The Eighth Annual Multi-Faith Transgender Summit will bring together religious activists, leaders, students, and practitioners from across a variety of faith traditions to explore intersectionalities of religion and trans* identities. This 3-day event will include workshops, discussion groups, and academic presentations. The Sixth Annual CLGS Georgia Harkness Lecture will kick off this year’s summit with Dr. Melissa M. Wilcox on October 15, 2015. Valerie Spencer and Gabriel Foster will be our two keynote speakers.
The conference will feature a free & open to the public event: Community Action Forum: Confronting Violence Against Transgender Communities, along with a line up of dynamic workshops and cutting edge scholarship on gender-identity and religion. The evening of October 15 and the first day of the conference, October 16 will be held at the Pacific School of Religion campus. The second day of the conference, October 17 will be held at City of Refuge, UCC church in East Oakland. In these inspirational settings there will also be several opportunities to express our spirituality, faith and worship! Join us for this wonderful time of sharing, connecting, and exploration.
Valerie Spencer describes herself as “being a woman from birth but discovering that just a bit latter.” With the love of her dynamic mother (LuLu) she was able to overcome the toughness of being different. She has worked in the arena of Social Services, specifically representing HIV Prevention and Services delivery as it relates to Transgender persons for nearly two decades. Over time she has worked with the federal government, health departments, universities, community groups, conferences and community based organizations around the country. The directive she gives herself is simple, to make the complex comprehensive. She believes Trans-issues to be very diverse, often moving far beyond HIV disease into areas more commonly ignored by mainstream society: sexism, gender phobia, poverty, and marginalization as a whole. “Even the effects of slavery have a profound affect on the entanglement of Transgender persons in this society.” Yet Valerie has made forward development and comprehensive dialogue her movement. Her latest work in progress is the development of Transcend Empowerment Institute, an organization which addresses empowerment on a social, cultural and holistic basis. “This organization is not specific to Transgenderism. It is all encompassing and includes all people.” For more information visit the Learning Trans website.
Gabriel Foster is a black, queer, trans, momma’s boy based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the director of The Trans Justice Funding Project, a community-led funding initiative supporting grassroots; trans justice groups run by and for trans people. Gabriel has a long history of working with LGBTQ communities in Seattle, WA, Oakland, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Atlanta, GA and New York. He has worked for the American Friends Service Committee, Northwest Network for Survivors of Abuse, The Leeway Foundation, The Bread and Roses Fund, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Gabriel has also recently joined the board of directors of Funders for LGBT Issues and become a Connecting Leaders Fellow at ABFE, a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities.