Starting Date: 02-18-2005
Ending Date: 02-20-2005
University Of California
United StatesConference Mission
The mission of the Western Regional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Allies (LGBTQIA) College Conference is to empower students, staff, and faculty to create campus environments that welcome and value LGBTQIA people. The conference will include speakers, workshops, and entertainment that address issues from colleges and universities in the western region. We strive to examine our practices and planning through a social justice lens. We are committed to creating a conference that addresses issues of homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, biphobia, gender oppression, racism, sexism, ableism, classism, religious oppression, and all other forms of oppression.
2005 Conference Visions
THE WESTERN REGIONAL LGBTQIA COLLEGE CONFERENCE 2005
“Putting the Puzzle Together: Connecting Communities & Identities”
As we embark on a new adventure of creating a collaborative approach to conference planning, it is crucial that we all are looking toward the same vision. This document is one component to communicate across campuses and across states to define the direction we intend to go. Based on preliminary feedback from the 2004 UCLGBTIA conference and discussions held at the 2005 host campus, University of California, Davis, I have compiled our collective ideas.
The vision of the 2005 Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference is based on discussions among those in the LGBTQIA community at the University of California, Davis and was sent to the other campuses involved in the planning including: all University of California schools, Stanford University, Sacramento State University, San Jose State University, Arizona State University, Washington State University, St. Mary's College of California, Weber State University (Utah) and to the University of California Student Association. Any feedback received was incorporated into this final document.
Unity With Theme
A theme is developed to provide a framework for a conference that could address an endless amount of topics and ideas. Careful consideration was given to the title and theme of the 2005 conference. We will strive to weave this theme throughout the entire conference through our workshops, keynote speakers, and entertainment. We acknowledge that there may be various components of the conference that do not directly relate to the theme but are important and should be incorporated.
The first draft of the theme was developed at our March 15, 2004 meeting. It was “Putting the Puzzle Together: Embracing Culture & Sexuality.” It was adjusted to “Putting the Puzzle Together: Connecting Communities & Sexuality” at our April 26, 2004 meeting. The final theme approved at the May 8, 2004 planning meeting is “Putting the Puzzle Together: Connecting Communities & Idenities." It is designed to bring our individual identities together within ourselves and collectively to celebrate our uniqueness.
Workshop Track System
A common observation at past conferences was the difficulty in providing workshops to a community that ranges in development stages/levels of “outness” and interest areas. To assist in creating a conference that meets such a large range of needs, we plan to implement a track system of workshops. Although, some participants may find workshops that interest them offered at the same time, we hope to have tracks that would generally attract different types of participants.
A valuable component of this conference continues to be networking opportunities among participants. We would like to provide space and encourage participants to engage in idea sharing with members of other schools to strengthen our collective efforts.
Due to the often invisibility of an outwardly unidentifiable community, we must continue to have a visible presence on our campuses and in our communities. This conference is an opportunity to create visibility on the host campus, UCD. We hope to maximize this opportunity.
ISSUES & THEMES
Racism & Activism
A web-based survey was administered by UC Davis to evaluate topics that the community was interested in addressing at next year’s conference. 166 people responded to the survey. Respondents could choose one of the listed categories or “other” with the opportunity to type in additional topics. Racism & activism were the top two marked as the topics respondents were most interested in seeing addressed at the conference in 2005. The vision for the 2005 Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference, and hopefully beyond, is to have a strong representation of queers of color. This includes having speakers of color and/or who speak about issues that affect queers of color, which in turn affect our entire community.
Sexism was also a top rated category on the web-based survey, coming in at 4th place after commercialization. Our content and approach to planning and implementing the conference will include women’s voices and issues.
Multicultural Issues & Multiple Oppression
We would like to acknowledge and address the distinctions between the many issues queers of color experience that are different from white people. Discussion and examination of white privilege and the necessity to address issues of oppression in our own LGBTQIA community is crucial to building a solid and effective social justice movement. We want to strive to continue to make this conference a place that celebrates and values difference.
Transgender & GenderQueer
Transgender and gender queer issues are often lumped into the list of letters without addressing specific issues that affect transgender people. Breaking out of binary thinking is not only a challenge for society as a whole, but often within our own community. The 2005 conference strives to raise awareness and create a safe and empowering space for Transgender identified and gender queer attendees.
We would like to increase representations of Intersex people and their concerns. This is an identity that many have little knowledge or experience. Through this conference, we hope to provide information and resources by, for, and about Intersex issues.
The bisexual community and bisexual issues are often mentioned as part of the LGBTQIA spectrum, without thought to the unique voices and needs of the bisexual community. Bisexual voices challenge the binary system that often makes bisexual people invisible within sexual minority communities and to society at large. The 2005 conference will address the biphobia within the LGBTQIA community and in wider society by raising awareness of bisexual issues and creating a safe and empowering space for bisexual people and their allies.
Ableism is still thriving within the LGBTQIA community. We often do not take into consideration accommodations and/or needs of those who are disabled. We would like to keep the physical accessibility issues, as well as invisible disabilities, in the forefront of our minds while planning and implementing the conference. Likewise, we feel the conference content should include space and discussion time to talk about issues that disabled queers face.
As we literally and figuratively come together to plan the 2005 Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference, we strive to examine our practices and planning through a social justice lens. This includes providing safe spaces, critical thinking, challenging workshops, and open mindedness to consider new ideas.
Geographical Scope: Regional