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December 5, 2008


The first ever, Arizona Statewide GLBT & Allies Town Hall meeting will be held tomorrow on the ASU campus in Tempe.

According to organizers, there will be large group sessions, break-out workshop sessions, activism and organizing training sessions and a lot more.

Equality Arizona reported today that over 400 people have already signed up so if you're interested in attending, reserve a seat by registering at: http://eqfed.org/ahrf/events/townhall08/register.tcl?

Judging from the response so far, this looks like it's going to be an exciting, groundbreaking event. And, considering that Governor Napolitano is going to Washington and republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer is taking over, giving us a TOTALLY REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED GOVERNMENT, it's even more important for us to get organized and get active!

Here are the details:

Arizona State University - Life Science Building A, Room 191, Tempe, AZ

SPECIAL NOTE: Tempe Art festival is also this weekend so DO NOT attempt to drive down Mill, you'll only be redirected into the middle of nowhere.

The best place to park would be in the Fulton Bldg. garage on College Avenue. The entrance is on the east side of College Ave., north of University and just past the first bus stops. After you park, just walk south to University. ASU's entrance is right across the street and the Life Sciences Lecture Hall is behind the "Old Main" landmark bldg. See ASU map.

Below is a much more dtailed updated listing of the events schedule that I just got from Equality AZ:

Town Hall Schedule

Keynote Address: (10:00-11:00 Main Lecture Hall)
Peri Jude Radecic, Executive Director, Arizona Center for Disability Law

Brainstorm Session: Marriage, Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships (11:00-12:30 Main Hall)
Panelists: Barbara McCullough-Jones, Jason Cianciotto, Frankie Reynolds, Ken Jacobs, Cynthia Leigh Lewis; Facilitator: Elizabeth Burden
Join in a dialogue with community leaders from across the state with opportunities for questions and answers. This is time for healing and looking forward, a time to address and voice concerns from the past election, and a time to turn our eyes to the future.

Brainstorm Session: Campaign Strategies (1:30-3:00 Main Lecture Hall)
Facilitators: Barbara McCullough-Jones Equality Arizona, Ken Jacobs Pima County Democratic Party
How do national campaigns affect local issues? Are national issues like "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and ENDA affecting our state political structure? Join this discussion to discuss the ramifications of national political issues and how they affect Arizona.

Brainstorm Session: Politics and Religion (1:30-3:00 Classroom 1)
Facilitators: Julie Roberts, Equality Arizona, Steve Wayles, First Congregational UCC
Opening level planning session designed to organize a statewide interfaith coalition to openly approach Equality through communities of faith. We will look at what has happened in the past, both successes and failures and look to the future in Arizona. We want to create an effective and unified campaign to activate our allies and engage in productive discussions to change the hearts and minds of the more conservative and less inclusive communities of Faith in Arizona.

Workshop Session: Being a Citizen Lobbyist (1:30-3:00 OR 3:30-5:00 Classroom 2)
Presenter: Sam Holdren, Equality Arizona
A workshop designed to lead a personal activist through the twists and turns of the Legislature. Discover effective methods to influence legislative ideas and actions. Learn how one person can make a difference.

Workshop Session: Families You Know (1:30-3:00 Classroom 3)
Presenter: Jason Cianciotto, Wingspan
The Families You Know? campaign profiles families in which one or more members is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Families where children, siblings, parents, grandparents and friends are loved, respected, cared for and nurtured. By utilizing social media, this campaign is community-focused and community-driven. Its goal is to raise awareness, confront prejudice, and begin a conversation where all families are respected, valued, and not exploited for short-term political gain.

Brainstorm Session: Hate Crimes (1:30-3:00 Classroom 4)
Facilitators: Nathan Treanor, HRC, Mikho Jenamie, Wingspan, Tambra Williams, City of Phoenix Police Department
Hate Crimes affect not only the victim but the community as a whole. Do you have ideas about effective responses to hate crimes? What measures for prevention do you think are important? Is the answer legislation, prevention or enhanced community response?

Brainstorm Session: Engaging Our Allies (1:30-3:00 Classroom 5)
Facilitator: Nora Ranney, ACLU
Do you have ideas for building bridges into the Allied community? Are you a straight ally looking for opportunities to get involved? Join this conversation to help identify new partnerships or ways to think outside the box.

Brainstorm/Workshop Session: Legal Protections for Partners and Families (Main Hall 3:30-5:00)
Presenter/Facilitator: Kathie Gummere, Esq.
A discussion regarding current alternatives to marriage, with an eye towards short term or existing family protections such as second parent adoption, hospital visitation and medical power of attorney. Workshop portion is a Q&A with Kathie.

Brainstorm Session: Transgender Inclusiveness-(3:30-5:00 Classroom 1)
Facilitators: Abigail Jensen, Attorney and Transgender activist, Steven Tran, Equality Arizona
Join a discussion about current issues affecting the transgender community, how those issues are different from and similar to the issues affecting the larger LGBT community, and how and where to focus our efforts to achieve change in Arizona.

Workshop Session: Engaging Youth (3:30-5:00 Classroom 3)
Presenters: Matthew Heil , GLSEN, Micheal Weakley , 1N10
We will come from the two perspectives of youth and youth activism to educate the participants on how to best interact with LGBTQ youth and youth leaders, their rights and abilities within GSA's in schools, how faculty and non-faculty can get involved with LGBTQ youth leaders and the progress and needs of LGBTQ youth leaders from our community.

Brainstorm Session: Equality Through the Arts (3:30-5:00 Classroom 4)
Facilitators: Julie Roberts, Equality Arizona, Aaron Wilder, Sandra McCullough-Jones
Got a song to sing? A dance to dance or a poem to be read? Turn your talent toward Equality and bring together all the arts for a sharing and collaborative planning session to see what path we are on, the paths we want to continue down and what new paths we can forge together to create new ground.

Bring your guitars and your dancing shoes, creative & collaborative ideas, and your willingness to learn, share and grow together as an artistic community for Equality!

Brainstorm: Health Issues (3:30-5:00 Classroom 5)
Facilitator: Hilllary Pinney, Planned Parenthood
Which LGBT health issues are currently under-addressed or underserved? How are LGBT people being excluded? Do you have ideas about engaging the health care community to create better policies or practices for the community?

The event is being hosted by Equality Arizona, 1n10, the Amancio Project, ACLU of Arizona, GLSEN Phoenix, Human Rights Campaign, Northern Arizona Pride Association, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Prescott Pride Center, and Wingspan.

This is your chance to have a voice in shaping the future of Arizona's equality movement so come on over and help us make a difference.