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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – More than 30 local people from Michigan attended this year’s Creating Change, a national conference of LGBT organizers and advocates, according to Triangle Foundation. The Michigan attendees were among 2,000 activists and allies at the Nov. 8-12 conference, which will take place in November of next year in Detroit.
“These are the people who truly create change across the country,” said Keith Orr, owner of aut BAR in Ann Arbor. “I think it will be a great chance for the Michigan LGBT community to organize together for an important objective. It can only help us as we organize for 2008 and beyond.”
Creating Change is the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s annual conference for activists to better learn to create change through education and inspriation. Michigan delegates took part in conference activities ranging from the pre-conference institutes on race to workshops on sexual freedom, empowering people of faith and other learning and networking opportunities, according to Triangle Foundation.
“It was really empowering to be with a lot of LGBT activists,” said Knoll Larkin, health services coordinator at Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Ferndale.
The focus of this year’s conference was racial justice, Larkin noted. Larkin along with Carrie Copeland, Volunteer and Leadership Development Coordinator at Affirmations, presented a caucus session on Understanding Transgender Identity. “Although a lot of the sessions really deal with issues in the trans community like trans folks in prisons … there weren’t a lot of sessions that address transgender basics,” Larkin said. Larkin believes it’s important to create change one step at a time.
“Not everyone is at the same level of understanding,” he said. Offering the basics allows others to be “better equipped to start making change and begin making conversation with other trans people in their area.”
For more information, visit www.creatingchange.org.