Thousands expected to attend the 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality, Jan. 29 – Feb. 2 (VIDEO)Online Only, Top Highlights, Around the Nation Monday, January 13th, 2014
Four thousand lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates from across the country are expected to attend the 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change Jan. 29 –Feb. 2 at the Hilton Americas–Houston, 1600 Lamar Street in Houston.
The Creating Change Conference is powered by hundreds of skills-building workshops, 23 Day Long Institutes, receptions, caucuses, film screenings, networking sessions, hospitality suites, interfaith services and much more.
Workshop sessions, presentations, receptions and four dynamic plenary sessions are featured at this influential annual event. Participants attend the pre-conference Day Long Institutes on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 30, as well as enjoy the Welcome to Houston Reception on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 30.
The conference also offers the Task Force’s Academy for Leadership and Action sessions, Friday, Jan. 31and Saturday Feb. 1, at which our team of Task Force organizers lead trainings and strategy sessions on a range of issues.
The conference has grown from 300 people in its first year in 1988 to 4000 attendees expected to attend in Houston.
Opening Plenary Keynote Speaker, Thursday, Jan. 30
Television star, actress and activist Laverne Cox will be the keynote plenary speaker on Jan. 30, 2014,8:00 PM. Cox plays Sophia Burset, a transgender woman, in the hit Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black.”
Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. She is a renowned speaker, writer and advocate, taking her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically. Her insights have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, HLN, VH1, and Fox News Latino.
The State of the Movement Speech, Friday, Jan. 31
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. LGBT rights movement. She will present the annual State of the Movement address, in which she will present a vision for the year ahead in the struggle for LGBT freedom and equality.
The State of the Movement address is an opportunity to take stock of the past year and lay out a plan to move forward in the year ahead. It is one of the most anticipated events of the Creating Change conference.
Carey will address critical legislative issues specifically affecting the LGBT community, including passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and fair immigration reform. Other broader areas of focus will include the need for access to quality/affordable health care and racial and economic justice-related issues.
Carey, who came to the Task Force in 2004 as deputy executive director, has served as executive director since 2008. Through her leadership, she has advanced a vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive.
Keynote/Plenary Panel, Saturday, Feb. 1
Why We Can’t Wait: Let’s End AIDS Now
The Task Force is proud of its long legacy of community engagement around HIV/AIDS and will highlight the ongoing epidemic and crisis of HIV/AIDS in the LGBT community at this conference. Partnering with AIDS United, the Creating Change plenary session on Saturday, February 1 will feature a panel discussion that will address the alarming rates of infection currently found in LGBT communities of color and reinvigorate attendees in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.
The plenary session Why We Can’t Wait: Let’s End AIDS Now will be moderated by Michael Kaplan, president and CEO of AIDS United. Joining Kaplan will be: Phill Wilson, president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people; Cecilia Chung, US People Living with HIV Caucus president, the senior strategist of the Transgender Law Center, and a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS; Charles Stephens, a writer and thought leader who led advocacy training in the Southeast United States through his work with AIDS United; and Elicia Gonzales, executive director for GALAEI: A Queer Latin@ Social Justice Organization in Philadelphia, member of the Leadership Council for the National Latino AIDS Action Network, and a founding member of Raices Latino Pride Philadelphia.
Closing Plenary Performer, Sunday, Feb. 2
Nona Hendryx rocks the world with her new recording Mutatis Mutandis (Latin for changing those things which need to be changed). Tackling social issues, love and politics, Hendryx’s legendary career spans six decades of sound & style evolution. Nona is one of the founding members of the groundbreaking doo-wop girl group, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles. Simply, Nona Hendryx is the quintessential “mother” of contemporary artists such as Grace Jones, Erykah Badu, Emeli Sandé, Janelle Monáe, and M.I.A. An out and proud bisexual sister, Nona Rocks on for freedom and justice for all.
For more information about the conference please visit www.CreatingChange.org.
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