Creating Change, Building Movements
Creating Change, a national LBGTQ movement building conference hosted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force took place in Baltimore this past week, and I was lucky to be able to represent CBST as part of the Practice Faith, Do Justice track, as well as a participant in the Jewish Movement Building working group. A few brief dispatches from a conference in three steps: reflect, teach and build together.
Step 1 - Reflection: We are part of a broad and deep movement for justice, both racial justice & queer liberation. On the agenda? Access to education and safe schools, gender identity anti-discrimination legislation, protecting and reclaiming voting rights, and ending over-incarceration. All central pieces of ensuring that we can transform this country to a place of equal access to resources, and safe nurturing communities Watch some of the inspiring words by Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP, who opened the conference. What else is on your movement building agenda? Comment below!
Step 2 - Teaching: I had the opportunity to share some of what is so unique about Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, as well as the power and possibility of community organizing. Co-facilitated with CBST leaders Jeremy Schwartz , Jase Isaac , Michael Waldman Keshet's Lead Organizer and Training Coordinator Joanna Ware, the workshop "From Visioning to Building: Trans-Inclusion in Faith Communities" created a space to learn from each other and dig into strategies for making long term institutional change in our communities.
Step 3- Building: I am excited and inspired to be building a radically inclusive queer Jewish movement, committed to supporting, empowering and connecting LGBTQ Jewish communities and leadership, and working to transform the Jewish and queer worlds along with Halley Cohen Janelle K. Eagle Jay Michaelson Joanna Ware Joel L. Kushner Kadin Henningsen Nova Jade and so many others working across the country in congregations, Jewish institutions, colleges, schools and seminaries.