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Old and new faces appeared at the TDOR kick-off meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at the MDC on Ridge Avenue. There was another meeting at the DC Center last night, and I haven’t heard yet what those outcome are.
Here are my notes from the kick-off. Sorry it took a week to get them together.
The dozen or so items comprising the outline of all the aspects that will be involved this year is emerging, such as the program (development of presenters and program booklet design), invitees, and media/PR, etc.
There appears to be consensus that it is well nigh time for TDOR planners to shift the tone and nature of the ceremony, to return its focus to those fallen and the redoubling of those left living to make this a better world for transgender people. This means less visibility for elected and appointed officials. And, go a step further, that when those officials are invited to speak that we tell them to focus exclusively of what they have done and what they plan to do to help the transgender community, and as a courtesy to those in attendance we ask that this not just be a drive-by speech, that they stay from beginning to end so that they may more fully honor the fallen and further understand and enfellowship all those in attendance. This new focus of their presentations should also apply to organizations that are invited to represent on stage, that they speak entirely about matters of most concern to our community (not just some made up stuff that’s on their mind). In the old days, we had to scrounge for their involvement, but no more.
Discussions were held about a day or even a week of actions leading up to the TDOR. Assessing the current needs of the community involves talking to more than just us so we can be assured that the agenda for an action or series of actions includes specific, verified goals, strategies, and desired results (demands met) will be. We should do everything we can to make sure we are talking to, listening to, our most vulnerable community members. Trying to put together our old TLGB DC Police Watch coalition which assured this community connection would seem like the first step before we write any of these actions in stone.
1. Boots on the ground to hold elected officials and police commanders accountable by presenting a list of demands (determined by and for the community) with deadlines for their implementation, perhaps along the lines of our successful TDOA a few years ago.
2. An evening of inter-generational self-care to bring together our old school and new school ways of asserting our agency. (Belatedly, I thought maybe a pajama party might be a good way to set the tone and bring our diverse community together.)
3. A possible community forum with elected and appointed officials that will include presentations from them, and just as important, for them, aimed at substantive and sustainable change. We could also add organization representatives with the same purpose.
4. A possible press conference kicking off a media blitz for the Needs Assessment. (Maybe #3 and #4 could be combined into one event?)
5. The so-called Transgender March of Resilience appears to be a national campaign wherein each city organizes on its own, many of which have already been planned for the day of the TDOR, November 20, some on other days of the preceding week. Somehow we could tap into those national resources to put on a march of our own, most probably in connection with #1, above. Baltimore is doing it on 11/20.
6. And other stuff we hadn’t thought of yet.
Iden Campbell is organizing our historical timeline exhibit that will be hung at the TDOR. Possibly all or part of it or photos of it can and should be integrated into one or more actions that week, including in our media.
David Mariner and Earline will help up open an online DC Center community called TDOR where we can communicate with each other.
More to come, no doubt.