The Creating Change conference opens at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel tomorrow. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force staff has been in Dallas, some since last week. Attendees began arriving last night.
Earlier today I walked into an informal planning meeting being held outside one of the conference rooms at the hotel.
Jorge Taveras does E-blasts and Web work for NGLTF. He said, “I love it here already. The food’s amazing!”
Inga Sarda-Sorensen is director of communications for the Task Force.
“Lots of hospitality — just as we expected,” she said.
Sue Hyde said registrations are running well ahead of expectations. The conference contracted for 2,300 room-nights with the hotel. More than 3,000 room-nights are reserved.
With hundreds of workshops and speakers scheduled over the next few days, I asked Hyde what some of the highlights will be.
“Everyone’s excited that Dan Choi is coming,” she said.
Choi will be speaking on Friday. He has been in the news because, after fighting in Iraq, he is being discharged from the military under don’t ask, don’t tell. His appearance is particularly timely because of the congressional hearing today on the discriminatory policy.
Hyde also mentioned a plenary session on Saturday moderated by writer Kai Wright. Cynthia Ruiz and Jesus Montelongo from Youth First Texas and Juan Gabriel Padilla from Out Youth Austin will be on the panel with four other youth from across the country.
On Thursday, an alternative prayer breakfast will be held at the same time as the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The event in D.C. is tainted, this year, by the appearance of the American “ministers” who proposed the LGBT genocide law in Uganda.
Sunday’s closing ceremony includes a performance by Dallas PUMP! Sheriff Lupe Valdez will speak and awards will be presented, including one to Dallas Voice columnist Hardy Haberman.
The day rate to attend the conference is $75 per day. Registration for the full weekend begins tonight. For those who could not afford the full registration price, 235 scholarships were awarded.
Stay tuned to Instant Tea and Dallas Voice for updates on the conference.