Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



LGBTQ youth of color activists lead nationwide summit
by Melissa Wasserman

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Over 40 LGBTQ youth of color, representing approximately 17 organizations, from 16 cities across the nation gathered in Chicago to share activist tactics in the Connect Our Roots organizing summit Feb. 15-17.

New York City-based organization FIERCE, dedicated to building the leadership and power of LGBTQ youth of color, assembled the three-day grassroots organizing summit. Affinity Community Services, Broadway Youth Center, Gender Just and Young Women's Empowerment Project (YWEP) worked in partnership with FIERCE, serving as the program's hosting committee.

Nathaniel Phillipps, a Las Vegas resident, traveled to Chicago to participate in the summit due to what he describes as a lack of resources for queer young people of color in Las Vegas.

"Las Vegas isn't necessarily known for being community and family-oriented and that's a problem we have," he said. "So I wanted to come here and connect with other awesome activists and organizers from across the country, learn from FIERCE's rich history about how to make life and community better for people my age in Las Vegas."

The weekend began with a panel open to the public at the Chicago Freedom School located in the south loop. The panel of nine LGBTQ youth of color organizers from FIERCE and various Chicago-based organizations led the evening's discussion with approximately 60 people, including summit participants, youth organizers from around Chicago and adult allies in attendance.

The panel featured FIERCE members Ana Conner and Lee Jimenez; Dominique McKinney, site co-director of Young Women's Empowerment Project (YWEP);Daphnie Williams, YWEP's administrative coordinator; Reyna Wences, co-founder of Immigrant Youth Justice League; Rossette, an Amigas Latinas Organizer; Veronica Morris-Moore, a member of Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY); and Fresco Steez and Alexis, youth organizers for Affinity Community Services. Coordinator of Youth Programs at Chicago Freedom School Tony Alvarado-Rivera served as panel moderator.

"I just want to build relationships with these folks and become allies," said Jimenez, a FIERCE member since 2008. "I just think it's empowering to see a bunch of queer and trans youth of color in this space especially because we're very marginalized and we're looked at like as we don't care about these issues and we don't take the initiative to change these issues. I think the summit proves that's not true. There's a whole bunch of queer and trans youth of color here right now that are willing to learn that and have so much knowledge about the issues that affect them and what's going on in their communities."

Each member of the panel discussed the history of their respective organizations, current campaigns each are involved with, strategies as well as sharing experiences as LGBTQ youth of color. The evening's event evening concluded with a performance from Chicago singer-songwriter Kokumo, an African-American transgender woman.

"There's plenty of adult spaces out there, but we really need to create a youth space where young people can actually talk," said Krystal Portalatin, co-director and co-founder of FIERCE. "I think one thing that were trying to figure out are the common grounds that we all organize from. A lot of what we talked about tonight [in the panel] was the intersectionality of our work and our identities."

Throughout the rest of the weekend, according to a summit agenda, Connect Our Roots continued to focus on youth building organizing skills and share organizing models and strategies. Participants discussed specific conditions they are facing in their regions, lead political education sessions on topics such as LGBTQ history and immigration, and conducted visionary planning to build the presence, capacity and effectiveness of LGBTQ youth organizing across the United States.

"FIERCE is really hopeful this is going to be the first step in building a national network of LGBT youth of color organizers," said Portalatin. "We're looking for some direction with some support from everybody here and to be able to do that together. Chicago is doing really amazing work and it's been really inspiring and we've been really inspired."

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Legacy Wall Traveling LGBT History Exhibit part of Youth Summit 2015-11-25
Chicago sex ed gets makeover; youth launch 'Chicago Wears Condoms' campaign 2015-11-25
A'ville shopping; Hilarity Davenport's; Oy to the World; youth talk; Transfluent 2015-11-25
The Chicago Youth Worker Collective hosts 'Friendsgiving' 2015-11-23
Hundreds attend Sleep Out for youth homelessness visibility, fundraising 2015-11-22
Tiny Home Competition to launch in Chicago 2015-11-17
Safe Schools Alliance holds youth conference 2015-11-17
Speakers, performers announced for Sleep Out Nov. 20 2015-11-17
Tiny Homes Competition launches in Chicago 2015-11-17
ViiV Healthcare awards grants for HIV programs focused on MSM youth 2015-11-12
Report: Utah judge orders child removed from home of same-sex parents 2015-11-11
Sleep Out kick-off attracts top musical talent 2015-11-11
Task Force lauds Missouri students' courage, racial justice campaign 2015-11-10
Chicago homeless, advocates confront Ald. Cappleman 2015-11-10
Ka'Riel Gaiter talks new role at YEPP, social-justice activism 2015-11-10
Project Fierce celebrates new home at annual brunch 2015-11-09
Producer creates Exposure for Chicago's youth experiencing homelessness 2015-11-08
GUEST COLUMN: Sleeping out for youth 2015-11-04
Experts address homelessness among LGBT youth 2015-11-03
Upcoming: Trans Day of Remembrance; Alliance youth summit; Midwest Equality summit 2015-11-03
Youth, faith leaders, county commissioners call for funding for violence prevention 2015-11-03
HRC Foundation, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids join against LGBTQ teen substance abuse 2015-10-28
Northalsted Business Alliance's Ruby Red Relay to benefit AIDS Fdn, Out in Open Sleep Out 2015-10-28
Leadership of Black Youth Project 100 arrested at protest of police convention 2015-10-24
Black Youth Project Chicago to announce call for end to police violence 2015-10-21
Upcoming: Uyvari memorial; HBHC's Halloween; youth homelessness talk 2015-10-20
Launch party held for LGBT history book for kids 2015-10-19
Palatine school board segregates transgender student 2015-10-16
SAMHSA: Conversion therapy not appropriate for minors 2015-10-15
Millions confront bullying by to "going purple" on social media Oct. 15 2015-10-08
LGBT Student Safety Program piloted in LA school district 2015-10-07
Lambda Legal expands LGBT youth advocacy 2015-10-07
Talk on youth homelessness Oct. 27 at All Chicago 2015-10-07
Safe-schools group honors allies, advocates at homecoming 2015-10-07
Chicagoans 'Sleep Out' to fight youth homelessness 2015-10-07
Chicagoans to 'Sleep Out' to fight youth homelessness 2015-10-07
Report offers solutions in fighting school-to-prison pipeline 2015-10-06
All Chicago's Learning Center to discuss LGBTQ homelessness 2015-10-06
Lambda expands work for LGBT youth: Ingelhart joins Midwest Regional Office 2015-10-04
New online publication ProudYouth: For, by, and about youth 2015-10-01

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.