From June 22 to June 25, I attended my first Summer Meeting by the Equality Federation, an organization that partners with state-based LGBT advocacy organizations. Over 190 advocates from several statewide groups came together to share their victories and defeats, present on their experiences and to help their organization grow.
During the first day of Summer Meeting, each state shared a snippet of the wins that they saw within a 140 character tweet in the conference’s welcoming circle.
Though a pattern exists from tweet-to-tweet, celebrating the victories of marriage equality, another theme commonly addressed is the work that must continue, as we continue to gain energy from the marriage equality momentum. Following our journey from state-to-state, organization-to-organization about shared victories in the past year, we quickly switched gears into the work that must continue to be addressed not only in each of our states but also across the nation.
Four days of workshops consisted of topics we have been discussing internally within our organizations, but also, additional, intentional topics we must start or continue to talk about amongst our staff, board and constituents. As we continue our work within nondiscrimination protections and LGBT health equity, we were able to attend workshops on additional strategies we can take to strengthen the importance of this policy change even further.
Though we have worked strongly within policy change and educational campaigns, we further strategized about internal, organizational development through representing the gender nonbinary movement and racial justice into our work more strongly. Many of the workshops that stood out included embracing intersections within religious exemptions, voting rights, respecting women and racial justice, as well as how to take positive steps towards becoming a multicultural and anti-racist organization.
These workshops, panels and group discussions gave both myself and the other organizations present necessary reminders that our movement is, and needs to continue to be, encompassing of all intersectional identities. Following Summer Meeting, I bring back with myself and to PROMO an abundance of resources to strengthen the work we are doing in the legislature, in businesses and in hospitals, as well as build our intersectional work. I also have in the back of my mind shared experiences from our allies across the nation, as well as renewed energy and momentum as we continue the movement for equality.