National Gathering has honestly been one of the most valuable experiences in my life. Not only was I able to meet tons of new people with similar aspirations, but I was able to share and exchange ideas with them to vastly broaden my perspective. Gratefully feeling validated and heard, I was able to share my experiences and relate to those around me. Those who attended the Gathering were of varied experience, age, and identities, allowing an array of resources for everyone there. This was especially helpful for me, as I was able to receive validation from my peers as well as advice from those who have taken powerful leadership roles and know how to get change started.
Personally, I’ve been fairly intimidated by the idea of challenging authority figures — out of fear of being seen as a joke to have dared spoken up. However, after hearing what other people my age (and younger!) have done in their own communities, that barrier has been severed. My own anxieties do not override the needs of my peers in any shape or form. I desire justice for the people who have so graciously surrounded me, and I’ve been given a good push in the right direction. I’ve made many valuable friends and connections that I’ll never forget, and I look forward to taking the next steps in making change happen around us.
– Rhis H.
That’s me on the left! (with the blue hair lol)
Earlier this year we opened up 2 stipend positions for young organizers in Mississippi. Our two Youth Organizers, or YOs, have been hard at work helping table for events and do outreach. They’ve also been learning more about what it means to do work with MSSC. We are now proud to announce that we have 2 more stipend positions open.
You’ll be joining our current YOs and QYAB members in our efforts for racial justice, queer resistance, and gender justice work. You’ll have the opportunity to work with other organizations here at home in Mississippi, as well as across the Southeast and across the country.
Apply right here!
This Monday we finally made it back from the windy city, and I am exhausted. Part of the MSSC crew spent nearly a week in Chicago hanging out, scheming, laughing, crying, raging and having a little fun. Anna, Kuuda, Key and myself were in Chicago for the 2016 Creating Change conference. Besides Anna this was all of our first time at Creating Change, for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Creating Change is the largest LGBT conference in the world (I think). From what I’ve heard there were over three thousand LGBT folks crammed in the Hilton Chicago for over 4 days. For the most part I stuck to the tracks that involved LGBT youth, undocuqueer, and Latinx work. As an organization the MSSC has recognized the need to not only do more intentional outreach to queer Latinx communities, but also to get more involved with the efforts of organizations like Not 1 More to fight the deportations of our undocumented siblings. With this being said Creating Change was a very interesting conference to attend. From workshops that helped me understand how to better do outreach with Latinx communities to plenaries about the state of feminism there was no shortage of amazing spaces where queer people could come up with amazing ideas and plans for our future. There were also no shortage of spaces that proved to be damaging and problematic for our people. I may not have been in one of those spaces but there was plenty of conversations about it. From trans women taking over workshops that were deemed retraumatizing to full blown protests against pinkwashing there was a lot going on at Creating Change. Honestly I’m proud of my queer and trans siblings for the way they stood up for their convictions and the things that are right. Creating Change was definitely an experience I won’t forget and a decent way to start this new year. We’ll see what the rest of the year has in store.
Atlanta, GA – The Southeastern Regional Organizer’s Convening (ROC) held it’s second gathering this year. The group of LGBTQ Racial Justice organizers from across the region came together to engage in each other’s work and build a framework for accountability and movement building which honors the legacy of Southern movement building and uplifts local organizers and their work.
The group tackled youth leadership development, local-national partnerships, and campaigns. GSA Network Southeast convened organizers as part of the National Association of GSA Networks in an effort to support Southeastern work, which is traditionally underfunded, understaffed, and often co-opted by national organizations. Recognizing these systemic issues in doing national-local partnerships, we at MSSC, along with our partners and friends from across the region work to hold our national and regional partners accountable to the work we’re doing here in Mississippi and across the region through our QYLTS camp.
The first ROC, held in Jackson, worked to lay groundwork for the groups to better understand each other’s work and gauge potential areas for collaboration. At ROC 2.0, organizers built a stronger sense of trust between cohort members, which is vital to doing this work long-term. The group will reconvene in Spring 2016 for ROC 2.5. With the necessary background and trust built, we’ll be convening to make solid plans and work on initiatives that support our collective work and communities across the region.