Non-denominational faith conference slated

Empowerment and healing key objectives

by Lainey Millen  Special Assignments  specialassignments@goqnotes.com
Published: February 18, 2012 in News

DURHAM, N.C. — The 4th Annual We Are 1 Conference 2012 has been scheduled for April 18-21 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center, 4700 Emperor Blvd.

Pricilla Coleman and Annie Ross

The event is hosted by Infinity Diamond Club’s Pricilla Coleman and Annie Ross.

The conference is comprised of a women’s and men’s event, along with a health expo, interfaith work, entertainment and others.

The men’s conference will be held from April 19-21. Featured speaker for the men’s program is Ra’Shawn Barlow-Flournoy who founded the Freedom Community Center.

The women’s conference will be held from April 18-21. Featured presenter for the women’s program is Ubaka Hill, a songwriter, composer, motivational speaker and hand drummer.

This interfaith event will focus on five life principles which will be interwoven throughout: stillness (prayer/meditation); forgiveness (fire); purification (water); grace (wind); and service (earth). Presenters will be Rabbi Raachel Jarvouis, Ruth King, Yaniyah Pearson, Kathleen Hannan and Toddie Stewart. The goal of this is to show similarities rather than differences.

Infinity Diamond began in 2007 and has worked to bring the conference to the community. Coleman is the founder, with Ross as co-founder. They have been partners for 16 years. They said that 90 percent of those they serve come from the LGBT community and membership comes from across the country.

The event is open “all people, regardless of their race, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic background or religious affiliation.” Speakers and professionals engaged in the conference work extensively within the LGBT community. One component that follows through the event is breaking down the divide between straight and LGBT communities.

Their motto for the women’s conference is “When you Heal, I Heal, When you get Better, I get Better, When you Succeed, I Succeed ~ We Are 1.” It is their hope that everyone who attends leaves the conference renewed, with “dreams and visions for the future taken back through a life-changing experience.” Ross and Coleman expressed that there is a need for healing in the community, as well as empowerment. It is a “rainbow of people, who embrace diversity.” They encourage everyone who participates to “get what you need” and “get connected.”

Hill brings her drumming to the conference on April 19 for a performance at 6:45 p.m.

Bishop Yvette Flunder will present a Master Class on April 20. She founded the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco, Calif.

Enjoy “One Family’s AIDS” on April 20 at 9:30 p.m. This humorous play was written by activist and writer J’son M. Lee. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina.

Teresa Trull will perform on April 20 at 10 p.m. Trull is no stranger to North Carolina. This Durham native has been engaged in songwriting and blues/rock-style music and has performed with legendary lesbian artist Cris Williamson, as well as Joan Baez, David Sanborn, and others. This “Celebration of the Arts” will also be filled with singing, spoken word and dance. Non-conference attendees can purchase tickets for $20 at weare1specialevents.eventbrite.com.

The conference will be engaged in a social action initiative to provide 100 new, empty backpacks to Haven House for homeless youth through the group’s street outreach program. The packs should be brought to the conference.

Products and services will be on hand at the vendor area on April 18-19.

We Are 1 will also bring its health expo to attendees on April 21 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. This health and wellness fair will focus on preventative healthcare, health care providers, health screenings, fitness and nutrition, organic and healthy products. A grand prize giveaway, along with a scavenger hunt, games and prizes, will be available.

Conference sponsors and volunteers are welcome. Contact the promoters for details.

Registration is $229 and payable by March 17. Seniors who are 62-years-old and above may register for $149 until April 18. Included are a welcome package, Hawaiian luau reception dance, entertainment, breakfast rally with prizes and giveaways, women’s moonlight rite of passage ceremony, Emerald City masquerade ball (with dinner and dancing), access to speaks and performances, workshops, health expo, community outreach and more.

Hotel reservations can be made through the Sheraton Imperial by calling 919-941-5050. Deadline is March 19.

For a full list of programs, schedules, speakers and bios and more information, email infinitydiamondclub@yahoo.com, weare1organization@gmail.com or visit weare1conference.com. : :