By Aspen Miller Contributing Writer
The Rainbow League recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Creating Change conference, an event sponsored by the National LGBTQ Task Force. The conference, a four-day event, focused primarily on activism and intersectionality, with the intent to help teach people in the community how to help others when they don’t share the same struggles.
Vice President Cheyenne Candow said, “It was a super cool educational opportunity, and a good professional development opportunity, especially for those going into [jobs involving the community], because it’s like a trial run.”
Candow explained that while executive board members held priority, the club were able to bring a couple general members this year, with the hope that each year they travel, the club will be able to bring more members along. These members were selected by a lottery system, provided they regularly attended meetings.
One of the members selected was Sophomore Julia Allen, who was excited about the experience. “Going to a specifically LGBT event was something I’d never been able to do before,” Allen said.
The experience proved to be positive. When asked what should be brought back to the community from the conference, Allen said, “Definitely the amount of respect and appreciation everyone had for each other. Literally everyone was thought of when planning events and it was such a productive and thoughtful work environment.”
President Dan Keller shared similar sentiments; “The level of inclusiveness and love was staggering. It would make it all worth it to have that amount of acceptance on campus. You introduce yourself with your pronouns and everyone is on board.”
Candow shared that “there are a lot of things I’m eager to share with the club, and eager to use myself.” One opportunity Candow is excited about is possibly bringing public speaker Aneesah Smith to campus. Candow found Smith’s session on allyship and accompliceship enlightening.
Smith encouraged Candow and others at the conference to be supportive of minorities within the community beyond when it is convenient for them, and give minorities in the community space to speak out.
Outside of panels, attendees at the conference had the opportunity to meet individuals in the LGBT community from across the nation. Keller said, “There were trans activists and lawyers. I met someone who was an activist for ‘No Pride. No Justice.’ who climbed a local tower and unfurled a banner.”
Additionally, Candow mentioned that there were suites dedicated to many sections of the LGBT community. An Aromantic/Asexual suite was created by people in that community when they were not initially provided with one, something the conference says will be provided next year. For more information about the Rainbow League, you can attend one of their meetings on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Room 001 of the Education Center.