CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Community members will gather for the third in a series of community workshops and panels on Saturday, with an eye toward creating a “plan of action” to move Charlotte’s LGBT community forward.
The workshop will include several break-out and small groups.
“My greatest hope is that plans of action will emerge and persons will be passionately committed the seeing them through,” says co-organizer, the Rev. Malu Fairley. “Also that connections across constructed boundaries will be pushed against such that folks are truly working together — hearing and seeing each other — without fear or condescension. That’s the queer way — to dissolve constricting boundaries that deny us the chance to live as full human being in healthy relationships with ourselves, each other and whatever we hold as sacred/bigger than ourselves.”
The Saturday workshop is the third and final event organized by Fairley, who has moderated past discussions, and Joshua Burford. Two past events have included panel discussions touching on a wide diversity of community issues, needs and goals.
Fairley says the past conversations have been impactful.
“The discussions on the importance of inter-sectional work was a major part of both conversations,” Fairley says. “Within this I include the mentioning of who gets to sit at the table of community organizing and activism, addressing issues of privilege and access , how we set the agenda of what and whom is most important by not denying suffering and the ‘-isms’ that plague or community. Another important topic was the our work being led by the ethic of love —I add to that rather than power over and competition.”
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 10, 1-3 p.m., at the Levine Museum of the Modern South, 200 E. 7th St. It is free and open to all.
The series of community conversations was held in conjunction with the Levine Museum’s suite of LGBT history exhibits and as a part of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Multicultural Resource Center’s “North Carolina Activist Series.”
Past discussion panelists have included Mel Hartsell of PRISM, formerly of the LGBT Community Center, transgender advocate Paige Dula, Charlotte Business Guild board member James Rice III, Equality North Carolina’s Crystal Richardson and Time Out Youth’s Todd Rosendahl at the October panel, as well as November discussion panelists, including Campus Pride’s Rebby Kern, One Voice Chorus’ Liz Fitzgerald, attorney Sarah Demarest formerly of the Freedom Center for Social Justice’s LGBTQ Law Center, the Latin American Coalition’s Jaime Villegas and the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network’s Francisco White.
This writer was also a panelist at the November panel and will participate in small-group discussions at the Saturday workshop.