Originally published: Nov. 10, 2009, 10:30 a.m.
Updated: Nov. 14, 2009, 3:10 p.m.

Conference participants attend a workshop on the history of oppression, presented by Lambda Legal's James Dye.
Conference participants attend a workshop on the history of oppression, presented by Lambda Legal's James Dye.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Celebrating a year of legislative success, 300 local activists and statewide advocates met Saturday for Equality North Carolina’s third annual Equality Conference and Gala.

On the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on Saturday, Nov. 14, advocates spent morning and afternoon hours networking and in educational workshops on local activism, LGBT issues on college campuses, the legislative process, same-sex parenting and the law, state hate crimes law, employment non-discrimination and more.

In 2009, Equality North Carolina saw a string of successes. Its biggest achievement came when the General Assembly passed the School Violence Prevention Act, requiring all local school systems to adopt stringent anti-bullying policies inclusive of sexual orientation and gender-identity.

In the conference’s opening plenary, Equality North Carolina Executive Director Ian Palmquist delivered his annual “State of Equality” speech. He said the organization also saw success in expanded access to HIV/AIDS drug assistance, the passage of a more comprehensive sex education program statewide and was able to block an anti-LGBT constitutional marriage amendment for the sixth year in a row.

Despite an economic downturn, Palmquist said, the statewide group was able to grow. He attributed the group’s success to its organization building and increased grassroots activism and outreach. had grown despite a downturn in the economy.

Linda Bush, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project, also spoke during the morning session.

Brian Bond, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, is the organization’s keynote speaker.

On Saturday evening, Equality North Carolina will host its Gala at downtown Greensboro’s Empire Room. There, they will honor openly lesbian state Sen. Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover) with this year’s Legislative Leadership Award.

Don’t miss this…

Be sure to pick up a Nov. 14 print issue of Q-Notes and read our Q&A with White House staffer Brian Bond, on the Obama administration and the president’s commitment to LGBT equality.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.