to com­mu­ni­cate Cre­ate Love for Women Satur­day, Feb. 16, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Down­town De­catur Mar­riott 130 Claire­mont Ave., De­catur, GA 30030 www.cre­atelove­for­ ef­fec­tively and an­other on avoid­ing con­flict.

“In my work­shop,” says Jami­son, “I want to help women have the re­la­tion­ship that they de­sire and de­serve. I’ll teach women the six pil­lars of a last­ing part­ner­ship so they can start to use th­ese new tools im­me­di­ately in their own re­la­tion­ships.”

Evans says her work­shop is “geared to­ward prevent­ing and man­ag­ing con­flict.”

“It will give women the tools to pre­vent an ar­gu­ment or, if there is an ar­gu­ment, teach you how to keep that from be­com­ing an all-out war,” she says.

In ad­di­tion to the two ma­jor sem­i­nars, there will also be a panel dis­cus­sion with three cou­ples who are “mak­ing it work” as they face the dayto-day chal­lenges of be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship.

There is also a ven­dor area that will be ac- ces­si­ble to paying at­ten­dees as well as to the gen­eral pub­lic.

“You don’t have to pay to come to the con­fer­ence to take ad­van­tage of the var­i­ous com­pa­nies who want to reach peo­ple in our com­mu­nity. This is free and open to the pub­lic,” Jami­son says.

Tick­ets are $89 for an in­di­vid­ual and $159 for cou­ples. They in­clude a con­ti­nen­tal break­fast, lunch, ad­mis­sion to work­shops and door prizes and can be pur­chased at the event or on­line at www.cre­atelove­for­

Imani Evans says the goal of Cre­ate Love for Women is to leave be­hind ‘fail­ing’ het­ero­sex­ual models ‘so that 50 years down the road, the gay com­mu­nity doesn’t see the same dev­as­tat­ing di­vorce rate that is seen in het­ero­sex­ual mar­riages.’ (Photo via Face­book)

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