Queering Racial Justice is a day-long virtual convening on Saturday, October 10, 2020, exploring how queer and trans people of color activism is leading the resistance to state-sanctioned violence. Build your skills, broaden your understanding, and invest in community organizing strategies for collective liberation.
Plenary: Resisting/No More State-Sanctioned Violence
The last four years have brought us more state-sanctioned violence and militarization of the police than ever witnessed before. While colonialism and structural racism have been the building blocks of our economy for centuries, the current violent military force and imprisonment against BIPOC and queer communities has given rise to queer, and people of color-led resistance.
Join us for Queering Racial Justice, on Saturday, October 10, 2020, for a powerful and engaging plenary moderated by incoming Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, to hear from three tremendously courageous and strategic leaders. From Seattle to South Dakota, Nebraska, and D.C.—these leaders are working towards collective liberation for us all.
Candi Brings Plenty
Candi Brings Plenty doesn’t just embrace change. She has a history of making it happen. As the indigenous justice organizer for the ACLU of South Dakota, Candi works to build the ACLU’s public education and advocacy programs through coalition-building, leadership development, communication, and lobbying. Candi, who identifies as Two-Spirit—a modern umbrella term for indigenous people that recognizes there are multiple genders and that sexuality can be fluid – is a lifelong advocate for justice. As a Lakota cultural practitioner and through her spiritual activism, Candi works to bring her medicine to the Oyaté and advocates, especially for the empowerment and visibility of Two-Spirit warriors to reclaim their walk of life in the sacred circle.
Before joining the ACLU of South Dakota, Candi was the campaign adviser and executive proxy for the tribal president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the executive director of the EQUI Institute, a trans and queer health clinic, in Portland, Ore. She was also the founder of the Two-Spirit Nation and led the Two-Spirit encampment at Standing Rock for 11 months during the peaceful prayer movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Candi has a bachelor’s degree in Native American studies with an emphasis on tribal laws and treaties. She completed her graduate certificate in public and nonprofit management and pursued her master’s degree in public administration from Portland State University in Portland, Ore. Candi is an Oglala Lakota Sioux tribal member and a direct descendent of Crazy Horse’s Band. She grew up in the Black Hills and on the Pine Ridge Reservation. She is deeply rooted in her Lakota culture, spirituality, and language.
Dominique Morgan (She/Her) is an award-winning artist, activist, and TEDx speaker. As the Executive Director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States, they work daily to dismantle the systems that perpetuate violence on LGBTQ/GNC people and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Partnering her lived experience of being impacted by mass incarceration (which included 18 months in solitary confinement), with a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and background in public health, she continues to work in spaces of sex education, radical self-care, and transformative youth development with intentions of dismantling the prison industrial complex and it’s impact on our communities. Ms. Morgan is a 2020 Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award recipient, NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient, and 2020 JM Kaplan Innovation Prize, recipient. In addition to completing her capstone project for studies in the Georgetown University – System Involved LGBTQ Youth Scholar Program, Ms. Morgan is a member of the inaugural class of the Black Futures Lab Policy Institute, 2020 Martin Luther King “Living The Dream” Award Recipient, and 2020 Urban League of Nebraska YP of the Year. Dominique’s first book, “An Introduction to Sexuality Education: A Handbook for Youth System Facing Professionals,” will be released in 2021. Find out more about Dominique at www.dominiquemorgan.com. Check out her TEDxTalk on Resilience.
Monserrat Padilla has been organizing LGBTQ, immigrant, and communities of color on the ground for over ten years to build collective movement power. She was a co-founder of the Washington Dream Coalition and has led national & statewide campaigns, including the victory on the Washington State Dream Act to expand eligibility for state aid in higher education.
Monserrat worked as the National Program Coordinator for the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, a program of United We Dream, where she worked across the country building a national network of LGBTQ immigrant community leaders, advocates, and organizers to develop policies and advocate addressing the needs of LGBTQ immigrant communities.
Monserrat was born in Tonalá, Jalisco, Mexico. At the age of 2, she migrated to the U.S. with her mother and two older siblings. She grew up in East Los Angeles, CA, where she became part of the 11 million undocumented families living in the U.S. At the age of 15, she moved to Seattle, Washington, graduating from Chief Sealth International High School in 2010 and attending the University of Washington in Seattle.
The Task Force’s next Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, joined the Task Force in 2018 as Deputy Executive Director but was already engaged with the organization, previously serving on the National LGBTQ Task Force’s board of directors and its National Action Council. Johnson came to the Task Force after serving as URGE’s Executive Director with a wealth of experience in organizational leadership and management, program development, youth leadership and reproductive justice. As a bisexual Black woman, Johnson will become one of few out queer-identified women of color at the helm of a national LGBTQ organization.
She is recognized as a national expert on queer and reproductive rights issues and has testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives and has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Fox News, Feministing.com and National Public Radio. Johnson also serves on the boards of directors of the General Service Foundation, Groundswell Fund, and Guttmacher Institute.
Throughout her career, she has also served on the boards of Center for Community Change and the Women’s Information Network (WIN). Johnson has been recognized for her leadership with awards, including the Young Women of Achievement Award for WIN in 2002, the Women of Vision Award for the Ms. Foundation for Women in 2013, and Washingtonian Magazine’s Most Influential Washingtonians Under 40 in 2009.
When announced as the next Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, Kierra Johnson said, “Dignity, liberation, joy, freedom, love and resistance are just a few of the words that I associate with the National LGBTQ Task Force. As a bisexual/pansexual woman, I am no stranger to being made invisible, advised to tone down, or trained in the art of the code switch. As a queer southern mom, it is no surprise why I would be drawn to an organization that touts the tagline ‘Be You.’ In these cultural and political times, it is an act of resistance to live out loud and to lead and love with our full identities. I am excited and honored to be named the next Executive Director of the LGBTQ Task Force! I welcome the opportunity to think strategically with a powerful team of leaders and be in service to those working to ensure that LGBTQ people—especially the most targeted among us—not only survive but thrive. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and dive in to continue the ongoing and creative work of the Task Force to change hearts and minds, behavior and policies so that justice is no longer a vision but a reality for all!”