Members Attend Allied Media Conference, Detroit
BreakOUT! would like to extend a very special thank you to our individual donors, the Open Society Foundation, and Common Counsel’s GXF for helping us get to the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI this year! It was an invaluable experience for our members to connect with others across the country doing similar work and an opportunity to share with them some of our work, too.
Prior to the conference’s official opening, we participated in the day-long LGBTQ youth convening called Werk It!, convened by FIERCE, Branching Seedz of Resistance, and Reteaching Gender and Sexuality with other organizations such as Streetwise and Safe and Global Action Project. At this pre-conference, youth developed a national network of LGBTQ youth, primarily youth of color, and goals for collaboration throughout the year. Other workshops we attended included seminars on being Black and gay in America with youth from the Ruth Ellis Center, "Know Your Rights" for LGBTQ youth, breakdancing for social change, “Our Beautiful Broken Cities” about the similarities between Detroit and New Orleans, an LGBTQ youth organizing film screening, and "Healthy Organizational Communication."
We also presented our own workshop in partnership with Lambda Legal’s “Transgender Tell Your Story Project” on our work organizing youth for policing reforms in New Orleans and the power of building on the history of struggle and resistance in the South through the use of storytelling and narratives. We discussed our “We Deserve Better” campaign to get a LGBTQ policy in the New Orleans Police Department and shared some of our successes thus far. We also got a chance to talk with others doing similar work in their cities and learn from their experiences.
However, as many of our supporters know, it was with a heavy heart that we traveled to Detroit after one of our member leaders was incarcerated, 2 days before the trip. Not only was she excited for the conference, she had attended multiple meetings in preparation for our workshop and the Detroit Delegation, painted our presentation materials for the LGBTQ “Science Fair,” and bridged communication with our Atlanta workshop partner, Lambda Legal, and our members. Her parting words to us, delivered through her public defender were, “The show must go on!” Though her absence was deeply felt by all, we were proud to carry forward our mission in her honor.
Now that we are back, we are anxious to implement ideas learned in Detroit for fighting criminalization on the ground at home and winning the freedom of our transgender brothers and sisters.
You can see our Detroit AMC photo album on Facebook here.