The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)—a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (API) organizations—is planning a 400-person LGBTQ API National Conference from July 26-29, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. NQAPIA develops LGBTQ API leadership, builds the capacity of local organizations, invigorates grassroots organizing and advocacy, and challenges anti-LGBTQ prejudice, racism, and anti-immigrant bias. This conference is locally hosted by NQAPIA’s federation members and dedicated individuals.
The conference goals are to network, organize, train, educate, and build capacity of the nation’s LGBTQ API community.
Networking: The conference will bring together several constituencies of the LGBTQ API community—local community leaders, grassroots activists, youth, professionals, parents, health advocates, organizational heads, international activists, funders, and donors—to exchange ideas and strategies. Networking inspires new solutions and rejuvenates existing ones. We hope to solidify current relationships and make new connections at local, regional, national, and transnational levels.
Education: The conference seeks to increase awareness on current issues confronting LGBTQ APIs. Mainstream API civil rights and immigrants’ rights issues require a queer analysis. At the same time, LGBTQ rights require an approach that considers race, ethnicity, and immigration. We will review a range of topics including immigration reform, family acceptance, racial justice, trans justice, and international solidarity.
Organizing: Conference organizers hope the conference will help identify and build a political agenda for LGBTQ APIs, brainstorm ideas for political action, and map out existing resources in the community. This must be founded upon intersections of different forms of oppressions and multi-issue organizing. This includes workshops on Trans Justice, Challenging Anti-Blackness, Solidarity Organizing, and Direct Action skills building.
Building Capacity: We hope to give leaders and members of LGBTQ API organizations tools to better achieve their goals and overcome challenges. This includes workshops on leadership, building a team, board development, communications and media, grant writing, engaging volunteers/members, and grassroots fundraising.
Inclusion: Conference planners are taking affirmative steps to meaningfully involve those who have been traditionally underrepresented—including women, people of transgender experience, young people, Pacific Islanders, and activists outside of the Coasts—to ensure that the conference is pan-Asian. Organizers will target outreach, and we hope to provide travel scholarships to ensure inclusion.
Overall, we hope to build community and advance an agenda that will bring all LGBTQ racial and ethnic minority groups into the full fold of society, the LGBTQ movement, and the API community.