The keynote speakers for 2017 will be Elle Hearns and Willy Wilkinson:
Elle Hearns is a black, trans, freedom fighter who hails from Columbus, Ohio. In 2014, after the murders of Cemia Dove, Brittney Nicole Kidd-Stergis,Tiffany Edwards, and Betty Skinner, Elle turned pain into action by organizing black trans women from Ohio to have safe spaces to build and collaborate on ways to better their lives. Elle is the Central Region Coordinator for GetEQUAL for which she was appointed in early 2015. Through her work with GetEQUAL, Elle has been committed to making sure that marginalized voices, especially those of black trans women, are centered and reflected in the organization’s efforts towards full federal and social equality. Elle is a strategic partner of #BlackLivesMatter and works collaboratively with the #BlackLivesMatter team. Elle’s commitment to black lives goes deeper than conversation — it goes to sustainable action that will assist in the dismantling of systems that support systemic, structural, and physical violence.
Check out some of her talks here:
Willy Wilkinson, MPH is an award-winning writer, public health consultant, cultural competency trainer, public speaker, and spoken word performer. He is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, which illuminates trans experience from a Chinese American and mixed heritage perspective, and transforms the memoir genre into a cultural competency tool. Willy has provided LGBTQ and trans-specific training for hundreds of community health organizations, educational institutions, and businesses. He is the recipient of a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association award, and the Transgender Law Center Vanguard Award, and is recognized on the Trans 100. He lives in Oakland, California with his three vibrant, young kids. Learn more at www.willywilkinson.com.