Thursday, October 04, 2007

IYG Celebrates 20 Years Of Service

Indiana Youth Group had a successful fundraising event tonight at the Indiana Historical Society, which marked twenty years of service to Indiana's GLBT youth. Special guest speaker Keith Boykin delivered a very inspiring and moving speech before the crowd of several hundred. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Boykin, he worked as an assistant to President Bill Clinton, earning him the distinction of being the highest ranking, openly gay member of the Clinton administration, Donna Shalala and Janet Reno notwithstanding. He's a New York Times best-selling author and host of BET's My Two Cents.

Boykin shared his own experience coming out as young, African-American gay man at Harvard Law School. His book, One More River To Cross: Black & Gay in America, has earned him a lot of attention. He shared a humorous account of a book signing event he attended in St. Louis, where his grandmother showed up with several members of her conservative, non-gay-affirming church. The invitations distributed at her church referred to his book title as "Black & Gray in America", apparently not wanting to offend anyone.


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

IYG is a great group and I wish it was around when I was younger.

But they do not publicize their events. It's often like a clique, and that's too bad. I knew nothing of this fund-raiser and I'm a big Boykin fan.

Pity.

Jeff Newman said...

5:35, IYG did publicize this event, it's just that they do not have the resources for media buys so you have to find other ways to stay in the loop.

I have received numerous listserv posts about it over the last few months. Also, I've had it posted on the front page of GayIndy.Org since July 6.

Advance Indiana said...

I agree with, Jeff. There was plenty of pre-publicity for the event. They sold as many tickets as they could have handled for this particular venue. It was a pretty tight fit as it was.

Anonymous said...

I don't subscribe to GayIndy.org.

I do, however, contribute to multiple events and political causes. I've spoken with four friends this morning who knew nothing about the IYG event. All our names are readily available from multiple lists. The political candidates seem to be able to find us, as well as other charities, the art museum, Indiana Sports Corp., etc.

I sent a check to IYG this morning. They are a great group and they need money--that's the most important thing. But their leadership group has been a clique for years. They're not alone in gay social circles--pretty typical in this town, frankly.

Needed more room? A bigger venue, and more tickets, would've been great!

Jeff Newman said...

Well anon 8:47, I don't know who you are obviously, but you are apparently involved in the community so I'm going to gently call a little bullshit on you at the risk of offending someone I know.

First, it's not necessary to subscribe to gayindy to get information about events--it's right there on the website. The people you named have resources to maintain mailing lists and spoon-feed you information about their events--IYG does not. They depend on us to make just a little bit of effort to keep up with what's going on.

Second, I just don't understand these accusations about "cliques." What prevents people from joining these so-called "cliques"? Who exactly is the leadership of IYG you are referring to? I run into several of them on occasion and even though I'm not directly involved with the organization, I never get the feeling that I'm on the outside looking in on some clique.

I'm admittedly a bit sensitive to this because this same accusation has been aimed at the Indy Rainbow Chamber, and invariably it's from people who have never showed up for any of our After Hours (which are opened to the public and publicized as such) or inquired about the organization in any way.

Again, I don't know who you are and apologize if I've offended you, but I would like to warmly invite you to our next After Hours (info on the chamber website at http:/www.indyrainbowchamber.org or at gayindy.org) and be a part of our non-clique :-)

Advance Indiana said...

I would add that IYG has also expanded its outreach with an advisory board in addition to their Board of Directors. I think if the anonymous poster wanted to become more active in the organization, he/she wouldn't have any problem doing it.

Wilson46201 said...

Jeff: us Hoosiers dont have "cliques" anyways - it's clicks.!

Anonymous said...

I, too, would have loved to have gone but I knew nothing about it. I have been a Boykin fan for years.