The 3rd annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people of color conference in the Rio Grande Valley is set to take place on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 at the South Texas College Cooper Center in McAllen, Texas.

The conference is organized by Aquí Estamos RGV, a youth-led and volunteer-run LGBTQ group. It is one of the few free two-day conferences in the nation for LGBTQ people of color.

The group announced the theme for the workshops and presentations will be “Violence By Policy.”

Courtesy of Aquí Estamos RGV

“In the past year, we have seen serious legal and socioeconomic challenges against our communities,” AE states on their website. “During our two-day conference, we will discuss the moment we’re in, where we can go from here, and how we can move forward and WIN.”

Individuals and groups interested in presenting during the conference can submit a proposal through AE’s website.

Among the issues AE advocates for are immigrant rights, trans rights, abortion access, feminism, and provide trainings for schools and other agencies on LGBTQ inclusivity.

In previous years, the group has had keynote speakers who work on these issues to speak at the annual conference. Some of those keynote speakers include Isa Noyola, Director of Programs at Transgender Law Center, and Joaquin Carcaño, lead plaintiff in Carcaño v McCrory against the state of North Carolina regarding House Bill 2.

Apart from the free entrance, the conference organizers prioritize making the event as accessible as possible, so services such as ASL, English to Spanish translation, local transportation and housing, and a youth-program for children are offered at no cost for all participants.

To register, visit aquiestamosrgv.org.

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