In our efforts to come to the Creating Change, we did fundraising. There was a lot of internal support from the members and external support from other groups. We had a direct ask fundraising workshop with Vanessa from API Equality, we also get supports from Chong (Shades Of Yellow) and National Queer API Alliance (NQAPIA) whom we have worked with since the immigration forum panel. We were also supported by ASIAC who is our fiscal sponsor. Other than the Direct Ask fundraising, we held 2 fundraising dinners where we invited and get a lot of support from the larger community. Over 80 people attended both dinners.
Finally on February 2011, HotPot! were successful in sending 7 members to the 23rd Creating Change conference. Below is a summary of the conference by Tay.
Creating Change was a 5 day conference sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and was held in the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There were around 2,500 people from all over the country. The first two days were comprised of day-long institutes. On Wednesday the institutes were primarily dealing with issues of race, our bodies, people of color and transforming White Supremacy. They were based on tracks depending on you’re level as an activist, so there was a beginners track, intermediate and so on. Thursday was the last of the day long institutes and there were a lot more choices that ranged from many different topics. Most of the hotpot members attended Building a Queer AAPI Movement.
Friday and Saturday there were 4 workshop time slots and one caucus at the end of the day. There were over 250 workshops and training sessions but to give you an idea some were: Bi Any Other Name A 20- Year Anniversary Dialogue, Trans Youth And Safe Schools: Advocacy and Policy, Queer Immigrant Lives: Redemption and Reform in a Global Context. The caucuses were only an hour but they were all inclusive round table discussions. Some of the caucus choices were Femme Outside of Gender, API Caucus, Practice Spirit Do Justice, Queering: Butch/Femme: What does it mean in 2011.
During the 5 days there were several plenary sessions after lunch where we heard a State of the Movement Address by Rea Carey (Task Force Executive Director), Event MC Kate Clinton and Mayor RT Rybak and US Sen Al Franken. One highlight was internationally known poet and activist Chrystos: who spoke about her life as a Two Spirit person and shared wisdom from her 52 years of activism.
In the evenings there were plenty of entertainment and fun events such as Karaoke Pop Star sponsored by NQAPIA, Comedian Sandra Valls, the 2nd annual Masquerade Ball featuring Ben Lerman and Kit Yan. There also was a Cruising event, kind of like speed dating that many of us tried out.
Sunday was the last day. There was one workshop in the morning and then there was a closing Plenary Brunch entitled Minneapolis Loves You Better! And there was an amazing musical performance by God-Des and She.
Throughout all the craziness of the conference, we managed to check in with hotpot either every morning or in the evening. We spent a little time as a group like when we celebrated Laurent’s Birthday but most of the time we were free to meet new people and explore on our own.