Delfin, delegate and pilgrim to World Youth Day
As a Delegate I have tried to bring the spirit and work of Soulforce not only to my home community of Miami but also my home community of the Catholic Church. For the last several months, I have been organizing a delegation of 7 young adult pilgrims who will travel in July 2013 to World Youth Day in Brazil to create the space NOW for LGBTQ people within the Catholic Church. At a time where the church has repeatedly villainized and demonized LGBTQ people as “disordered” and “threats to civilization,” these pilgrims will counter this harmful rhetoric with the message that WE ARE ALL EQUALLY BLESSED!
The delegation is traveling under the banner of the Equally Blessed coalition. These last few months have been good lessons on learning how to work within a newly formed coalition, learning how to balance / integrate the concerns and agendas of multiple groups, and understanding the complexities of ensuring that everyone involved is on the same page. My role has been to:
- Develop application and recruitment process for pilgrimage group.
- Facilitate pilgrim conference calls – develop the agenda, take notes, share notes, invite speakers, and remind folks of calls.
- Work with our coalition members to develop a webpage to both share information about the pilgrimage as well as facilitate donations (https://www.equally-blessed.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=2)
- Create a google folder through which resources, documents, pictures, and other materials can be shared among pilgrims.
- Serve as one of the primary points of contact for questions and information regarding the trip, especially around how to involve others in the pilgrimage experience (asking for donations of rainbow Catholic knickknacks pilgrims can share in Rio, financial contributions, and solidarity of prayer).
My goals moving forward are to:
- Develop and provide resources for pilgrims on progressive approaches on the intersection of sexuality and faith, principles of non-violence, what to expect at World Youth Day, and activist self-care especially after difficult conversations.
- Create videos to help train pilgrims and that Soulforce can use as an education resource (not only for Catholic communities but the wider faith world).
- Continue to find ways for non-pilgrims to be part of the pilgrimage experience.
- Connect with other World Youth Day delegations open to queer-celebrating message (be able to meet once in Rio and continue collaborations following the trip).
- Develop “on the ground” strategies on how to keep Soulforce and other sponsors informed about what is happening in Rio.