Creating Change Closing Plenary honors youth Video below article by Gretchen Rachel Hammond 2016-01-25
This article shared 3715 times since Mon Jan 25, 2016
The Closing Plenary of Creating Change Jan. 24 offered up performances and awards focused on LGBTQ youth and their allies.
In presenting the Paul A. Anderson Youth leadership Award to Chicago-based poet, painter, Windy City Times contributor and advocate for homeless and LGBTQ youth Kasey White, Task Force Senior Policy Counsel, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director Meghan Maury recalled coming-out experiences.
"For so many of us, our coming out stories can be a moment that's fraught with rejection, sometimes with violence, with stress, with tension," Maury said. "But we still do it because we're proud of who we are. Owning who we are makes us more able to advocate and live our true selves. I feel so awed by youth leaders owning their stories and acting on behalf of their communities."
Whitewhose experiences as a homeless youth were featured in the 2014 documentary The Homestretchaccepted the honor to a prolonged standing ovation.
They admitted that, when they were on the streets, they never imagined they would be standing "as an influential figure in the movement for Creating Change."
"I have said before I have never seen myself as a leader," White said. "And that it takes time to grow in me along the way. I owe a lot of that to [Windy City Times Publisher] Tracy Baim."
White pledged to continue their work lifting up others: "They need voices to speak up for them and guide them in a positive direction. I plan to keep doing that. I plan to keep being one of those active voices."
Some of those voices were reflected in a segment of Making Home presented by the Chicago-based Youth Empowerment Performance Project ( YEPP ) during the Creating Change weekend, and through Jan. 31 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago.
The pain and defiant resiliency of trans and queer youth of color were reflected in a magnificent collage of song, movement and drama that was met with resounding applause.
The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals honored Director of Leadership Initiatives in the LGBTQ Equity Center at the University of Maryland Nick Sakurai with the Award for Outstanding Social Justice Practice.
Sakurai accepted the award from Consortium Co-Chair Dr. D.A. Dirks and Chair, Publications and Communication Zanata Rago-Craft.
"I stand before you not just as an individual but a member of many overlapping communities," Sakurai said. "Is it about justice or just us? It's easy to scream and call people out, destroy relationships and then burn out. It's also easy to become more radical than thou or to become a pompous pragmatist."
By illustration of what is instead possible through unity, Sakurai acknowledged his "girlfriends who are part of GURLthe Glitter Unicorn Rainbow League."
"We live very different lives and come from very different experiences but somehow we have come together as a family," Sakurai said. "Even though we operate in so many different spaces and have different viewpoints, we still come together and have some of the most amazing and enriched conversations together."
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey concluded the plenary with an acknowledgement of the issues that affected this year's Creating Change.
For coverage of Carey's speech, see Creating Change main article.
This article shared 3715 times since Mon Jan 25, 2016
ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE
Ald. Maria Hadden encourages community to be active participants 2021-10-18 By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - AIt was Chicago Ald. Maria Hadden's friends who convinced her to run for city council as the 49th Ward's alderperson. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hadden moved to Rogers Park 20 years ago after graduating from The ...
Colin Powell dies from COVID-19 complications 2021-10-18 Colin Powellthe first Black U.S. secretary of state, whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape the country's foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21stdied from ...
Rosa Escareno named interim head of Chicago Park District 2021-10-13 Former Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareno has been named the interim general superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. In an Oct. 13 statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ...
President Biden appoints Debra Shore to key EPA position 2021-10-12 --From a press release - Washington, DC — Today President Joe Biden appointed former LGBTQ Victory Institute board chair Debra Shore to be the next Region Five Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency — representing six states in the Midwest and ...
Chicago Park CEO resigns amid sexual-harassment scandal 2021-10-10 On Oct. 9, Chicago Park District CEO and General Superintendent Michael P. Kelly announced his resignation amid a controversy over sexual harassment and abuse, WGN-TV reported. Kelly released a statement to the public and Board President ...
Activist Rick Garcia seeks to be MWRD commissioner 2021-10-09 Longtime LGBTQ- and human-rights activist Rick Garcia announced he is running for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), and has asked Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to appoint him to the seat Debra Shore is vacating to ...
Homophobic comments from N.C. lieutenant governor surface 2021-10-08 Controversy is swirling around North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson after video surfaced of what he said at a June event, according to ABC11.com. There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child ...
Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).
The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.