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Thursday January 16, 2020 9:00-6:00PM

New this year:

Disability Justice Institute

There is no line between disabled activists and queer activists; we exist in both worlds. Ableism and inaccessibility keep disabled queer people out of organizing and out of queer spaces in general. Disabled queer people have led movements only to be left to the side when we’re inconvenient. Abled allies should attend to gain a better understanding of ableism in our community and how to make queer spaces accessible and welcoming. Disabled folks should attend to both commiserate and learn about experiences different from their own. Above all else, it is for disabled queer folks to tell their stories and engage with one another.

Ending Mass Incarceration 

Our institute will focus on the issues impacting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender nonconforming/nonbinary, queer community in the criminal punishment system and serves as a space to educate and engage the broader community on the issues that LGBTQ people face in the criminal punishment system, build a collective strategy to foster systemic change, and build a stronger community in solidarity with one goal of ending mass incarceration on the national and local level. Our institute will provide many opportunities to uplift, capacity building and leadership development for the empowerment of formerly incarcerated people.

Mirror Memoirs: LGBTQI+ Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Ending Rape Culture

Mirror Memoirs is a national project transforming the stories of LGBTQI+ Black and Indigenous people and other people of color (BIPOC) who survived child sexual abuse into tools for political education and cultural change, in service of ending rape culture. Our programs center the healing and leadership of queer, trans, non-binary and/or intersex BIPOC child sexual abuse survivors, while building bridges with white, heterosexual and/or cisgender survivors, and with our allies at large. We know the work to end child sexual abuse is intergenerational and intersectional, and that it begins with our own healing and wellness. This day-long institute is open to LGBTQI+ people of ANY race or ethnicity who survived sexual violence before the age of 18, and will include caucuses for white survivors and BIPOC survivors to convene separately and together to: become more embodied and connected, grapple with the enormity of rape culture and its connection to other forms of oppression, and strategize about ways we can end this violence.

Co-Facilitators: Jaden Fields, Alexandra Magallon, Amita Swadhin

Raising Hell & Raising Our Voices: Youth Activism & Mobilizing

Young people are demanding change – conducting walk-outs, meeting with community and university leaders, and speaking out about LGBTQ health and rights, but we know demands are nothing without a plan and concrete tools to lead successful campaigns. This institute is designed to support young people interested in LGBTQ activism and organizing for change. In addition to Advocates for Youth staff, youth activists on the ground will share tips for participants to walk away with tools to develop a strategy, build collective power, and use that power to create meaningful, lasting change in both in-person and digital spaces.

Leading in Complex Situations

The workplace, community, city, state or province, country, and global needs are served by the synergy of individuals focusing attention on how we as a group, not a series of individuals, come together to address concerns. We may bring our competence, our research, our theories, and our experience to the table, and we also need to bring our ability to work together.

This workshop focuses on how small teams of people can work together to accomplish a specific goal. Its structure sets up tension between a larger group goal and the small-team goal and requires participants to actively decide which they will support. It requires participants to employ communication skills, self awareness, resilience, and mutual commitment to group with individual awareness individual, to succeed.

The activity’s structure mimics our lives – the outcome is uncertain; the goal seems clear but becomes ambiguous; competing priorities exist; and individuals with different styles and norms must quickly determine the most effective way to operate as a team.

Serving all: Creating Engaging and Inclusive Youth Programs

The intended audience for this institute is staff at LGBTQ+ organizations and other allied organizations who work primarily with youth ages 11-24. Many of us are grappling with how to decenter whiteness and other dominant systems in order to build and maintain programs that are for youth from all races/ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, ability levels, and life circumstances. Our intention is to provide an opportunity for us, as professionals, to collaboratively work together to identify and share strategies in this work. We will recognize our expertise in our own communities as we discuss and brainstorm ways to address intersecting oppressions of racism, classism, and ableism, and make our spaces as inclusive, supportive, and accessible as possible. It is our intention, that when inevitable obstacles arise in our separate centers, participants will lean on and receive feedback from the relationships and connections made in this institute.

Queering Reproductive Justice

The Queering Reproductive Justice Institute will provide insight on why it is so important for the larger reproductive justice movement to include the LGBTQ community in their advocacy & vice versa. Using the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Queering Reproductive Justice Toolkit- which is a first of its kind intersectional LGBTQ Repro* toolkit for advocates- as a guide, this workshop emphasizes that we will only win battles for both LGBTQ liberation and reproductive justice when we work together and learn from each other. At the end of the day there is only one progressive movement and all should be welcome to join.

This institute will be organized through an LGBTQ liberationist and reproductive justice framework because both movements were born out of the desire to live, love, and build families of our choosing–when and how we decide.

Returning favorites:

LGBTQ+ Campus Resource Professionals Institute

The Institute, organized by the Consortium of Higher Education Resource Professionals (the Consortium), provides professional development, skill building, networking for those who have professional roles supporting LGBTQQIA+ people on college and university campuses. The Institute, intersectional in nature, is grounded in racial & social justice principles and focuses on access, inclusion, equity, and liberation for LGBTQQIAA+ students and employees in higher education. This session is designed for those who engage in, or plan to engage in, LGBTQQIAA+ work on college campuses. The Institute is for Consortium members with limited space for nonmembers who are interested. To learn more about the Consortium, please visit our website at

#StopPoliceViolence– Which Side Are You On?

#StopPoliceViolence– Which Side Are You On? holds space for participants to build concrete skills to combat the continued criminalization of the LGBTQ+ community. Participants will leave the session with a deeper understanding of the intersections of criminalization, anti-blackness, colonialism and imperialism, connections to organizers who are leading the work, and an opportunity to explore how to put theory into practice in their own communities. 

Allyship Institute

Being an ally is an ongoing commitment to being an effective activist. The Allyship Institute is a brace space for those interested in exploring the relationship between sex, gender, orientation, and identity. This institute will provide a foundation for LGBTQIA+ communities and allies alike, regardless of former training and experience. 

Empowering Digital Efficiency through Strategy and Skills Development

The audience will receive information about the latest digital tools and online advocacy strategies that they can incorporate into their work, how to find social media tools that are appropriate for their budget, how to stay on top of the latest new media trends, and how to successfully implement them at their organization.

Trans Institute

This will be a space for local and national leaders to build trans power and create a space and scope of work that transgender, gender nonconforming and nonbinary leaders can take back to their local communities to build the leadership of trans people to ensure we have access to jobs, housing, education and employment and tools to respond to anti-trans policy, legislation, criminalization and incarceration.

Unión=Fuerza Latinx Institute

Join us for Unión=Fuerza Latinx Institute, an annual national gathering of Latinx LGBTQ people, allies, and organizations working towards our collective liberation in the US and the advancement of LGBTQ Latinx power and activism. Unión ‘Equals’ Fuerza is dedicated to ending LGBTQ prejudice, increasing understanding about sexual and gender diversity in Latinx communities, and improving the quality of life for LGBTQ Latinxs and our families. This bilingual day-long event is part training, part strategy session, part network building, and part PARTY! Unión=Fuerza is a celebration of our rich cultural traditions, which also will provoke conversations on issues critical to our communities and emerging, innovative policy discussions. Attendees include community advocates, leaders, students, academics, government officials, artists, and more! This will be our sixth Institute gathering participants from around the US. For more information, visit:

Crisis & Resilience: Strategies for International LGBTQ Soliarity

The global export of homophobia, sexism and transphobia from the US religious and political right places LGBTQ people, their families and allies around the world in harm’s way. The historic and current waves of neo-colonialism, white supremacy, Christian exceptionalism and religious liberty being used to sanction discrimination result in challenges to human dignity and equal rights for LGBTQ people and their families, threats to women’s reproductive rights and health, and HIV-AIDS prevention and care. In the midst of this global crisis, international LGBTQ and ally activists are doing extraordinary resistance work; operating from their own agency and creative leadership; and demonstrating inspiring resilience.

At a time when the US pulls out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, removes protections for transgender students and fails to uphold human rights; while the religious right is emboldened, the work for US-based activists in international solidarity is even more important. Equality and justice work is intersectional and we exist in a web of mutuality. Learning about these opposing forces informs and empowers an activist’s knowledge and toolkit for their work in their context. Moreover, learning about the international LGBTQ landscape offers activists the global context of our work and therefore, activists can become aware of opportunities for  international solidarity. 

Executive Director/CEO Institute Thriving While Resisting and Preparing: Strengthening Our Leadership Skills

This institute is for LGBTQ Executive Directors/CEO’s and is intended to provide support and skills building in the areas most important for leading a nonprofit organization.

QTAPI Institute

An individual looking to build with QTAPI community would come to this institute. An intersection that is very rarely supported and talked about in Queer Spaces. They would come to feel accepted, seen and held by the distinct cultures in the room.

Queering Faith: Making our Moral Majority Visible

Now more than any other time in our history, most people of faith in the United States support LGBTQ rights and justice. Yet, the LGBTQ faith movement still frames our perspective as the minority view. Join us for an uplifting day long institute focused on how to make our presence felt in our communities, to lawmakers, and to the media. We can sharpen our tools and build our confidence so that we can be more effective against the opponents of equity.

(Un)Divided: Building Cross-generational Connections That Sustain Us All As We Age

Cross-generational programming with diverse elders, adults, and youth helps reduce alienation, stereotypes and ageism, increases awareness of civil rights and LGBT history, and creates empathy and understanding across generations. However, the opportunity for younger and older LGBT people to interact has been historically limited.

The benefits of crossgenerational programming are immense, but how do we get people from diverse backgrounds, with vastly different motivations, involved and active? With an aim to create empathy and understanding between LGBT people of all ages, we’ll delve into the challenges and rewards of breaking down the barriers between ages.

Through interactive group workshops, storytelling and panels—audience members and presenters will share strategies for success, program designs, best practices, and ethical considerations. As we build connections among LGBT people of all ages, we strengthen our community ties, learn more about how we can care for each other, and forge new traditions.

Beyond Getting Bi: Building a Formidable Bi+ (plus) Movement

The purpose of this coming year’s Bi+ Institute would specifically be to galvanize, empower, and strengthen the bi+ activist movement, through education, unlearning, and sharing of tactics and needs, failures and successes. This is something we’ve never focused on before, but we believe it’s highly needed and past time. This space would primarily be for bi+ folk from various organizing backgrounds, though others are certainly welcome to attend in an accomplice capacity. People would be eager to attend in order to: learn from and share with one another (not just us facilitators), find the support they need to take back to their respective communities, and perhaps jumpstart a much needed Bi+ cultural moment beyond our own spaces.

Desire Mapping Institute

What a year for sex and pleasure! Drag, Dyke and Reclaim Pride marches filled the streets at the 50-year anniversary of Stonewall. adrienne maree brown’s Pleasure Activism hit the NYTimes Bestseller list! And Desire Mapping hit the road, traveling to Minnesota, Seattle, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa and Cyprus, stirring up stories of yearning, ecstatic sex, spiritual sex, clandestine sex, kinky sex, romantic sex – all the queer, queer sex we could find across language, geography, culture, ability, and gender.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Desire Mapping Institute at Creating Change. We come together in this transformative space to claim ourselves, and to assert the critical, movement-building and life-affirming truth that Desire Matters.

As writer, activist and Black feminist trailblazer Audre Lorde wrote famously — the erotic is power! Pursuing pleasure isn’t a superficial “aside” in our movement. In fact, the more we uncover and celebrate our desires in just community, the more our vision for a vibrant, transformed world grows.

The Black Institute: Advancing an Intersectional Justice Agenda

The 2020 Black Institute will equip attendees with tools to advocate for policy changes that improve the lives of Black LGBTQ/SGL people. Best practices for advocacy and engagement with elected officials, and their staff, at every level will be shared with the goal of advancing an intersectional social justice policy agenda. The 2020 Black Institute is designed to provide a space for those interested in or who understand the importance of policy and politics to strategize for 2020 and beyond.  

Reaching those most vulnerable for HIV: How successful community partnerships make space for emerging leaders

Through grantmaking, public policy, capacity-building, and leadership development, AIDS United has a proven history of mobilization efforts and leadership development. Through our various grantmaking portfolios such as the Fund for Resilience, Equity, and Engagement (FREE), People Organizing Positively (POP), the Southern HIV Impact Fund (Southern Fund) and the Transgender Leadership Initiative (TLI), AIDS United has extensive reach into diverse communities. AIDS United continues to fund and support innovative community approaches to leadership among gay/same gender loving men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), queer, and transgender people of color who are all living with HIV and working with communities affected by HIV with the intention of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.

This day-long institute will provide examples of best practices from leaders who work directly in some of the most vulnerable communities. Participants will have the opportunity to dialog with experts doing the work directly in the communities who experience the greatest need.

Participants will learn about the history of meaningful involvement of people living with HIV, methods of knowledge exchange from mentors in the movement, and examples of meaningful leadership development of Queer, Trans, and African American PLHIV.

White People’s Anti-Racism Institute: De-Centering Whiteness

How is whiteness centered in your organization, university or place of worship? Where do white cultural norms and values show up as implicit assumptions in your work culture? How do these norms and values impact the overall atmosphere, and how does class come into the mix? How can we do better in our spaces and places at de-centering these norms and creating a more inclusive, welcoming and engaging space for all? This day long institute will explore what de-centering whiteness means in our work. From decisions about program, staffing, funding and evaluation how can we de-center whiteness? What does this mean and what is our responsibility as white people? Please join us for a day long investigation into whiteness, defining white cultural norms, exploring the role of white people in de-centering whiteness and better understanding how to equip ourselves for this process.


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