Creating Change Conference 2023
Recently our UFCW 770 LGBTQ+ constituency group OUTreach went to the Creating Change Conference held in San Francisco. Creating Change is the nation’s foremost political, leadership, and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ movement. Building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. Despite all the progress we have made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. Through Creating Change and other advocacy programs, the Task Force is training and mobilizing thousands of activists across the nation to deliver a world where you can be you.
For more info about UFCW 770 OUTreach and to get involved, email us OUTreach@ufcw770.org
UFCW 770 members Jessi Crowley and Lisa Muir share their experiences below.
I’m not even sure where to begin as I share my experience at Creating Change. I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by queer friends and had a loving, supportive, household that served as a refuge for many of them, and so I’ve never thought of myself as someone who couldn’t be fully myself in spaces. It took attending Creating Change for me to realize that I’ve been failing to allow myself to live my truth – fully, unapologetically, and all at once.
When you have multiple identities, code-switching inevitably becomes automatic. As a bisexual person, leaning into heteronormativity has become easy for me. Through my experience at Creating Change, I’ve learned I’m not alone, and that we all carry a similar sense of loneliness and exhaustion as we try to strike a balance between trying to feel seen and trying to protect our peace.
Over the course of the conference, I connected with people through workshops like the Black Institute, where we had difficult discussions about spirituality and healing, Trans Fertility, where I listened to the experiences of trans folx who are planning a family, and the Bi+ Institute, where we learned about organizing across the decades through activists.
As a bisexual, mixed Afro-Latina, I’m coming back with better confidence in who I am. As a union leader, I’m coming back with new ideas on how to create safe spaces for our members in the future. As a healthcare provider, I’m coming back with the knowledge of the gaps that exist within our healthcare system and steps we can take to begin making those gaps smaller.
Creating Change is love, it is healing, and it is powerful. A fellow UFCW member called the conference “life-changing” – having experienced it for myself, there is no more perfect description. As I readjust to normal life in predominantly non-queer spaces, I keep thinking about all our members who are not fortunate enough to have a safe space to be fully themselves and how beautiful it would be to have them attend Creating Change in the future.
My name is Lisa Muir, I am with Outreach Local 770. I am a pharmacy technician and I have worked for Vons for 37 years. I am proud to say that I am an Ally. I would like to share my experience at Creating Change.
Having an open mind and wanting to learn I will have to say I felt overwhelmed with so many emotions and feelings that I have had personal growth. From hearing what many of our Transgender family have had to endure my heart is breaking. Experiencing violence from many different avenues, work discrimination and police harassment, not to mention being mistreated by doctors who are supposed to be helping. I know changes are happening but there needs to be more positive support.
The lectures were very informative about many topics. The speakers on the panels were on point, stated their views, and then were open for questions.
Honestly I had no idea how active Outreach is as a whole. I am impressed with all the community support that is offered from so many other Union Locals. Thank you for the opportunity to be able to participate in this amazing event. There is more to be done and together we can accomplish a lot!