Day 2 of Creating Change 2014 Houston Style was a busy one for me. We opened the suites and I was scheduled to supervise it today since Melissa had to work at her day job.
I was also invited to take part in thw National Black Justice Coalition's first ever at Creating Change Black Institute, and you know I wasn't missing the opportunity to be a prat of that event .
But what that set up for me was running back and forth from the fourth floor ballroom where the institute was being held to our Racial Diversity Suite on the 11th floor.
The Institute started at 9:15 AM after welcoming remarks from Task Force Deputy Director Darlene Nipper, NBJC ED/ECO Sharon Lettman-Hicks and the new man on the NBJC team in Venton Jones, their Events and Operations Manager. before they turned over the facilitation to Je-Shawna Wholley
After the screening of the film The Shadow Behind The Rainbow, we moved into the initial panel of the day I was on, entitled The Call of the Griot. I was joined by Cleo Managao, Curtis Lipscomb, Dr. Kofi Adoma to discuss where we'd been as Black LGBT people and talk about intergenerational influences on the movement.
My mentor Mandy Carter was scheduled to participate in this panel, but the ATL weather related air traffic snarls delayed her arrival into Houston until later in the afternoon (darn it0
When it was over I had to bounce to check on my suite (in room 11029 for you #cc14 attendees reading this post), and when I arrived it was packed for the lunch rush. I did get the opportunity to talk to many of our young attendees during the lunch break.
As I stepped out of the Ballroom H door enroute to the suite I had Charlene Carruthers and several people stop and congratulate me for an award nomination. I was puzzled until I was subsequently told TransGriot was nominated for a 2014 GLAAD Media Award. for Outstanding Blog. Is there a trip to Los Angeles or New York in my future? We'll see because my esteemed competition in this category is pretty stiff.
After making sure everything was copacetic in the suite, I returned to Ballroom H for the Young Gifted Black and Queer Panel moderated by Je-Shawna and having as panelists Charlene Carruthers, Van Bailey Venton Jones and Samantha Master.
Samantha had another surprise for me in an Asus laptop. I've needed one for a while and this will do nicely to learn the nuances of laptop computing on. I got to enjoy their panel and at the close of I spotted Louis Mitchell, Mandy Carter, Kimberley McLeod and Aisha Moodie-Mills entering the room a few minutes apart..
After she finished her chat with Sharon, I took a few moments to hug her and find out if Danielle was here (she is) before she had to moderate the third panel of the day entitled Double Jeopardy:: When The Struggle Overlaps. It was a panel with Stacey Long, Holiday Simmons, Sheila Isong, and Dr. Imani Woody that looked at the political implications of being Black and gay.
When it was over and the assembled peeps were in another breakout session, I once again had to leave to check on my suite. A shift change had happened while I was gone, it needed a little TLC and it was also busy.
We were shutting down early tonight because we wanted everyone to attend the initial plenary session featuring speeches from our CC14 Host Committee Co-Chairs, and Mayor Annise Parker.
But the buzz and excitement at the Hilton Americas had been building all day and frankly, ever since it was announced Laverne Cox would be our keynote speaker.
I got to the plenary after shutting down the Racial Diversity Suite for the night and the ballroom was standing room only.
Fortunately for me Kylar Broadus and and Marisa Richmond had a seat for me after standing for a few minutes and I settled in to watch Sue and Russell, my Houston Host Committee Co Chairs, and Mayor Parker welcome everyone to Houston along with emcee Kate Clinton.
And then the moment arrived in which our keynote speaker arrived to a standing ovation, she gave shoutouts in the speech to several people, including some GLAAD Award nominated blogger y'all know. before moving to the salient points in her speech.
Laverne's keynote discussed self love, the criminal justice system and how it impacts the trans community and pride in being not only trans, but a Black trans woman. .
Looking forward to doing that panel with her, Tiq and Reina later today.