queer and trans conference :: swarthmore college

The 2010 Queer Issues Symposium

Speakers & Performers

This year's symposium will focus on the impact of place and location on queer movement building.

The Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project. QWOCMAP promotes the creation, exhibition and distribution of new films and videos that increase the visibility of queer women of color, authentically reflect our life stories, and address the vital social justice issues that concern our communities. We actively invest in, develop and nurture the creativity of emerging media artists who are Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Latina, Native American and Mixed-Race lesbians, bisexual, queer and questioning women in the Bay Area.

Sins Invalid. Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Our performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop and present cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of "normal" and "sexy" are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities. Sins Invalid recognizes that we will be liberated as whole beings as disabled/as queer/as brown/as black/as genderqueer/as female or male bodied as we are far greater whole than partitioned. We recognize that our allies emerge from many communities and that demographic identity alone does not determine one's commitment to liberation. We believe in social and economic justice for all people with disabilities in lockdowns, in shelters, on the streets, visibly disabled, invisibly disabled, sensory minority, environmentally injured, psychiatric survivors moving beyond individual legal rights to collective human rights.

William Leap. William Leap's work in public anthropology uses voices from the margin to explore connections between race/ethnicity, sexuality, economic inequality and social justice. Earlier projects explored geographies of public sex and the language of AIDS. His current projects examine the politics of gay men's English in the US and the global arena, issues reflected in recent publications including: Out in Public: Reinventing Lesbian/Gay Anthropology in a Globalizing World (co-edited with Ellen Lewin, Blackwells, 2009) , "Language, homo-masculinity and gay sexual cinema" in Queering Paradigms (Burkhart Scherer, ed., Peter Lang, 2010) , and "The true thing that binds us together...: Globalization, language pluralism and Gay Men's English." in The Impact of Globalization on the United States. (Michelle Bertho, ed. Praeger.)

Paulina Hernandez. Paulina Hernandez is a queer femme cha-cha girl, artist, political organizer & trouble-maker-at-large from Veracruz, Mexico. This Xicana grew up in rural North Carolina, and is currently growing roots in Atlanta, GA. She is the Co-Director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), having joined the staff after coordinating the Southern regional youth activism program at the Highlander Center for over 4 years. Paulina has a background in farm worker and immigrant rights organizing, youth organizing, anti-violence work, and cultural work. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the young feminist Third Wave Foundation (in NYC). She particularly loves queers / people of color / immigrant people / healers / cultural workers / her elders & parents / her sweetie / her comrades & her three brothers :)

Harlan Pruden. Harlan Pruden is a Co-Founder and Council-Member of the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and a board member for the American Indian Community House, New York City's well-known urban Native American Center. Harlan hails for the Cree Nation and is a member of at the Saddle Lake Indian Reservation located in Northern Alberta, Canada. After committing himself to sobriety almost 21 years ago, Harlan became the first person in his family to attend college and now devotes his life to First Nations community organizing and progressive causes.

Andrea Ritchie. Andrea Ritchie is a civil rights attorney who has engaged in extensive research, writing, speaking and advocacy on physical and sexual violence by law enforcement agents against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the US and Canada over the past decade. In 2009, she served as the Director of the Sex Workers Project, a unique legal and social services agency working with individuals who engage - or are profiled as engaging - in sex work, regardless of whether they do so by choice, circumstance, or coercion. She currently works with the Peter Cicchino Youth Project, coordinating Streetwise & Safe (SAS), a leadership development and organizing project of LGBT youth of color with experience trading sex for money or other survival needs in New York City, and is on the Board of Directors for the Young Women's Empowerment Project in Chicago. Ritchie is the author of a forthcoming book from South End Press on law enforcement violence against women and transgender people of color, and co-author of a forthcoming publication by Beacon Press in 2010 focusing on LGBTQ experiences of policing, prosecution, punishment, and protection in the U.S. criminal legal system.

Dean Spade. Dean Spade is currently an Assistant Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. In 2002, he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org), an innovative law collective focused on gender, racial, and economic justice. SRLP provides free legal help to low-income people and people of color facing gender identity and/or expression discrimination. SRLP also operates on a collective governance model, prioritizing the governance and leadership of trans, intersex, and gender variant people of color.

The Safe OUTside the System (SOS) Collective. The SOS Collective is a grassroots organizing program of LGBTSTGNC (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Two-Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color) People of Color working to end police and hate violence by working together in our communities. The group is guided by the belief that strategies that increase police presence and the criminalization of our communities do not create safety because they do not change behavior. Instead, the group believes in building stronger relationships within LGBTSTGNC communities and with allies to prevent, intervene, and challenge violence. The S.O.S. Collective is a program of the Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center of LGBTSTGNC.

...And more! Please check back often for updates.

For more information about the symposium, explore our site. Contact Swarthmore.Queer.Symposium@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.