Pride Conference asks "What is Important to Queer Alaskans?"

This weekend is QueerWorld Connect: the 16th annual Alaska Pride Conference! The three-day Anchorage event includes a kick-off dinner on Friday, the Saturday conference at Alaska Pacific University, and a Sunday brunch discussion on "Crossing the Generations." (The full schedule is posted below.)

"This year for Pride Conference, instead of having one guest speaker, we will be having a panel of six community leaders," said Johnathan Jones, Pride Conference chairperson. "Each leader has been asked to speak for five minutes on issues they consider relevant to queer Alaskans."

The leaders on the panel include Her Imperial Majesty Ms. MeMe of the ICOAA; Trevor Stoors, Executive Director of Four A's; Marsha Buck from Juneau, Co-President of Alaskans Together; Mike Mason, organizer for this year's Youth Pride Prom; Rev. Susan Halvor from the ELCA (Lutherans); and Jackie Buckley from the Identity Advocacy Team.

After each leader has spoken, there will be a moderated panel discussion followed by a Q&A with the audience. "Our aim is to discuss important issues, with the opportunity for all attendees to have input in the discussion," said Johnathan. "We invite all people to come prepared for stimulating conversations."

The Pride Conference registration form is available online and can be dropped off at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center. QueerWorld is sponsored by Identity, Inc. and APU's Spectrum.

The information below came from Johnathan and the October 2009 issue of NorthView, Identity's quarterly bulletin, which is available online (linked HERE).

Pride Conference "QueerWorld Connect"
Pride Conference is a statewide gathering of queer folk and allies, with workshops, a plenary session, and a chance to socialize. The theme this year is QueerWorld Connect. When committee members brainstormed topics, we noticed that connection was the common thread, with unity as the ultimate goal. Connection within communities has to happen for unity to exist.

This year, the conference is a little different. We are broadening the scope and having a three day event focused on education, entertainment, and connection – connection with ourselves, with each other, and with community. Instead of a keynote speaker, we are having a panel on "Issues of Relevance to Queer Alaskans" which will feature community leaders from around our state.

The main day of the Pride Conference, Saturday at APU, begins with a breakfast buffet by the Last Frontier Men's Club. There will be two sets of workshops, a vendor's court, lunch, the panel discussion, and a hypnosis show by Jay Her.

Special effort went into making this an all ages friendly event, so feel free to bring kids to the conference or any conference function. A van will be available to transport those who need it from event to event. We do not want anyone to miss the conference because of lack of funds. If needed, Contact Johnathan for scholarship information.

To make the most of the conference, be prepared to meet new people, learn about new topics, and expect to have fun!

QueerWorld Connect Pride Conference

Friday Night – Oct. 9th – Dinner, Socializing & Entertainment
7:00 Dinner social at Organic Oasis with musical entertainment by EverReady. Please RSVP to Johnathan.
Cost: Purchase of your own food and drink.

Saturday – Oct. 10th – Conference at APU, Atwood Center
8:30 Breakfast (Included)
9:30 Welcome/Opening Remarks
10:00 Choice of workshops
11:15 Choice of workshops
12:30 Lunch (included)
1:15 Hypnosis Presentation
2:00 Plenary Session: Panel on "Issues of Relevance to Queer Alaskans"
3:00 Closing remarks/evaluation
Cost: At the door: Adults $25, Students $15. Pre-registration: Adults $20, Students $10. Scholarships available: Contact Johnathan

Saturday Night – Oct. 10th - Bowling & Social
7:00 Bowling hosted by Adam and Steve, Center Bowl on Spenard and Minnesota, RSVP required.
Cost: free for 2 hours of bowling and shoe hire, but we only have 20 spots available so RSVP to Johnathan asap.

10:00-Midnight Late night drop in at the GLCCA.

Sunday – Oct. 11th – Breakfast Program
10:30-Noon Hot Brunch and panel on "Crossing the Generations" at the YWCA next to the Community Center.
Cost: Adults $10, Seniors and Students $7.50 Pre-registration required at the GLCCA.

Johnathan Jones, Pride Conference chairperson, is a wanna be life-long Alaskan. Having grown up in Australia, he now calls Alaska home. Johnathan is passionate about working with non-profit groups and forging working relationships with all members of our communities. He is really excited about the upcoming "QueerWorld" Pride Conference and hopes you all make it!


Anonymous said...

Have you seen a list of workshops that will be available?

Anonymous said...

I am wondering about the same

E. Ross said...

Good question. The workshops are on Connection with ourselves, each other and the community. I've asked Johnathan for the topics and presenters. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

And still no word on just workshops will be available.

Perhaps no list exists, let alone who the presenters are!

And yet the play must go on.

E. Ross said...

If you're interested in connecting with LGBTA Youth, come on down and meet people. The workshops are only one part of the day. If that's not your thing, go to the library lawn and join the support rally for the National Equality March. Or come to the Alaskans Together annual meeting tomorrow. Plenty of ways to be involved.

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