GSBA Vision & Mission

MISSION: To combine business development, leadership and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT Community and those who support equality for all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Creating Change: Ruben

GSBA Scholars Attend Creating Change
For 25 years, the GSBA Scholarship Fund has invested in LGBTQ and allied students through financial scholarships. We know that our scholars are the future leaders of our community. In order to create a strong, well-prepared and skilled workforce, we understand our students need support beyond tuition.

This year we are excited to share that GSBA was able to sponsor two students to attend the 27th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Denver. Along with our Scholarship Manager Jessica Wootten, current scholars Angela Tang and Ruben Zecena attended the weeklong conference earlier this month. In their own way, Angela and Ruben each share their experiences at Creating Change. Click here to read Angela's reflections.

From Ruben Zecena
Attending Creating Change was refreshing for my activism, as well as being able to go to a fabulous drag queen show! My first impression of the conference was walking into the main lobby and finding an altar for Jesse Hernandez. She was a queer Latina who was brutally shot a few days prior to the conference. Many workshops began with a minute of silence for Jesse, and I was glad to be in a space that valued queer lives of color. Angela and I were also able to exchange ideas on events that we had taken part of. Both of us were amazed at the amount of queer people of color at the conference. I went to some workshops that were mainly in Spanish, which I had never experienced in activist settings. 

One of my favorite workshops was one created by Make the Road New York. This workshop gave information about the organization’s mission and the communities that they work for. Not only were the organization’s leaders present at the workshop, but also allowed some of their members to speak at the workshop. These speakers were trans Latina immigrants who spoke about their living conditions in New York. They spoke about employment discrimination as well as being harassed by the police. A piece of information that I was shocked by is that police in New York who find trans women carrying condoms use that as a reason to detain these women on charges of prostitution. I also learned about undocumented Latinas who are then taken to detention centers with the danger of being deported to countries where their lives are at danger. This workshop had speakers that had also participated in the protest that arose at creating change. I appreciated the radical conversations that arose throughout the conference and am grateful to have attended creating change.

A week after this conference I spoke at a rally put on by an organization that I am part of, Queer People of Color and Allies, and was able to honor the lives of queer and trans people of color. I learned some of the information I talked about at Creating Change and was inspired to continue to be part of queer activist organizations.

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