The National LGBTQ Task Force’s annual Creating Change conference, which was recently changed from an in-person to a virtual format amid concerns about the highly contagious COVID-19 omicron variant, has been rescheduled to the weekend of March 19-20.
The conference, now rebranded as “Creating Change Remixed,” will feature several plenary and keynote speakers, award presentations, daylong institutes focusing on a particular topic, and the annual House Ball. In lieu of the customary workshops and caucuses that are typically part of the the conference’s programming, the National LGBTQ Task Force will instead host a series of virtual events throughout the year under a new banner of “Creating Change 365.”
Over the weekend, in addition to the day-long, issue-specific institutes, the virtual conference will feature the Annual State of the Movement Address by Task Force Executive Director Kierra Johnson and Deputy Executive Director Mayra Hidalgo Salazar. In advance of this year’s midterm elections, Task Force leaders will also focus on the opportunities for political activism and lay out how those elections may have an impact on the LGBTQ community writ-large, the ability to organize politically, and on the future of progressive and LGBTQ activism.
Sandra Valls, a comic, actor, singer, and writer, will continue to serve as the emcee of the conference throughout the weekend. Featured keynote addresses will be given by Beverly Little Thunder, a two-spirit great-grandmother and enrolled citizen of the Standing Rock Band of Lakota, who is active in racial and social justice issues; and ALOK, a nonbinary mixed-media artist, poet, writer and advocate for LGBTQ equality and gender inclusivity.
Among those being honored with awards are longtime activist Urvashi Vaid, who will be receiving the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement; José Albino, the recipient of SAGE’s Carmen Vázquez Leadership Award in Aging; Ola Osifo Osaze, the recipient of the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund Award for Outstanding LGBTQ Leadership for Immigration Rights; and Billy Lane, who will receive the Leather Leadership Award.
Time will also be allotted during the weekend for an interfaith service and the annual “Agents of Change” Masquerade Ball.
The Task Force has also decided to cancel the annual Winter Party Festival this year due to the ongoing pandemic and the surge in omicron infections, according to a statement on the event’s website. Those who already bought tickets will have their purchases automatically refunded. Those with any additional concerns are asked to contact organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because funds from the Winter Party Festival had originally been earmarked for the Task Force’s “Queer the Vote” campaign, attendees are being asked to donate directly to Queer the Vote through the Winter Party Festival’s donation portal.
For more information or to register for “Creating Change Remixed,” visit www.thetaskforce.org/creatingchange.
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