Creating Change


Plenary Emcee

Kate Clinton, a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist, maxes out on multiple formats. Kate penned three books, has nine CDs and three DVDs, and is a columnist; film and stage actress, TV commentator and blogger, vlogger and tweeter til the cows come home. In her 30-year career, Kate has lived and laughed through economic booms and busts, Disneyfication and Walmartization, gay movements and gay markets, lesbian chic and queer eyes, and eight presidential inaugurals. We crown Kate the movement's funniest and smartest comic. This year she celebrates her 32nd year of performing. For more information go to: www.

Opening Keynote Speaker, Thursday, Feb. 5, 8:00 pm
Ferguson On Our Minds: Rinku Sen and Rashad Robinson

A dialogue about Ferguson, police violence, state control, and the racist criminal legal system. Given the vibrant movement inspired by Michael Brown's police killing in Ferguson, what is the movement's trajectory in regards progress on systemic transformations? How can we work towards a day when police killings of young men of color are history, not their futures?

Rinku Sen, is the President and Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and the Publisher of the award-winning news site Colorlines. A visionary and a pragmatist, Sen is one of the leading voices in the racial justice movement, building upon the legacy of civil rights by transforming the way we talk about race, from something that is individual, intentional, and overt to something that is systemic, unconscious, and hidden. Sen's cutting edge book Stir it Up, read widely by community organizers and taught on campuses across the country, theorized a model of community organizing that integrate a political analysis of gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other issues. Sen received a B.A. in Women's Studies from Brown University and an M.S. in Journalism at Columbia University. A native of India, Rinku grew up in the northeastern factory towns, and learned to speak English in a two-room schoolhouse.

Rashad Robinson, serves as Executive Director of ColorOfChange, the nation's largest online civil rights organization. Under Robinson's leadership, ColorOfChange has been at the forefront of issues ranging from fighting for justice for Michael Brown and other young Black men killed by police and vigilantes, to battling attempts to suppress the Black vote, to ending Pat Buchanan's tenure as an MSNBC analyst. After ColorOfChange exposed American Legislative Council's (ALEC) involvement in passing discriminatory voter ID and harmful Shoot First laws, over 50 corporate funders ended their financial support of ALEC. Robinson has appeared in hundreds of news stories, interviews, and political discussions through outlets including ABC, BET, CNN, MSNBC, OWN, the New York Times, Fast Company and NPR. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, Newsday and Huffington Post. For the past four years, Washington Post's "The Root" named Robinson to "The Root 100," a list of influential African Americans under 45-years old. He previously held leadership roles at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Right to Vote Campaign and FairVote.

The State of the Movement, Friday, Feb. 6, 1:30 pm

Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement. Carey, who came to the Task Force in 2004 as deputy executive director, has served as executive director since 2008. Through her leadership, she has advanced a vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive. During Carey's tenure, the Task Force was a key player in passage of the LGBT-inclusive federal hate crimes prevention law; the defeat of multiple anti-LGBT ballot measures across the country; the creation and implementation of the New Beginning Initiative coalition, which secures federal administrative policy changes to improve the lives of LGBT people and their families; and the release of the largest-ever study on transgender discrimination in the U.S. Under her guidance, the Task Force has also launched an Online Academy bolstering grassroots power by creating electronic access to Task Force training programs; expanded its faith work through the Institute for Welcoming Resources, increasing the number of welcoming and affirming congregations to well over 4,000; and played a vital role in getting the U.S. Census Bureau to report married same-sex couples in the 2010 census. Carey serves on the advisory board of the LGBTQ Policy Journal of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Follow her on Twitter @rea_carey.

Keynote/Plenary Panel, Saturday, Feb. 7, 1:30 pm
Mobilize for Reproductive Justice!

Reproductive Justice encompasses reproductive health and rights: having the children we want, raising the children we have, and planning families through safe, legal access to abortion and contraception. Reproductive justice also articulates the right to express freely our sexuality and gender. All of us need the economic, social, and political power to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality, and reproduction. LGBTQ aspirations of freedom and integrity put us squarely in the Reproductive Justice frame. So let's get mobilized.

Kierra Johnson,
Executive Director
Jessica González-Rojas
Executive Director
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Kris Hayashi
Deputy Director
Transgender Law Center
Stacey Long Simmons, Esq.
Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs
National LGBTQ Task Force

Closing Plenary Brunch and performance by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble Sunday, February 8, 11:30 am

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble is internationally esteemed as one of America's foremost modern dance companies. Under the direction of Cleo Parker Robinson, the Ensemble performs a dynamic body of works inspired by the African American experience and rooted in ethnic and modern dance traditions worldwide. Legendary and emerging artists alike are drawn by the spirit of the company to create works that transcend the boundaries of culture, class and age while unequivocally communicating the complexity of the human condition.