From the Campaign for Southern Equality
On April 17 and 18, the 2nd annual LGBT* in the South conference will convene 500 activists and organizers in Asheville, North Carolina. Hosted by the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE), the sold out conference will bring together organizers, service providers and community leaders from 17 states to share strategies about achieving full equality for LGBT people across the South.
The conference will take place just ten days before oral arguments will take place in the historic marriage equality cases before the U.S. Supreme Court; attendees at the conference include attorneys and plaintiffs from key Southern marriage equality cases. At a Saturday morning plenary session, clergy and faith leaders will discuss efforts to defeat anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bills that have been proposed in multiple Southern states,
“At this critical juncture, our conference will help ensure that LGBT people in the South – especially in small towns and rural areas – are achieving equality as rapidly as the rest of the nation. LGBT people need equal rights and protections, no matter what their zip code is, and our youth need to know they are not alone,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
The conference features hands-on trainings and interactive panels designed to help organizers and grassroots groups build new skills that they can immediately apply to their work in the South. Workshops will focus on topics including the rapidly changing landscape of legal rights for LGBT families, serving and empowering the transgender community, and faith and the LGBT community. A keynote address will be delivered by Mandy Carter, a national leader in both the LGBT movement and civil rights movement. A full schedule of workshops can be viewed at: http://www.lgbtinthesouth.com/workshops/.
More than 130 organizations will be represented at the conference. Local and regional organizations attending the conference include: A-B Tech Community College; ACLU of North Carolina; Center for Diversity Education at UNC Asheville; Clemson University; Duke University; Equality North Carolina; Elon University; Mars Hill University; Mission Hospital; Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance; Warren Wilson College; Western Carolina University.
National organizations participating include: The Equality Federation, Family Equality Council, Freedom to Marry, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Latino Advocacy Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National LGBTQ Task Force.
About the Campaign for Southern Equality
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the Campaign for Southern Equality is a non-profit organization that advocates for the full equality of LGBT individuals and families across the South.