GLAAD Goes to Netroots Nation

GLAAD will join leading LGBT voices in Las Vegas this week for the fifth annual Netroots Nation convention, an annual conference for bloggers, online activists, and advocacy organizations. Netroots Nation is a project of the non-profit, non-partisan organization, and held its first gathering in 2006. Since then, an increasingly diverse group of organizations, policy experts, and bloggers has come together each year to talk about using technology to strengthen progressive voices in the public sphere. This year's keynote speakers include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, among several others. Different caucuses will address identity, issue, and regional topics. GLAAD will be talking with key progressive and LGBT bloggers to brainstorm ways we can work together to raise support for our equality.  We're excited to be a cosponsor of this year's conference, and to meet and be inspired by other reform-minded people working to change hearts and minds across a variety of issues. If you're a Netroots Nation attendee, come visit the GLAAD booth #800 in the exhibit hall to win prizes and talk to GLAAD staff. You can also keep up with our updates via Twitter. There are several conference sessions that will include LGBT issues; a few are listed below. Marriage Equality: Building a Movement Online, Thursday, 7/22/2010 - 10:30am, Marriage equality took a hit in 2009 with defeats in Maine, New York State and New Jersey. However, popular consensus has been that the shining light of the Maine campaign was its online team, which included a coalition of bloggers across both the LGBT and non-LGBT blogosphere. Conversely, the lack of online to offline integration in New York and New Jersey created a significant "rootsgap" that contributed to each measure's failure. The panelists will talk about successes and failures in online organizing for marriage equality, best practices and how to build stronger ties between traditional LGBT organizations and online activists.  With Joe Sudbay, Adam Bink, Jesse Connolly, Julia Rosen, Michael Crawford. Organizing the Equality Movement in the Obama Era, Friday, 7/23/2010 - 10:30am, Building on the Netroots Nation 2009 panel on LGBT organizing, this panel will expand the conversation to discuss the state of the equality movement in 2010 and what progress can be made before the 2012 elections and beyond. Panelists will discuss the Obama Administration's record on LGBT rights, the federal Prop 8 trial being led by Ted Olson and David Boies, state-by-state efforts to win marriage equality, the potential repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the federal court ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional, and the lack of movement in Congress on a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). With Rick Jacobs, Dustin Lance Black, Pam Spaulding, Evan Wolfson Civil Rights in the Modern Era, Friday, 7/23/2010 - 12:00pm, When Barack Obama took office, pundits across the country were predicting a transition to a post-racial America. And while Obama's win was historic in many ways, the issue of race and discrimination hasn't been solved. If anything, it's gotten worse. From countering racism from Tea Party leaders to fighting Arizona's discriminatory SB 1070 law to battling for marriage equality from state to state, activists across the country fight every day for equal rights. But it's not enough. For too long these have been seen as separate issues instead of different manifestations of the same problem. National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, SEIU's Eliseo Medina, writer and activist Tim Wise, and Hip-Hop Caucus President Rev. Lennox Yearwood will join us for a panel discussion. Open Left's Mike Lux will moderate. During the ’50s and ’60s, the civil rights fight resulted in an incredible amount of activism and movement building. That work has continued for decades but is far from finished.  During this lunchtime session, we'll look at some of today's civil rights battles -- from immigration to LGBT equality to traditional civil rights issues -- and talk about ways to unify our efforts and continue the fight for equality for all. It may require re-examining some of our assumptions and going outside of our respective comfort zones. It's a discussion we have to have -- openly and honestly -- if we're ever going to break down the walls that exist in our country. LGBT Caucus, Friday, 7/23/2010 - 1:30pm, Connect with like-minded folks and talk with others from your community in our identity, issue and regional caucuses. With Mike Rogers, Pam Spaulding. See the Netroots Nation website for a full list of sessions and more information.