The Equality Federation Leadership Conference is the premier convening by and for the leaders of the state-based LGBTQ movement. Join us to strategize, learn, and connect with colleagues from across the country.

This year, we’re proud to be holding our event July 26-29 in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Join us for memorable keynote speakers, engaging workshops led by movement leaders from our state and national partners, and our famous FEDtalks— fascinating, 5-minute talks by the leaders of state-based LGBTQ equality groups. If you are a board or staff member of a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization, or work for an organization or foundation that partners with state groups, this conference is for you.

To celebrate Equality Federation’s 20th anniversary, we’re also inviting former state leaders to join us at the conference on Saturday, July 29 for an alumni reunion!

To help you plan your time at the Leadership Conference, here’s a sneak peek of the Program Book (.pdf).

Online registration is closed. Registration will be open in person at the conference, starting Wednesday, July 25 at 4:00pm.

The Leadership Conference is being held at the Westin Alexandria. We are able to provide a conference rate of $155 per night for our block, so be sure to book now to avoid missing out! The block is available until July 7, subject to availability.

Reserve your room now.

Schedule Overview


9:00–5:00 Executive Director Institute
9:00–5:00 Field Institute
5:30–7:30 Opening Reception
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St.

9:00–10:15 Welcome Circle
10:15–10:45 Break
10:45–12:00 Workshop Session 1
From Plan B to Plan C: The Religious Right’s Move from RFRAs to Single Issue Bills
The Fight for Coverage: Removing Exclusions for Transition-Related Care
Bad Medicine: Ending Conversion Therapy
12:00–12:15 Break
12:15–1:30 Plenary Lunch: Turning Stories into Action
1:30–1:45 Break
1:45–3:00 Workshop Session 2
Another Ballot? Another Bill? Anti-Trans Initiatives in the States
The LGBT Giving Project: What It Takes to Increase Giving by LGBT People to LGBT Causes
Efforts to Reform State Laws Criminalizing People Living with HIV
3:00–3:15 Break
3:15–4:30 Workshop Session 3
LGBTQ Redistricting
Fighting to Stop Rollbacks of LGBTQ Rights at the Local Level: New Lessons and Tools
Bisexual-Inclusive Equality: Bi-Inclusivity Issues and Opportunities in State and Local Policy Work
8:00–11:00 Fed Fling: Boat Cruise on the Potomac

9:00–10:15 Workshop Session 4
Playing with LEGOs: How Municipal Nondiscrimination Ordinances Shape the Statewide Landscape
Win/Win/Win: The Magic of Integrated Voter Engagement
Rapid Response: Preparing to Maximize Every Possible Moment
10:15–10:45 Break
10:45–12:00 Plenary: FEDtalks
12:00–1:45 Lunch
On Your Own
Transgender & Non-Binary Caucus Lunch
1:45–3:00 Special Sessions: Racial Equity and the LGBTQ Movement
Racial Equity and the LGBTQ Movement for People of Color
Racial Equity and the LGBTQ Movement for White People
3:00–3:15 Break
3:15–4:30 Workshop Session 5
Story-Sharing for Social Change: Strategies on Identifying, Training, and Collecting Compelling LGBTQ Narratives for Advocacy
What’s Cooking in the Courts? Breakthroughs, Trends and Tensions
Dig the Dirt, Blow the Whistle: Using Opposition Research for LGBTQ Equality

9:30–10:45 Workshop Session 6
Breaking ID Barriers: Improving the Name and Gender Change Process
How Can State Groups Engage the Federal Government?
Summer of Action: Trans Stories + Messaging = Changing Hearts and Minds
10:45–11:00 Break
11:00–12:15 Plenary and Annual Meeting: 20 Years of Winning Equality in the Communities We Call Home
The Carlyle Club, 2050 Ballenger Ave
12:15–1:45 Lunch
On Your Own
1:45–3:00 Workshop Session 7
Bolder and Wiser Advocacy: How to Maximize Your Impact
The Fight Over Freedom: Messaging to Conservatives on Religious Exemptions.
Agency Action: State and Local Administrative Work to Support Trans People
3:00–3:15 Break
3:15–4:30 Workshop Session 8
Transgender & Non-Binary Messaging
Building Power for the Win!
Shared Values for Faith Based Coalitions
6:00-8:00 Closing Reception & Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

Executive Directors of Equality Federation member organizations are invited to join us for special a pre-conference institute from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 26. To participate, check the box for the Institute on the conference registration form.

For the first time, Federation staff will set aside this day long institute to kick-off an intensive and capacity building institute for field operatives in the LGBTQ state-based movement. We will work with state-based leaders to advance fair state and local policies. Our work together will be a blended approach, combining traditional organizing tactics with voter engagement and data-driven outreach programs with an eye for building a robust, engaged volunteer leadership team. We will build relationships across state-lines, allowing for real time best practice information sharing and collaboration within the progressive movement. This institute is intended for field staff and volunteer leaders of Equality Federation Institute affiliate organizations. To participate, check the box for the Institute on the conference registration form.

Reunion! Equality Federation alumni invited to celebrate 20th anniversary

In 1997, a few state LGBTQ leaders came together at the Highlander Center in Tennessee. State by state, they were often working in isolation. Sitting in a circle of rocking chairs, they envisioned coming together as a state-based movement to form what would become Equality Federation.

Twenty years later, that movement and Equality Federation have come a long way! At Summer Meetings, regional summits, and now at our annual Leadership Conference, state leaders found community and built relationships and strategies that moved us all forward.

This year we’re inviting former state leaders—executive directors, staff, and board members—from throughout those twenty years to join us once again. We’re opening up our Leadership Conference (a.k.a. Summer Meeting) to alumni on Saturday, July 29 in Alexandria, Virginia. If you’ve been involved in Equality Federation over the years, whether as a state leader who attended our events, a board member, or part of our staff, we hope you’ll join us. Click here to register.

You’ll join current movement leaders at a plenary session reflecting on 20 years of winning equality in communities we call home, have space to connect with other alumni, and close out the day with a fabulous reception celebrating our 20 years of working together.

Here are the details:

Saturday, July 29, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Westin Alexandria, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA

Registration is free for the reunion events. (To register, email info@equalityfederation.org. On-site registration for the rest of the conference will open Wednesday, July 25.)


10:00-2:00 Registration open

11:00-12:15 Plenary: 20 Years of Winning Equality in Communities We Call Home

12:15-2:00 Lunch on Your Own

1:45-4:30 Alumni invited to attend conference workshops

5:30-7:30 Celebratory Reception

Lodging: Click here to book.

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