Tuesday, July 8, 2008

United We Can: An Intergenerational Call to Action

This guest post is from Jean Hodges, PFLAG's Mountain West regional director.

Have you registered yet for the PFLAG Regional Conference in Boulder?

Don’t miss the weekend of Sept. 19-21 . . . you'll hear inspiring speakers, experience diverse workshops, entertaining singing groups and enjoy an opportunity for intergenerational exchange with area college and high school students, as well as networking with other PFLAG'ers from 7 states. The Early Bird rate of $100 for adults and $90 for students and seniors will increase by $10 on August 1. Register now!

Friday evening’s program at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Boulder will feature Mosaic, the musical youth ensemble from Rainbow Alley, an open mic time to hear what young LGBT’s would like us to know, and speeches by Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of National PFLAG, and Mara Kiesling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Mara has been at the forefront of lobbying on Capitol Hill for transgender inclusion in Employment Nondiscrimination legislation. She organized the array of witnesses to testify this summer at the ground-breaking Congressional Hearing, An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace. A reception will follow in the church parlor.

Saturday’s program will begin after breakfast with an intergenerational panel discussing LGBT Issues Then and Now.

Some 21 workshop presentations will follow during three time slots before and after lunch. By 4 p.m. you can enjoy “A Rainbow Montage” of artistic talent before our buffet dinner. The evening will include a celebration with OutLoud, the men’s chorus from Colorado Springs will sing. In addition, Judy Shepard from the Matthew Shepard Foundation will introduce a new outreach program for at-risk LGBTQ youth, and Jean Dubofsky will receive the first Mountain West Regional Straight for Equality Award for her part in the successful defeat of Amendment 2 before the Supreme Court in 1996. Some joyful singing by Somethin’ About Lulu will cap the evening.

Sunday morning’s program will move to Room 235 in the UMC at the University of Colorado. The speaker will be Dr. Miguel de la Torre, Professor of Ethics at Iliff Seminary, who will talk about his own conversion from being an anti-gay Southern Baptist to becoming an ally. The focus on “what one person can do” will lead to small group discussion of action plans and networking for the future. Brunch is included as part of this full morning.

Registration forms are available online here. And, if you would like to earn part or all of your registration fee, contact Darin Newbold at darin.newbold@colorado.edu.

Help is needed with set-up and clean-up for three Saturday meals and the Friday reception; someone to head up a small Exhibit space; and several people with cars to offer transportation from motels. Spare rooms offered for out-of-towners are also needed. If you can’t go, but would like to sponsor a youth, donations are welcome. For more information on the conference, contact JeanInBldr@comcast.net.

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