Sunday, April 18, 2010

Polyamory Leaders Meet for Third Summit Meeting

At long last I've written up a report on the Polyamory Leadership Network's summit held in February.  The Network (hereafter referred to as “PLN”) held its third summit February 21-22, 2010 in the Philadelphia area. Thirty-five leaders from across the U.S. attended, and the summit was facilitated by workshop facilitator and sex educator Reid Mihalko.

PLN is a loosely-formed group of community leaders formed in October, 2008 at the 2008 Poly Pride Celebration in New York City. Its purpose is to educate the general public about polyamory as a legal, natural, ethical, practical, and joyous way of life; to provide education and support for members of the polyamory community and others interested in or touched by this relationship choice; and to foster a public climate in which all forms of consensual adult relationship choices are respected and honored. This is achieved through publications, media outreach, creative and scholarly projects, support for local/regional allies, and by providing opportunities and venues for collaboration and information-sharing.

After general introductions, Sarah Taub and I presented a recap of the prior summit held a year earlier. Projects that originated at the 2009 summit were reviewed and include providing more volunteer support and funding for the Loving More Non-Profit; a national coming out project; outreach projects to legal professionals, poly/mono partners, Principle Voices (a pro-religious polygamy organization), therapists, and polyamorists under 35; the formation of the Polyamory Media Association to better manage and leverage opportunities arising from media coverage of polyamory; a poly history timeline; and, of course, research collaboration with CARAS, on which Sarah Taub reported on the CARAS Polyamory Community Study currently in development.

Then we discussed and determined what skills and resources we offer each other. Each person spoke to what they are passionate about, love doing, and are great at, which was recorded and distributed for finding project collaborators that share our passion for a specific project. We all agreed to commit only to what we know how to do, are good at, and love doing.

Next we were asked to report what projects we are doing as individuals, and/or are fired up about doing. These included creating more events to build connections and communities; improving poly community diversity; helping with the CARAS poly community survey; developing and presenting more relationship skills workshops; creating a website that teaches good relationship skills; organizing a poly convention; creating poly leadership resources; organizing events for disseminating information on STIs; researching and writing scholarly articles; expanding offerings of presentations to relevant professional audiences; creating a virtual intentional poly community; co-producing a sex and relationships expo marketed to the general public; creating a "Faces of Polyamory" video; and presenting on polyamory to LGBT youth and at LGBT conferences.

The focus of the wrap-up part of the summit was the next PLN summit, and it was determined that the next PLN summit will be held October 24-25, 2010 in the Seattle area hotel where Loving More’s Poly Living west coast conference will take place the same weekend.

As the meeting closed, everyone reported feeling inspired, excited and having renewed energy for their work on behalf of polyamory and the polyamory community.

No comments: