National gay-rights conference coming to Dallas in 2010

Posted on 26 Feb 2009 at 6:02pm
By Tammye Nash Senior Editor

First meeting to plan for NGLTF’s ‘Creating Change’ set for March 9

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change is coming back to Dallas in 2010, and NGLTF leaders will be in town March 9 for the first of what is sure to be numerous planning sessions.

Sue Hyde, Creating Change director, and Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of external relations, will attend the community information meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Resource Center of Dallas, Hyde said this week.

"We have a few different goals set for this meeting," Hyde said in a telephone interview this week. "The first of those is that Russell and I want to meet people from the Dallas-Fort Worth LGBT community and its organizations. Second, we want to tell people about this very important event that is coming to Dallas."

Hyde said that Creating Change is "an extremely unique event in the LGBT movement nationally; it is the only national annual gathering of its kind. It is a skills-building, strategy-creating leadership conference. We like to call it a one-stop shop for LGBT and allied activists."

The conference was first held in Washington, D.C., in 1988. It was last held in Dallas in 1994 at what was then the Southland Center Hotel. Next year’s conference will be held Feb. 3-7 at that same building, now known as the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

Hyde said nearly 2,000 people attended the 2009 conference, held Jan. 28-Feb. 1 in Denver.

Hyde said conference attendees next year in Dallas will be able to choose from about 180 different workshops and training sessions over the course of the five-day conference. There will also be about four plenary sessions featuring well-known keynote speakers and a variety of "social gatherings and fun events," she said.

"There is always a lot of good work, lots of teaching and learning and training in fundamental skills to build the strength of our movement, and it’s always a lot of fun," Hyde said. "We are aiming to have the big keynote speakers lined up by summer time. In fact, we will be listening carefully at the March 9 meeting to hear what our colleagues and friends from the Dallas-Fort Worth area think about who would be good keynote speakers, about who are the people we should include from Dallas and Texas and the whole country."

Another primary goal for the March 9 meeting, Hyde said, is to begin the process of forming a D-FW host committee for next year’s conference. She said she is looking for between 40 and 75 people from all segments of the LGBT community who have "the skills and expertise to help with local promotion and outreach and volunteer recruitment."

The host committee will also raise money for a fund to help pay registration fees and other costs for activists who could not otherwise afford to attend, she added.

The host committee will also organize religious services, hospitality suites and more.

Hyde said the host committee typically has four co-chairs, and she hopes to get nominations for co-chairs at the March 9 meeting.
But the March 9 meeting is for everyone who is interested in learning more about the Creating Change conference and everyone who has information and ideas to share as the planning process gets underway.

Hyde said, "We want everyone with any interest at all to be there."

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 27, 2009.

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