Workshops: Session 3


Beyond the Ballot Box: How to Win Votes Before You Have To
Presenter: Samantha Pajor
Facilitator: Betsy Johnson
624 S. Michigan, Room 1303
As we’ve seen most recently in California and Maine, it’s important to have more allies willing to vote for us on Election Day. The number of voters necessary for us to win (on whatever issue) may not be won over during the 2 or 3 months of a campaign, so before a ballot initiative becomes an issue in your state, come to learn and discuss ways we can win as many voters to our side as possible—before our rights are really on the line.

Organizing on College Campuses
Presenter: Colin Hammar
Facilitator: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
624 S. Michigan, Room 1304
Organizing on College Campuses will focus on the techniques and strategies for organizing a student movement on a university campus. The workshop will focus on forming a student group, finding resources, building allies, reaching out beyond campus borders, utilizing media and networking, and effecting change in a local community. The strategies will include tips for campuses of all sizes in both urban/rural and liberal/conservative environments. Student organizing offers both an effective tool for change and an opportunity to involve new people in a supportive and familiar environment.

Care and Feeding of Legislators
Presenter: Allie Carter, ACLU of Illinois
Facilitator: Lawrence Perea
624 S. Michigan, Room 1108
Learn how to communicate effectively with your elected officials, and win their support for LGBT causes. Allie Carter of the ACLU of Illinois will discuss effective lobbying strategies, how to maximize your impact and lead a mock lobbying simulation to help you practice effective techniques.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Presenter: Dan Choi
Facilitator: Lauren Fleer
600 S. Michigan, Ferguson Lecture Hall, 1st Floor
Lt. Dan Choi spent nine years in the United States military and was forced to stay in the closet under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. In March 2009, Choi outed himself on the Rachel Maddow Show and was subsequently discharged from the New York National Guard. He has since become the leading activist fighting to repeal DADT. His Courage Campaign has garnered 162,000 signatures, and he helped form Knights Out, an organization of West Point alumni who support the rights of LGBT soldiers to serve openly. Join us for Lt. Dan Choi’s timely workshop on this hot button issue.

Coming Out as Undocumented!
Presenter: Tania Unzueta
Facilitator: Rachael McIntosh
624 S. Michigan, Room 1306
On March 10th, 2010 youth participated in National Coming Out of the Shadows Day, by openly identifying as undocumented as a way to speak out for immigration reform and call for legalization of the undocumented. Using our personal stories as a public political tool is inspired by the strategies used by the LGBTQ community, but this is only one of the intersections of the immigrant and LGBTQ rights movement. Join us in a conversation with LGBTQ members of the Immigrant Youth Justice League about the intersections of sexuality and immigration status, the state of the immigrant rights movement, LGBTQ youth leadership, and the politics of coming out.

Bi/Pan/Fluid Roundtable
Moderator: Jay W.
Facilitator: Adriana Scherling
624 S. Michigan, Room 1305
A roundtable discussion on bi, pan and fluid sexualities and how they relate to the struggle for full federal equality. This conversation will be participant-driven. Discussion topics will include how bi/pan/fluid sexuality can be an asset in arguing for equal rights, bi/pan/fluid visibility and inclusion in the movement, and other topics proposed by those in attendance.

Successfully Taking on the Religious Right
Presenter: Andy Thayer
Facilitator: Judy Heithmar
624 S. Michigan, Room 1105
During the time of Anita Bryant, our movement, despite being much weaker financially and institutionally, successfully took on and defeated the Religious Right and its anti-gay Briggs Amendment. We not only won, but we destroyed Bryant’s career. On a smaller scale, we did the same thing with hate radio hostess Laura Schlessinger, at one time the nation’s #2-rated radio personality. Yet today, even when they are vastly out-spent in referenda, the Religious Right has defeated us repeatedly. But in some states such as Illinois, the Religious Right has gotten little traction with these referenda. What accounts for these different outcomes, and how can we use this information to win in the future?

Trans Survival: Initiating Activism on College Campuses
Presenter: Kimmins Southard
Facilitator: MJ Ruebensam
624 S. Michigan, Room 1107
Do you want your school environment to be more trans and queer inclusive? This interactive workshop will discuss the changes participants want to see at their schools, and will use the Trans Survival Guide, created by members of GenderBloc at the University of Cincinnati, as a prototype for initiating change.

The Case for Queer: How One Word Will Unite a Community
Presenter: Lindsey Dietzler
Facilitator: Kevin Connaghan
624 S. Michigan, Room 1301
This workshop will explore the etymology of the word “queer”, how it has been used to oppress queer people and how reappropriating it will unite the queer community. As the alphabet soup (LGBTQQIAA) continues to expand to become all inclusive, it inadvertently results in divisions in what should be a cohesive community, fighting for equality. The main focus of this conversation will weigh the pros and cons of adopting “queer” and dropping the alphabet soup once and for all. Once we are united under a banner that allows for all the LGBTQQIAA identities to flourish, transform and evolve as need be, we will be an unstoppable force in the pursuit of our equality.

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