On a whim, Jason Landau Goodman decided to travel to Dallas in 2010 for Creating Change, the annual conference hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force.
“That was the first place I heard the term ‘youth-led activism’ and ‘youth-led organizing,’” said Landau Goodman, who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania at the time. “Normally, and this is true in many places including Philadelphia, a lot of young people are expected to just be the folks that stuff envelopes and staff events. That’s all that many young people think they can do. I learned at Creating Change that you have to challenge that premise completely.”
Landau Goodman returned home that year and helped found the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, which was renamed Pennsylvania Youth Congress last year, an advocacy organization for young LGBT people in the state. He reflected on his leadership growth over the years with PGN in Chicago, the host city for this year’s Creating Change.
Landau Goodman said he continues attending the conference to keep connections fresh with local, state and national LGBT leaders. He said it enables him to return to Pennsylvania “feeling reinvigorated, like this work is not so isolating.”
“We have so much work ahead of us,” said Landau Goodman, who is pursuing a law degree at the University of Pittsburgh. “But we can do it more effectively when we are talking to each other across the country with all those who are doing similar work.”