Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Workshops Scheduled for the BlaqOUT Conference

But I Don't Look Black?
Marina Eskander, UC Riverside Alum, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, 
Olivia Johnson, Harbor College
There is a disparity between those of African American, African and Black descent. While we are clumped together by western ideology, it is important to celebrate our differences. We intend to break down the differences and find what unites us all at BlaqOUT. Strong when alone, a Force when united.

Dismantling Barriers Within the Black Community
Janetta Osborne UCLA,
Jasmin Williams UCLA
The aim of this workshop is to successfully create a safe space for queer students of color to discuss the ways in which they have been isolated within the black community as a whole. This Workshop and facilitation will allow its participants to create a dialogue around black solidarity.

The Effects of HIV/AIDS in the Black Gay Community.
Christopher Jackson, MS., AIDS Project Los Angeles,
This presentation will discuss the effects of HIV/AIDS in the African American LGBT Community, primarily black men that have sex with men. This includes a discussion around HIV/AIDS as a whole, linking HIV positive individuals into healthcare, intersectionality, and prevention. Lastly we will discuss HIV related stigma with in the black community and college students' response to HIV education and prevention.

"Elements"  *Life, Vogue, and Ballroom
Greg Wilson, REACH LA,
Ryku Revlon
Enyce Chanel
Father Jamari Blahnik
Elements will be a workshop where we will have thriving experts from the ballroom community share with you some of the Elements of their lives. They will share How Ballroom helped them cope with some of their life experiences. We will Educate about the ballroom Culture, and do a presentation of what the elements of vogue entails. The presenters will then teach members of the audience how to vogue before ending the Elements Experience.

FemmePhobia and Male Representation in the African American Gay Community
Franklin Ellis/ Ctar Spencer, CS Northridge,
A presentation giving insight of how historical racial issues have affected the African American Queer community regarding sexual position and gender expression due to skin complexion.

Finding Joy in Crazy
Tamara Austin, UC Irvine,
Belonging to any historically oppressed group can cause a permanent chip on one's shoulder.  This program looks at positives and negatives of belonging to more that one historically oppressed group. We will engage in discussion of how to move into a more positive space.

Gender Expression in the Black Queer Community
Johan M., UC Irvine,
Kala L., UC Irvine 
This program is dedicated to a conversation surrounding the implications of gender expression within communities at large, (Black) queer spaces, and more. What does Black queer gender expression look like in pop culture and mass media? Why? And how does these presentations function? Together, we will discuss our experiences, what shapes them, and why they matter.

How to Date Yourself
Percival W. Pandy Jr. , Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center,
I would like to present on dating yourself as in order to better love yourself and others. I will use activities and handouts in combination with self sexual stimulation techniques to explore self satisfaction. I believe you can only love someone else if you completely know how to love yourself.

Internal Affairs: Self care for Queer BlaQ folks
Andre M., AIDS Project Los Angeles Health & Wellness,
Verise J., Gender Justice Nevada
As a Blaq Queer activist being burned out is dangerous! Our workshop will introduce participants to the concept of self care from a Blaq consciousness & thought. We will explore the interconnectedness of social justice work as   a black activist and how self care can be accomplished in a healthy way.

The Intersection Electric: An Interactive Tour of Black Bi Histories and Culture (with games!)
Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President,
This wide ranging workshop will feature interactive games alongside the profound realities of non binary lives. We'll discuss black bi famous folks, monosexual privilege, the 1990 Bisexual Manifesto, Huey Newton and find out what a black bi person called themselves 500 years ago. We'll cover top bi community issues, Audre and June, why the word pansexual is really important and what % of black folks identity as bi (and why). No matter your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, you'll leave this workshop empowered by the electricity of your own intersections.

Left for Queer: Exploring Multiple Identities Through Altar Making
Taijhet Nyobi, Oakland CA,
Participants will engage in an altar making activity. They will choose objects, images and words that relate to their migration and identity stories. The activity will lend itself to further dialogue around the effects of being a person who has been many times displaced.

“LGBTQ organizing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Organizing ‘Us’ in Majority Black environments”
Marcus Lee, Morehouse College, (U.C. Berkeley Exchange Student),
Samantha Master, Morgan State University, (HRC HBCU coordinator)
HBCUs have often been painted as oases in which intolerance and homophobia fester and grow. However, in recent years especially, LGBTQ activism on HBCU campuses has been vibrant and has gained much attention. Since gender/sexuality issues on HBCU campuses result in broader implications for the entire Black community, this presentation will be an opportunity to discuss what organizing looks like amongst just us for just us in order to sharpen ideas about how an intersectional praxis which specifies Blackness as core to its center looks in practice.

Overcoming Fear and Insecurities
Megan McGlover, President of A.T.M.,
“An unknown author once said, “Fear is a habit; so is self pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can!! and I will!!” -Unknown
The workshop “Overcoming fear and insecurity is focused on providing our LGBTQ youth and adults with the tools to rid themselves of fear and insecurities. This workshop offers simple tools (some from the universal and spiritual realm) and practices that are easy to apply and integrate into your daily life to bring positive and sustainable change in your emotions. Discover how to develop inner qualities that override insecurity by taking on the mind of purpose, persistence and power.

Radical Self Care: A workshop on Queering Wellness and Cultivating Balance
Deejay Brown, University of California Irvine,
What does survival mean to you? Are you interested in creating a space in your life for self expression, balance and tools for cultivating wellness?  Let’s create a space together to write, create, share our truths and explore ourselves so that we can explore who we are, what we need and how we will care for ourselves.

Queers Just Want to Have Fun!
Nathan Thompson, UC Santa Cruz,  1st Year, Computer Engineer Student,
Students who are new to the campus queer community can find it difficult to become acquainted with it and access resources available to them. There is a need for more interest based organizations on college campuses created specifically for the Queer community and our allies. These groups are low pressure and inviting; placing more focus on the shared interest of a common activity, i.e. games, food, hiking, etc.

Transformative Erotica: Reclaiming and Decolonizing our Sexual Narratives
Alexandria Collins, UC Berkeley,
Eniola Abioye, UC Berkeley
In this workshop, we will be exploring the concept of the erotic and how it manifests within our individual realities as queer people of color. The aim of this workshop is to redefine conventional interpretations of black sexuality through creative writing activities that seek to reclaim and decolonize our sexual narratives. By promoting sex positive dialogue, this workshop seeks to give voice to the complexity of experiences that shape queer black identity and thus create a healing space centered on the acknowledgment of intersectional identities.  

Don C. Morton, Author/Actor/Song Writer and Vocalist,
This is an extremely condensed version of a presentation/training I developed for professionals and non professionals who are interested in learning more to help break the bindings of stigma, that separates us not only by race and gender expression, but also by our humanity.

Transcending Inclusivity: Evolving LGBQTrans*  POC Consciousness Into Self Sufficiency
Jaye Johnson, Conscious Unfoldment Coach | Content Manager, Buck Angel Entertainment,
Transcending Inclusivity: Evolving LGBQTrans* POC Consciousness Into Self Sufficiency will address our human desire to be included and harmonize with others both politically and personally, and ask the participants to consider transcending this need. Incorporating examples of lived experience and creative, academic, spiritual and other precedents set, the presentation will encourage attendees to consider how a full individuation can help us harmonize better with our LGBQTrans* POC friends, family, peers, and all complementary allies/other individuals we encounter. Removing our individual/collective focus from vetting, "othering", bullying/victimizing ourselves and others frees us to do more, feel more and be more, collectively. The presentation will explore proactive alternatives to transcend, heal and better contextualize the idea of "inclusion."