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Beyond Bold and Brave’s 2016 Black Lesbian Conference: “The Evolution of Our Community” will be a gathering of Transgender and Cisgender Black/African Descent Lesbians who are teens to elders with varied socio-economic, education, and life/work histories to responsibly and honestly discuss and address important issues and concerns in a respectful, welcoming, and authentic environment. Conference content will focus on Black/African Descent Lesbians in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area. National and international communities are welcome to support, attend, and participate.
- Celebrate the individual and collective political, social and cultural victories Black/African Descent Lesbians have achieved and how those triumphs have now and will continue to empower and affirm ourselves.
- Assess what issues, concerns, challenges continue to be priorities for our Black/African Descent Lesbian community and develop ways to effectively address and resolve them.
- Connect us to resources we need to continually lead healthy, productive lives.
- Create opportunities for the work and projects developed by leaving a lasting legacy and guide for others to carry this work forth.
Beyond Bold and Brave works to increase the visibility of Black/African Descent Lesbians in our communities by supporting and producing programs, projects, and events that responsibly and truthfully affirm and represent Black/African Descent Lesbian life, work, and identity. We defined Black/African Descent Lesbians as a diverse community of women who are: part of the African diaspora including Black, African, African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Indigenous, Afro-Latina, Afro-Asian, Afro-European; identify as transgender, cisgender, gender non-conforming, queer, same-gender-loving, as well as additional identities; and are attracted to and/or have relationships with women.
Thirty years after the first Black Lesbian conference in 1980, Black/African Descent lesbians are still consistently marginalized with few public spaces dedicated to the issues unique to us. The lives, issues and contributions of Black/African Descent lesbians are repeatedly minimized or dismissed in shared Black LGBT spaces and are rarely addressed in lesbian-specific/welcoming or women only spaces. These shared LGBT spaces more often address issues relating to women of color collectively and by doing so, repeatedly fail to acknowledge and address the unique challenges facing Black/African descent lesbians within local and regional LGBTQ communities. alyce d. emory and Kim Ford, two LGBT and community activists & workers are working to change this by reclaiming a public space dedicated to the issues unique to this community. The result is the founding of a new Black/African Descent lesbian conference for March 2016.
Friday, March 25
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Conference Opening Program & Reception
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Marjorie J. Hill, CEO Joseph Addabbo Health Center, NYC & past CEO, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
Saturday, March 26
Concurrent Sessions II: 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Panel Discussion: “What Does It Mean to Draw a Line? Black Lesbian Separation as Respite from Oppression”
Presenters: Karen Thompson (The Innocence Project), Yoruba Richen (Film Director), Dr. Judith Casselberry (Bowdoin College)
Roundtable Discussion: “Advocating for Ourselves: Getting the Resources We Need”
Presenters: Monique “Mo” George (Community Voices Heard, NYC), T. Jibri Douglas (TJD Medical Consulting), Rebecca Williams (Plainfield, NJ City Council), Ejeris Dixon (Vision Change Win Consulting)
Workshop: “Domestic Violence: Healing the Anger Within”
Presenter: Annette Brent (Certified Spiritual and Transformational Coach)
Luncheon Discussion: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
“State of the Black Lesbian Community: An Intergenerational Perspective”
Moderator: Mignon Moore (Barnard College)
Participants: Imani Rashid (NYC LGBT Community Kwanzaa), Ryann Holmes (bklyn boihood), Tina Jones (Health Education Alternatives for Teens, SUNY Brooklyn)
Concurrent Sessions II: 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Workshop: “Sacred Erotica: Creatively Moving Shadows Into Light”
Presenter: Sacred Walker (Kuumba Health)
Workshop: “Sex and Sexuality”
Participants: Tandra LaGrone (In Our Own Voices), Gabby Santos (LGBT Health Services, In Our Own Voices), Vanessa Campus (Community Health Education, GMHC)
Panel: “Creating Financial Wellness for LGBTQ Women”
Participants: Aqualia Barnes (Barnes Financial Services), Alexis McSween (Bottom Line Construction & Development), Adriane Ferguson (Billie’s Black Bar, Lounge, Restaurant)
Concurrent Sessions III: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Workshop: “Whole Health & Wellness for LGBTQ Transgender & Cisgender Women”
Presenter: Adaku Utah (Harriet’s Apothecary)
Panel: “Black Lesbian Poets: Bringing the Political to the Page and Stage”
Presenters: JP Howard (Women Writers in Bloom Series), R. Erica Doyle (Poet, Author), Amber Atiya (Poet), Monica Hand (Poet/Editor)
Roundtable Discussion: “Black Lesbian Youth & Their Experiences with Homelessness and Gender Roles”
Presenters: Stacey Lewis (Ali Forney Center), Sheraine Gregory (Ali Forney Center)
Wrap Discussion: 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM
“Black Lesbian Organizing and Activism: 1970s to Now”
Moderator: Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Editor, Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines)
Presenters: Linda Villarosa (Villarosa Media), Shawn(t)a Smith-Cruz (Lesbian Herstory Archives), Cassandra Grant (Salsa Soul Sisters & Community Activist)
Final Acknowledgements: 6:30 PM – 6:45 PM
Happy New Year! Our team is thrilled to report that the Black Lesbian Conference 2016 is at full capacity! We’re now exploring options that hopefully will allow us to accommodate more registrations but for now registration is closed. In the coming days, we’ll provide an update on this along with additional details on Conference Presenters, Programming, Volunteer Opportunities, and more. We graciously thank you for your support of and commitment to BLC2016!
Note: Requests for reasonable accommodations must be received to the BLC2016 Planning Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org no less than three weeks prior to the event.
Please consider donating. Donations of any size will help bring this important conference to our community.
- PREMIER SPONSOR – $5,000
- MAJOR SPONSOR – $2,500
- SUPPORTING SPONSOR – $1,000
- COMMUNITY SPONSOR – $500
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS!
Founded by NYC based community & LGBT activists and workers alyce emory (right) and Kim Ford (left), the conference planning team consists of Black/African Descent Lesbians leaders, activists and artists who have all volunteered their skills and resources to create a conference that will genuinely reflect and address Black/African Descent lesbian life and its current complexities. Advisors include Black/African Descent Lesbians and allies from various professions, communities and interests. Conference Planning Committee members are Katherine Bailey, Kawana Bullock, Rhonda Otten, Wen Peguero, Stephanie Reid and Julie Worthey.
For more information, please contact us at 646-836-8696 or email@example.com
This conference is organized by Beyond Bold and Brave, hosted by the Barnard Center for Research on Women.