WELCOME TO THE SUMMIT!
From across the United States-and even from around the world-service providers, political activists, community organizers, health professionals, public health researchers, organizational leaders, and policy-makers concerned about the health and wellness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) communities are making plans to spend August 21-25, 2002 at the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Health Summit in Boulder Colorado.
This first-ever Summit will be different from the typical health conference in several critical ways:
· LGBTI health leaders from throughout the United States will be converging on Boulder to craft a collective plan of action for supporting community health and wellness over the next five years and commit themselves to a health movement that links service provision with political activism, and that addresses the ways in which systems of oppression embedded in social, economic, and political structures create health disparities related to sexual and gender identity, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic class.
·A major public conversation will be launched intended to examine and clarify the relationship between LGBTI health movements and the federal, state, and local governments. What should be our health movement’s relationship to the Bush administration, or any federal administration? What happens when government-driven public health efforts conflict with our community-based health agenda? What should the relationship be between LGBTI leaders in governmental positions and community-based LGBTI leaders? And finally, what structures need to be in place in our local and national communities to ensure the success of working partnerships with governmental entities?
·Organizers of the Summit are committed to reframing our understanding of the health and wellness of LGBTI communities, even as we continue to address critical health challenges such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, violence, and mental health. Our intent is to create a powerful focus on the strengths of LGBTI people and the assets of our communities that have allowed us to survive and thrive in the face of powerful threats to community wellness. This Summit will neither pathologize our cultures nor demonize specific subcultures, even as we confront head-on problematic aspects of our diverse LGBTI cultures and internal community dynamics. Instead, a new vision of LGBTI health will be offered, focused on resilience, empowerment, and long-term vision.
The Summit has been designed to model self-care, holistic health, and a spirit of caring. Taking place during late summer in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, the Summit site was selected because it offers ample opportunities for hiking, swimming, outdoor conversation, tennis, and other activities. The Summit schedule is designed to allow participants to enjoy a relaxed and rejuvenating five-day retreat with other leaders of LGBTI health movements and the program includes workshops on massage and touch, stress reduction, healing from trauma, yoga, movement, and dance. An entire track of holistic health workshops, designed to enhance the self-care of Summit participants has been planned for throughout the Summit. The Summit schedule, while filled with exciting workshops, plenaries, and activities, will include leisurely breaks, extended time for relaxed conversations, and ample opportunity for retreat and solitude.