Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Road To Creating Change Houston 2014 Diary -Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - ExteriorBack in May I started writing a series of posts on the blog that sought to capture my thoughts as I watched the process of putting together the Task Force's Creating Change conference unfold.

It seems like it was eons ago that we had our first Host Committee meeting at the Montrose Center on May7 and began that process by filling out the subcommittees that would do the bulk of the organizing work

Now we are an anxious two weeks away from having the conference happen and having to execute all the plans we have spent months putting together and laying out..

Speaking of having things happen, I missed the December 3 meeting because I wasn't feeling well, and that killed my chances of attending every one of the meetings from start to finish.   But I didn't need to be sharing my cold with my fellow Host Committee members either.    

But I made sure I was there for our last Host Committee meeting on January 7.   As the meeting started at the Montrose Center and we gave our respective reports, there were mixed emotions in the room.   We are excited that January 29 is rapidly approaching and we're about to host our first ever Creating Change, but sad that this was the last Host Committee meeting.   .

While I was sad that it was the last time we'd be gathering together for Host Committee meeting purposes, the work still isn't over. .  

The only constant is change: Creating Change 2014 host committee co-chairs are (l–r) Tamira “Augie” Augustine, Christina Canales Gorzynski, Bryan Hlavinka, and Lou Weaver. Photo by Dalton DeHart.We are still on our various committee fine tuning our programming in the hospitality suites, still promoting our conference to the people in the Houston metro area, and doing our best to get the word out that Creating Change is coming to town January 29-February 2. 

Christina had a article published earlier this month in OutSmart magazine as part of those efforts, and I don't doubt that our media team has reached out to our local media to cover CC14 when it happens

Lou was delayed getting to that final Host Committee meeting due to travel issues related to the polar vortex deep freeze gripping the nation, (and Houston was in the low 40s for a high that day) but our other co-chairs Christina, Bryan and Augie were there in full effect ticking off the reasons why this conference was poised to be the most successful ever.

Speaking of weather, we're wanting Chamber of Commerce weather for it, (sunny, 45-60 degrees) so you CC14 attendees can get the opportunity to enjoy the ice rink at Discovery Green across the street.

The temps have been all over the map this month.  It was cold earlier that Host Committee meeting week but was up to 70 degrees by the weekend. 

Just an FYI, January is our coldest month in Houston with the average temp at 53.1 degrees.  I'm not going to mention what our average rainfall is for January.   Don't want to jinx us. 

I'm getting increasing e-mail and chat messages from people who are headed here asking if I'm going to be in the house for it and other general information related questions about my hometown. 

As for the conference programming, I'm part of two panel discussions on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning during Creating Change along with handling my Racial Diversity Suite supervisory shifts on Wednesday and Thursday.   

We set a goal of 4000 attendees for it, and have already sold out not only the host hotel, but two overflow hotels.  A third overflow hotel is rapidly approaching that status.  We're still getting volunteers and know the mandatory training session is happening January 26.   So for those of you coming to Houston, you are going to be part of a record breaking all time attendance for a Creating Change Conference  
We smashed the all time fundraising record by raising $33,000 for this event . We have Laverne Cox coming to Houston to give the plenary speech and Nona Hendryx performing at our closing concert and I'm looking forward to seeing both of them. 

You may even see a former Creating Change attendee who happens to work at City Hall in Mayor Annise Parker.

And speaking of City Hall, it will be floodlit in rainbow colors during the conference.    

But the best thing that has come out of this experience for me in addition to the new friendships and the opportunity to see the peeps in the national and international LGBT community again, is being able to work with people who I might not have gotten a chance to meet otherwise or it may have taken a while to do so. 

That's also true of the people who I've been chatting with online for years and will finally get the opportunity to meet during Creating Change.  

Those of us who have embarked on the project of putting together Creating Change Houston style have established working partnerships that will last long after we pass the Creating Change torch to Denver and their Host Committee has the task of trying to top in 2015 what we accomplished in H-town.

Those partnerships will serve us in the local and statewide TBLG human rights battles to come..

But can't wait for January 29-February 2 to finally get here so we can roll out the rainbow carpet for you.

No comments: