Two weekends ago, I spent most of my Saturday and Friday night attending empowering plenaries, panel discussions and keynote speaking events at the Black Lesbian Conference 2016 in upper-Manhattan, New York.
Presented by the Beyond Bold and Brave collective in New York, the conference brought more than 200 attendees who identify as women of African descent identifying as lesbian, bisexual, queer and same-gender-loving to congregate and engage in conversations, presentations and lectures that evolve around nurturing and growing the sisterhood, wellness, resources and empowerment of the Black LesBiQueer community.
The Conference hosted sessions facilitated by more than two dozen panelists and instructors who tackled finance, wealth, artistry, domestic violence, sexuality, oppression, politics and health. Dr. Marjorie Hill, CEO of the Joseph Addabbo Health Center, gave a powerful keynote speech to begin the Conference weekend by encouraging women to take the messages, inspirations and lessons gathered at the Conference to plant seeds immediately in the Black LesBiQueer community. Priestess Imani Rashid, bklyn boihood founder Ryann Makenzi Holmes, community advocate Tina Jones and Barnard College professor Dr. Mignon R. Moore led the communication in the Conference’s luncheon discussing the state of the Black lesbian community from an intergenerational standpoint.
Black Lesbian Conference founders Alyce Emory and Kim Ford put together a very fruitful and successful conference that provided such a valuable experience for Black LesBiQueer women to engage in the realest talk among like-minded women that resulted in opportunities for community growth beyond this two-day affair.
I may have been the only male in attendance, serving as media, but I acquired a lot of gems of wisdom and encouragement at the Conference.
Watching the attendees thanking the women leaders for putting together such a motivational event made me smile very often throughout the Conference. I look forward to the next conference and other community events Emory and Ford produce.
Alyce Emory and Kim Ford produced and hosted the Conference to a sold-out attendance during the last weekend of March 2016.
Dr. Marjorie J. Hill (pictured with Conference co-founder Alyce Emory) gave a great speech as the Keynote Speaker during the Conference’s opening reception.
Yoruba Richen, Dr. Judith Casselberry and Karen Thompson hosted a panel presentation titled “What Does It Mean To Draw A Line? Lesbian Separation as Respite From Oppression.”
Ejeris Dixon, Monique “Mo” George, T. Jibri Douglas and Rebecca Williams hosted a panel presentation titled “Advocating For Ourselves: Getting The Resources We Need.”
Alexis McSween, Adriane Ferguson, Aquaila Barnes and Rhonda Otten-Curtis hosted a panel presentation titled “Creating Financial Wellness for LGBTQ Women.”
Alyce Emory accepted a Proclamation from the Manhattan borrough of New York City for the Black Lesbian Conference and Beyond Bold And Brave organization.
Alyce Emory shared the celebration of the Proclamation with members of the Conference planning committee including Rhonda Otten-Curtis, Kawana S. Bullock, Imani Rashid, Katherine Bailey, Marsha Bonner, Wen Peguero, Stephanie Reid and Julie Worthy.
Alyce Emory shared the celebration of the Proclamation with her parents and family members.
Check out the rest of the photos in the galleries below.