This week’s hot stuff (9-22-11)

The Take Back the American Dream conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future with support from Rebuild the Dream, will be happening on October 3 – 5 in Washington, DC. Find out more and register online. The American Dream Movement is growing stronger by the day, and it’s not going away until everyone can find jobs, afford to go to college, retire with dignity, and secure a future for our children and our communities.

Rainbow Response Coalition in DC is a grassroots organization addressing the needs of LGBTQ people with regard to domestic violence. This deeply sensitive work joins LGBTQ leaders domestic with violence service providers and government agencies to increase the awareness about Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) amid the relationships of LGBTQ individuals, and educating within the LGBTQ communities and beyond. We encourage you to get involved and support Rainbow Response Coalition.

We hoping to make it to the The Singularity Summit 2011, a TED-style two-day event at the historic 92nd Street Y in New York City, October 15-16. This is all about the development of new technologies ramping up more and more rapidly, an exponential expansion of technology wherein technology feeds on itself making unpredictable progress, otherwise known as “the singularity,” a term coined and popularized by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Joining Kurzweil as a speaker are visionary scientist Stephen Wolfram, IBM manager Dan Cerutti, longevity expert Sonia Arrison, author David Brin, neuroscientist Christof Koch, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark, AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, MIT polymath Alexander Wissner-Gross, DARPA challenge winner Riley Crane, Skype founder Jaan Tallinn, economist Tyler Cowen, television personalities Jason Silva and Casey Pieretti, and robotics professors James McLurnkin and Robin Murphy. The Singularity Summit was founded as an academic forum for discussing the “big picture” questions in industry, economics, and ethics raised by the prospect of such a profound event.

Fantasia Fair is a week-long celebration of gender diversity and according to its website it is also the longest-running annual event in the transgender world. Every October it is held in Provincetown, Massachusetts, this year October 16-23. We have only heard rave reviews of this gathering which attracts hundreds of gender-queer and transfolk from across the country. There is a whole circuit of similarly themed conferences, one called Be All every year in Chicago. Many people we have spoken to here with us attending Atlanta’s Southern Comfort Conference are heading north for Fantasia Fair because there is nothing like person-to-person contact to help forward our common cause.

Out & Equal‘s 2011 Workplace Summit in Dallas is coming, October 25-28. “Individuals, human resources professionals, diversity managers, employee resource group (ERG) leaders, and allies have the perfect platform from which to make powerful connections, share best practices, and formulate a strategy that allows for a powerful demonstration of their commitment to equality in the workplace.” Find out more about this and the many other thing this organization is accomplishing.

We marvel over The American Equality Bill which calls for equal non-discrimination protections for sexuality and gender, and would apply nationally to every state by adding “sexual orientation and gender identity” to all existing federal civil rights legislation.  As endorsements add up for this idea, Representative Jared Polis (CO-2) is also working on an LGBT Omnibus Equality Bill to be introduced sometime in October. If you want to get involved in working towards such a bill and help free our society from sexuality and gender oppression, go to Equality Giving or Facebook.

It’s Vicky’s birthday again, Victoria Woodhull that is (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927), the radical suffragette that founded the sexual freedom movement. Each year, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance produces a report, the State of the Sexual Freedom in the US, and presides over Sexual Freedom Day filled with informative presentations, the “Vicky” Awards to outstanding sexual freedom pioneers, and a sumptuous gala in the evening. Alison and Dan are members of the Alliance’s Advisory Board, and VenusPlusX returns as a Sexual Freedom Day sponsor. Some tickets are still available, but make a note for next September 23 to attend this must-go event.

And. we can’t pass any opportunity to draw your attention to People For The American Way and its crucial work fighting right-wing extremism in this country. Please check out “Right Wing Watch” on their website, one of many features that will spur you into action.

Last but not least, a shout out and message of love and deep admiration for all the dedicated and impassioned individuals who comprise Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and played such a vital role in seeing through the September 20 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It’s a brand new day. Thank you.

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