Maybe you have heard of Creating Change, one of the largest national LGBTQ+ conferences. It’s hosted by The National LGBTQ Task Force in January each year. If haven’t had the opportunity to attend one, this is definitely a conference you should consider, especially if you are looking to be an activist or a community leader.
This is a place to network with people across the country, especially with individuals who work on the national scene, other activists or community leaders from the local community. It’s a conference where you can establish lifelong friendships and share ideas with like-minded individuals, all who come together, to make a change.
Creating Change is a week of intense, workshops, dialogue and plenaries, where a wide range of topics and issues are discussed. You can pick and choose what workshops you would like to be a part of, you can choose as much or as little as you like. It is a place where you can come and learn about new ideas or refresh some of what you already know but maybe seeing it through a different lens.
What I have come to realize, is that creating change is a process, it can be messy. It can be difficult and yet it can be refreshing and exhilarating, if you are willing to go in with an open mind that in order to make a change you must be willing to be that change. In other words, you must go in and be prepared to change yourself in order to be a change for others around you.
After attending the daylong Racial Justice Institute on the first day of the conference, I realized how resilient our community is when it comes around the idea of having the hard conversations that the rest of society struggles to achieve. This year, during the Racial Justice Institute, the dialogue became heated and anger was present within the room, as issues were being addressed. Regardless how heated or angry the conversation became, people still came back together in the same space to push through and work on being a change. As I witnessed this, I began to wonder, if our community could teach the rest of society how to move forward, dealing with our issues head on and learning how we can live together, even in our differences.
You will find that Creating Change has a wide range of workshops which covers several topics from spiritual, suicide prevention, kink play to ally building, etc. All the workshops are geared to help educate and build community leaders across the nation. They will take the knowledge back into their own communities, as we continue to build an environment, where everyone is free to live as their authentic selves without prejudice.
Deputy Executive Director Kierra Johnson opened Creating Change this year with a statement that should bring a reminder to us all.
I have included a synopsis of her comments below. They are not actual quotes.
Just because we have lived experiences as LGBTQ individuals, does not make us an expert in the community, because each of us has a different way of living our experience.
Creating Change is also a time of fun and entertainment. In the evenings, Creating Change offers various venues, from dancing, performances, game play, quiet spaces or sitting around a bar to unwind and mingling after eight hours of intense workshops and plenaries. So, if you haven’t been to Creating Change, maybe 2021 can be the year for you to make a change, and see how you can be a change.