Following the anti-semitic, anti-Israel incident at A Wider Bridge reception during Creating Change Conference last year, there’s a demand to know what we are planning to do with regard to participating in the upcoming Creating Change Conference, set for January 18 – 22 in Philadelphia. In brief, we are sending two of our staff leaders, Tye Gregory and Quentin Hill to participate in the conference, and to represent A Wider Bridge in the discussions, especially those that might focus on issues related to Israel and anti-Semitism.
While we are not presenting a program or hosting a reception at the Conference itself, we are hosting a private Lunch and Learn event in Philadelphia on January 20, that will be an opportunity for both conference attendees and others in the Philadelphia area to learn about and discuss our work.
On Wednesday, A Wider Bridge will be returning to the Creating Change Conference, this year in Philadelphia, to continue engaging LGBTQ leaders and activists with the shared advancement of LGBTQ rights in the United States and Israel.
The timeline surrounding A Wider Bridge’s participation at Creating Change in Chicago last year, in which our reception was cancelled, reinstated, and ultimately shut down by anti-Israel protesters, was a difficult chapter for our organization and our community.
This year, A Wider Bridge Deputy Director Tyler Gregory and Northeast Manager Quentin Hill, along with many supporters and allies of A Wider Bridge will be participating in sessions throughout the Creating Change Conference to ensure our voices are heard and to give conference attendees options for constructive engagement with Israel and the Jewish, Arab, and Christian Israeli LGBTQ communities.
In addition, we are hosting a nearby “lunch and learn” event in Philadelphia next Friday (invitation below). Our private event will afford conference attendees and others in the Philadelphia area an opportunity to learn more about the work of A Wider Bridge and to engage in a discussion on strategies to move past the events in Chicago that caused a great deal of pain for attendees at last year’s conference. To ensure the event’s success, the address will be distributed only to those who RSVP in advance of the program, and attendance will be non-transferable.
If you’re in Philly, we hope you’ll join us, and if you know conference attendees who would like to learn more about A Wider Bridge, please help us spread the word.
One final thought, the conference organizers have stated:
Creating Change is a space that allows for expressing political disagreements and differences while at the same time holding our respect for, and interdependence with, each other. We gather each year to grow and educate ourselves and each other and engage in dialogue that gives us room to celebrate our work together and to struggle and name the most difficult things. There will be moments that this will be hard to hear but our challenge is to stay open and to hear each other and to not shut down discussions or silence dissonant voices.
We hope the conference lives up to this promise.