Before reading this final piece of my triptych on my experience at the Sex Conference read part one here and part two here.
I left off at the ending of a presentation on race, class and sexuality and at the beginning of a new session on how African-American women use ehealth to find health information on the internet. It was at this space that I saw the most women and men of Color. There were a sprinkle of White practitioners, some allies, some not.
This was one of the first times that I have heard about that AASECT had a planning meeting with activists and some members (no members in leadership positions on AASECT) focusing on how to diversify the field and the organization. I was not able to attend since this was on one of the last days of the conference and I could only afford to pay for one day, but I shared as much as I could with the people I knew would be in attendance.
From that one conversation action plans were made and here is what happened:
• The Woman of Color Sexual Health Network listserv has been created. If you are reading this and are interested in joining this listserv please comment and I will send a request to add you. Currently, there are 12 people on this listserv.
• In addition to the Women of Color Sexual Health Network facebook page has been created. Please add yourself and share the work you are doing! Currently there are 88 people signed up!
• I have made contact with women of Color in the field and I know these will be long term relationships and collaborations.
• We are planning on submitting presentations for next year’s conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
• We are planning on doing a carpool from NYC to PA.
• We are planning on getting more people of Color into leadership positions at AASECT.
• I am very close to gaining my certification and membership into AASECT.
I’ve realized that with my membership and certification comes another way for more people of Color to gain access into AASECT. One of the requirements is mentorship and a letter of recommendation for sexuality educators. If I am a member, I can offer mentorship and letters of recommendation as well. This is powerful. This is power. This is how my activism has shifted as I age and I am becoming more comfortable working in this way bit by bit. It still feels foreign for me to be in such spaces having this much power (yes, some of you may laugh, yet to me, this is a TON of power and it's frightening) in such a hierarchical space, especially when I was hardly mentored myself to be in such a space. I’m learning as I go. There are good people helping me and in return helping us.
I can’t help but remember the last time I went to Arizona, when Elena had us perform a renewal ritual. We wrote the things we wanted to get out of our life and write the things we wanted for this year. Here is what I wrote:
I feel accomplishment towards these goals.