Working Our Way Home is a 4-day conference
focused on the lives, needs and struggles of people--primarily students in northeastern Ohio-- in
the African Diaspora who would welcome a conversation of their sexualities and genders that are more complex than mainstream
categories. While recognizing language limitations and the difficulties of defining identity, we will explore (1) how our
racial and ethnic identities relate to our sexuality and gender, (2) how we self-identify and exist between and outside conventional/traditional
labels, and (3) how we form homes - supportive communities and families.
Who are the people we've been waiting for?
- People of African descent throughout the Diaspora of any/multiple national, racial, ethnic, regional, cultural, spiritual
or class backgrounds or identifications.
- People who work consciously to build healthy and varied relationships, including but not limited to platonic, romantic,
sensual, sexual, intimate and or spiritual ones, whether in the form of romantic and sexual couples, fuck buddies, physically
and or emotionally intimate friends, open relationships and non-monogamous couples and groups. These relationships may be
with people of any sex, gender, or sexuality.
- People, regardless of how we identify, who work to heal from and transform oppressive and violent relationships and
situations into empowering, honest, conscientious, healthy ones, from our (inter)personal relationships to our whole society.
We borrow these words from poet and activist
June Jordan, "We are the people we've been waiting for," to gather and celebrate our common goals and express our myriad selves.
While participants and speakers will affect
the focus of the conference, some of the conference organizers' goals include:
-Expanding our notions of queer identities
and queer activism in Africana communities;
-Fostering community within our region,
pooling resources and offering support particularly to those who feel isolated;
-Creating space to explore different aspects
of sexuality and gender identity.
Allies and members of the public
are welcome to participate; at the same time, the purpose and mission of the conference will not be compromised to accommodate
people whose power is threatened by a conference not specifically centered around them. To promote a supportive environment,
disrespect and backlash have no place at Working Our Way Home.