January 16, 2020 at 11:16 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Thousands expected to attend Creating Change conference in Dallas
(Photo by Alan Botting via Flickr)

Thousands of activists from the U.S. and around the world are expected to attend the National LGBTQ Task Force’s annual Creating Change Conference this week in Dallas.

The conference officially begins on Thursday with a keynote speech from Rev. angel Kyodo williams, founder of the Center for Transformative Change in California. The conference will end on Jan. 19.

The plight of LGBTQ immigrants, rights for LGBTQ people with disabilities and the 2020 Census are among the myriad topics that will be discussed. Executive Director Rea Carey and Deputy Executive Director Kierra Johnson on Friday will deliver their annual “State of the Movement” speech.

Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, a Puerto Rican-born LGBTQ activist who lives in Maryland, and José Gutiérrez, founder of the Latino GLBT History Project in D.C., are among those who are attending the conference. Dennis Castillo, an LGBTQ activist who lives in the Costa Rican capital of San José, will also participate.

“It is clear that 2020 will be a critical year for all of us, including LGBTQ communities,” said Creating Change Director Andy Garcia in a press release. “We face a historic election year, some of the most significant Supreme Court cases in our lifetime, on-going attacks from the current administration, and an epidemic of violence, among other challenges. Creating Change is where LGBTQ advocates, activists, leaders, and allies come together to learn and connect with each other, with a focus on creating a welcoming space for queer and trans people of color.”

“We need that now more than ever,” added Garcia.

The first Creating Change took place in 1988.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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