I have been on the planning committee for “Let’s Talk About Sex: Love, Legislation, & Leadership” (LTAS2011) Conference since August 2010. I was invited to join by the ever-awesome reproductive rights activist Aimee Thorne-Thomsen ( follow her at @aimeett on Twitter). The conference is the event of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a great collective based in Atlanta that focuses on the sexual and holistic health of women of color (Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latina, and Native/Indigenous). Rather than explain what the conference entails, SisterSong puts it best:
SisterSong’s 2011 Let’s Talk About Sex National Conference is a celebration of the movement for reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice. This four-day conference will include workshops and plenary sessions on topics such as birth control, senior sexuality, STDs, microbicides, gynecological health and wellness, erotica, militarism, youth sexuality, and more, all through a reproductive justice lens.
Being on the planning committee has been an amazing experience, and a great way to see how to pull off a major event on a national scale. Additionally, this experience, in a way, has become a full-circle moment.
My first encounter with SisterSong was as a volunteer for SisterSong’s first-ever conference back in November 2003. I was a sophomore at Spelman College and was involved in the campus’ Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance chapter, through which I was able to volunteer for the conference. My job was minimal: tape recording workshops that were assigned to me and greeting people as they arrived on campus for the conference. It was at this conference where I found out about Advocates for Youth’s Young Women of Color Leadership Council , and that’s when my life as an activist for the sexual health and rights of women of color took off. This one conference opened up the doors to many wonderful opportunities to cultivate my skills, learn more about the reproductive rights movement, and to find my voice (which is always an ongoing process). To go from tape recording a workshop to being on the planning committee 8 years later has been life-altering and rewarding.
Planning a conference (or anything for that matter) over a long period of time with a group of outspoken, passionate, and powerful women with varying opinions and views was exhilarating and at times intimidating. It showed me the potential of what I can become as well as the assets I already bring to the table.
I will be tweeting live from Miami (the conference site) this week and I will be sharing as much as possible with you all at the end of each conference day. It’s going to be a week of insights, revelations, laughter, healing, and taking action. Be sure to follow the Twitter hashtag #LTAS2011 as well.