The National Lesbian Conference was the first and only of its kind, attempting to set a national lesbian activist agenda.
The event took place in Atlanta, GA in 1991 and drew over 2500 registered attendees. The gathering was comprised of one full
day of caucuses, five plenaries, four mornings of anti-oppression training and slightly fewer than three hundred workshops.
The National Lesbian Conference became a concept after the American attendees at an international lesbian conference in 1986
felt that they had no unified voice due to a lack of national lesbian agenda. In 1988, a few American lesbians met in Washington
DC to plan a national lesbian conference. Subsequently, planning meetings were held in North Carolina, Oregon and Missouri.
Meetings operated by modified consensus. Consensus and parity (defined as 50% lesbians of color, 20% disabled lesbians and
5% old lesbians) were of prime importance. The full steering committee, with over 100 seats to represent many different interest
groups, was never fully seated. Although the ostensible goal of the conference was to decide collectively on a national lesbian
agenda, the goal remained elusive. The conference became fertile ground for intra-organizational conversations about representation
and the political process, but a fair amount of strife and dissent plagued much of the conversation. For more on the details
and internal debates, see the folder "Newspaper articles, clippings" for a copious amount of newspaper coverage on the issues.
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