Exploration of Self Conference
Throughout life, each person goes through transformations and transitions. Transformations and transitions occur on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly basis. As one does an overview of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, invisible minority, asexual, and ally (LGBTQIA) and HIV+ movement, there is a true disconnect with the "T" (i.e., transgender and transsexual) community. Many times, we think of transitions as something only the transgender/transsexual community goes through. The Garden of Peace Project has a foundation of providing the spaces for all individuals, regardless of who they are and what comprises them, to explore their Selves. In essence, spirituality is the continuous exploration of the Self. Some find their exploration of Self in a particular faith-based practice, while others find it outside of the walls of an organization or faith-based center.
In 2009, the National TransFaith in Color Conference was birthed after Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act's political and social organizing efforts. Allies and members within the LGBTQIA community struggled with whether the transgender/transsexual population could be included in this first wave of those being given access to employment protection under the law. The disconnect and fracture of the transgender/transsexual community has historically been compounded by the challenges its members face within communities of spirituality, even from those who profess to be progressive and inclusive. To have the strongest communities of spirituality and social justice movement, we must have one that not only affirms, but actively includes those who are a part of the LGBTQIA community. One of the ways to fill this gap is to empower members of the queer community to engage with broader segments of the LGBTQIA movement and beyond.
Objective: To inform the community leaders, professionals, service providers, students, and those seeking knowledge with ways to engage the Self, in their own capacity, and to use the Self to empower and enrich their own life experiences. Additionally, the Exploration of Self Conference will explore the ways in which the Greater Pittsburgh area is building tolerance and acceptance through the areas of health, legal, education, employment, entertainment, youth, aging, and faith systems. The Exploration of Self Conference seeks to provide greater understanding of the LGBTQIA and HIV+ communities, and the ways in which race and faith intersect. This will be accomplished through events, programs, workshops, and presentations of community members and leaders.
To restore the relationship between spiritual community and LGBTQIA and HIV+ community
To explore one's personal found sanctuary, where they find calming peace and feel at home
To help individuals recognize and act upon their power and privilege in order to attain and maintain true social justice, self-efficacy, and quality of life.
Description: The conference will last for 4 days, Thursday night through Sunday afternoon, which will consist of events, programs, workshops, and presentations. All of the programming will seek to increase cultural competency and diversity of participants. On Saturday night, there will be a fashion show with diverse models, and a house ball, the Big TeQUEERla, with a Dream Girls theme, presented by True T Entertainment.
$60 (General Admission and VIP status at the Big TeQUEERla Ball)
$50 (General Admission)
$25 (Students and Seniors, 55+)
$15 (VIP Big TeQUEERla)
$10 (General Admission Big TeQUEERla)
Free for Volunteers (To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tickets to the Big TeQUEERla will be sold separately. All other events are for conference attendees only.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com
Carnegie Mellon University (View)
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
|Minimum Age: 5|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|