Our planning meeting in June looked a little different with new committee members attending. Kati O’Donnell, Akusua Akoto and Bill Nevins came and stimulated conversation about where the conference might be held–South Broadway Cultural Center, Harwood Art Center. Due to considerations of time, money, and familiarity with the Harwood, we decided to keep the conference there.
In keeping with the plan for our new Conference Schedule, we discussed preferring local panelists and performers to people outside the area. We briefly discussed the Saturday night performance, including music, venue, performers. Leslie and Akusua met later to discuss the performance, and John and Leslie asked Akusua to be in charge of the arrangements. Kati O’Donnell held our feet to the fire and made us think about “pathways to the core issues(s)” of each panel discussion. She also reminded us that interpreters must be included in the panel discussions (and workshops) if we want people living with the issues we plan to address in the panel discussions to attend the conference. She reminded us that people who don’t speak English or speak very little will have no reason to attend the conference.
We held several individual meetings outside the committee meeting, due in part to scheduling issues with some of the participants. John met with Carlos to discuss performance arrangements. Both Leslie and John discussed aspects of organizing the conference with other participants on the telephone and in emails. John will soon meet with Irene and others to continue the discussion.