UCR to Host Inaugural BlaqOUT Conference on April 18-19, 2014
By Ross French On MARCH 7, 2014
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The LGBT Resource Center at the University of California, Riverside will host the inaugural BlaqOUT Conference at the Highlander Union Building on April 18-19, 2014.
The conference is for individuals who self-identify as Black/African American or of African descent and as Same Gender Loving, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning or somewhere on the LGBT spectrum. A flyer for the event is available for download here.
“Our hope is that the BlaqOUT Conference will foster the discussion of issues relevant to members of the Black/African American and African communities on the LGBTQ spectrum,” said Toi Thibodeaux, program coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center and an organizer for the conference. “We want to unite our community and provide people with the skills and resources needed to address the issues we face.”
Applications to attend the conference must be submitted online no later than April 1, 2014. Registration fee is $20 per person with a t-shirt or $10 without the shirt. In addition to the LGBT Resource Center, sponsors include the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and VALS Clothing.
The conference will begin Friday evening with registration and a screening of the film “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin,” which tells the story of the struggles of Rustin, an African American gay man who was also a one-time member of the Communist party who went on to become a prominent public figure and a shaper of civil rights strategy as an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The film, which is co-sponsored by the Associated Students Program Board, begins at 6 p.m. in HUB 302 and is free and open to the entire campus community.
On Saturday, the keynote address will be presented by alumnus Gabriel Maldonado, executive director/CEO of TruEvolution, a youth development and social justice agency in Riverside. As a national LGBT advocate, Maldonado has been an expert panelist and speaker all over the country form Los Angeles to Washington D.C. He has spoken on the disproportionate impacts of HIV/AIDS, institutional discrimination, and homophobia experienced by LGBT communities of color around the country.
“The BlaqOUT Conference is an innovative space empowering leaders to engage in dialogue, strategy, and give voice to the issues experienced by the Black LGBT community,” Maldonado said.
In addition to the keynote, the conference schedule includes workshop sessions, lunch, caucus spaces, a networking reception and spoken word performance.
“This conference continues the UCR tradition of celebrating our multiple identities and creating courageous spaces for community building,” LGBT Center Director Nancy Tubbs said.
Earlier this year, UCR and the LGBT Center hosted the inaugural Tabla Conference, thought to have been the first college conference to explore the intersections between sexuality, gender identity and expression, and cultural ties to South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
UC Riverside has a long history of groundbreaking achievements in the LGBT Community, including:
- 1993 – Opening the first professionally-staffed LGBT resource office at a California university.
- 1996 – UCR became first campus in California to offer an LGBT studies minor.
- 2005 – UCR was the first public university in the nation to offer a gender-inclusive housing option to all students.
For a link to the original article click here: UCR Today: UCR to Host Inaugural BlaqOUT Conference on April 18-19, 2014