Schedule for Scholar and Feminist Conference: Sustianabilities

This year we at BCRW are implementing the framework of sustainability for our 41st Annual Scholar and Feminist Conference. As a community of activists and scholars, we would like to ask and discuss how we can sustain the material, creative, cultural and critical resources necessary to maintain the vitality of our communities, movements, and scholarship.

The conference brings together feminist scholars, activists, artists and community members to address the obstacles we face–including biomedical models of health and wellness; anti-black police and state violence; and the far-reaching tentacles of neoliberalism shrinking public resources and expanding the prison industrial complex. Panelists will address the creative and courageous responses they have developed to sustain their work as activists, scholars, artists and visionaries working toward achieving social, gender, economic and racial justice. Visionary activist and thinker Reina Gossett will deliver the keynote address.


Here is a run-down of the schedule for the event:

10:00 – 10:30 AM Welcome

Tina Campt

Event Oval, Diana Center


10:30 – 11:30 AM Keynote Address: Making A Way Out Of No Way

Reina Gossett, BCRW Activist Fellow, Activist, Filmmaker

Event Oval, Diana Center

Reina Gossett will discuss the uses of art, representation, and other creative strategies trans and gender nonconforming people are using while living and loving under the shadow of heightened violence.


11:30 – 12 PM Lunch pick-up

Lunch is provided. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch to the afternoon sessions.

5th Floor Lobby & Event Oval Lobby, Diana Center


12 – 1:30 PM Session I – Concurrent Panels

PANEL: Fat Activism and Intersectionality at the Edges: Making Movements Sustainable

LL 103, Diana Center

This panel brings together artists, activists, and thinkers who are working at the interstices of fat activism and intersectional feminism. They will discuss challenges to and strategies for refusing single-issue approaches, while showing how fat activism is already intersectional and central to left movement building. Panelists will discuss how fat activism is part of the broader struggle for bodily autonomy, how their work struggles to address questions of left political horizons and legitimate political aspirations, and how ending fatphobia is central to collective liberation.  

Presenters: Naima Lowe, Jamal Lewis, Tara Shuai & Rebecca Weinberger


PANEL: Sustaining Harlem: Art, Community Activism and Black Women’s Leadership

Event Oval, Diana Center

How have the arts served as an essential resource for sustaining Harlem’s vibrant and diverse communities of color? How have the arts and arts organizations helped to shape and reshape Harlem’s changing identity over time? How have Harlem’s arts institutions served as a catalyst for activism and change throughout their long history serving this community? This panel brings together four visionary black women, each of whom have made significant contributions to sustaining Harlem through their leadership in its signature arts institutions. Each will offer their perspectives on what it means to work collectively and collaboratively on the project of sustaining Harlem, the under-acknowledged role of black women, and the resources they draw on to sustain their work.

Presenters: Pat Cruz, Thelma Golden, Virginia Johnson & Sade Lythcott


WORKSHOP: Resourcing and Resilience: Building Alternative Models to Sustain Our Movements

Room 504, Diana Center

Very little money goes to LGBTQ organizations and even less goes to grassroots, social justice groups organizing around their experiences with racism, poverty and homelessness, transphobia, ableism, immigration, and incarceration. The combined legacies of white supremacy and capitalism and the limitations of the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC) have shrunk what was already limited foundation funding for these organizations. What remains creates heavy administrative burdens for staff and members and pits communities into competition with one another. Taking the task of resourcing their movements into their own hands, the Trans Justice Funding Project (TFJP) and the Miss Major-Jay Toole Building for Social Justice (MMJT) Giving Circle have developed alternative models to build the long-term sustainability of their work and communities. Through mapping exercises, small group discussions, and report-backs, participants will unpack the history of the racial and gender wealth divide, share people of color giving traditions, redefine the value and worth of community resources beyond dollars, and explore the process of building and reclaiming alternatives.

Presenters: Gabriel Foster, Cara Page, Krystal Portalatin, Eva Turner & Tanya Walker


1:30 – 1:45 PM Transition between sessions


1:45 – 3:15 PM Session II – Concurrent Panels


WORKSHOP: Building Community Safety and Security

LL 103, Diana Center

State violence, security, and militarization are daily realities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two Spirit, transgender, gender nonconforming, and queer people of color. Presenters will share their experiences, tools, and resources for creating safety teams in community spaces. Through storytelling, small group discussions, role plays about common situations, and resource sharing, presenters will share tools created by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, queer/trans/Two Spirit, sex working, disabled/chronically ill, and poor and working class communities to create safer events, conferences, gatherings and neighborhoods without relying on 911 or the police, redefining “safety” and how we can create it.

Presenters: Ejeris Dixon, Elliott Fukui & Joo-Hyun Kang


PANEL: Working at the Limits: State and Structural Violence

Event Oval, Diana Center

This panel features scholars and activists in conversation around the issues of sustaining community-centered scholarship and programs in the wake of drastically decreased funding, hostile political environments, and tenuous public-private partnerships. This session asks participants to consider how we sustain our communities in the midst of financial crisis and structural violence. Emerging from BCRW’s Transnational Feminisms initiative, participants in this session work in areas around the globe, including South Africa, Barbados, and the US Virgin Islands.

Presenters: Tami Navarro (moderator), Alison Swartz, Deanna James & Charmaine Crawford


WORKSHOP: Sustaining Community: Housing and Displacement in New York City

Room 504, Diana Center

Neoliberal economic and social restructuring combined with a recession lasting nearly a decade has led to the displacement and dismantling of communities of color in neighborhoods throughout New York City. The typical policy response of increasing affordable housing benefits the real estate industry and big business and fails the communities it is designed to serve. This workshop will discuss strategies for vulnerable communities to sustain themselves through the constant and persistent threat of displacement that is pervasive in New York City. This workshop was organized by Pamela Phillips.

Presenters: Gregory Jost, Daisy Gonzales & Ryan Hickey


3:15 – 3:45 PM Break

Coffee and snacks


3:45 – 5:15 PM Session III – Concurrent Panels

PANEL/WORKSHOP: Disability and Healing Justice: Making Our Lives Sustainable and Our Movements Liveable

LL 103, Diana Center

Join two visionary panelists for a hybrid panel-workshop as they discuss the connections between disability and healing justice. Participants will be invited to think through how disability and healing justice need to be central to the work of making all of our lives sustainable in the face of ableist and capitalist modes of organizing and belonging.

Presenters: Geleni Fontaine & Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha


PANEL: Queer Survival Economies: Invisible Lives, Targeted Bodies

Event Oval, Diana Center

Queer Survival Economies is a new initiative directed by Amber Hollibaugh and born out of the closure of Queers for Economic Justice. Queer Survival Economies aims to prioritize LGBTQ low-income and immigrant worker issues at a time of increasing crisis because of the on-going recession and reshaping of the global market. Participants will discuss overlooked and often invisible economic justice issues at the intersections of class, race, gender, immigration, HIV/AIDS, non-traditional families and sexuality. The goal of  this panel is to bring together and educate community members to be better able to build movement possibilities in the face of economic crises and queer marginalization.

Presenters: Amber Hollibaugh (moderator), Yana Calou, Kate D’Adamo, Hamid Khan & Ola Osaze


WORKSHOP: Bridging the Generations: Carrying On…

Room 504, Diana Center

This workshop features four activists and nonprofit leaders who span four generations and have  diverse experiences working for social justice feminism.  Panelists will share their stories, discuss myths and assumptions about each other’s generations, and share strategies for building meaningful multi-generational relationships that sustain individuals, communities, and political movements for transformative social change. Audience members will be invited to participate in the conversation as an essential tool for “carrying on” the dialogue and generating ideas to propel us forward.

Presenters: Katherine Acey (moderator), Trishala Deb, Frances Kunreuther, Krystal Portalatin

5:15 – 5:30 PM Transition between sessions

5:30 – 7 PM Reception

Event Oval, Diana Center

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