Speakers

Opening Panel Discussion: Taking the Privilege Out of Polyamory

In place of a Keynote Address, a panel of our presenters will speak to this year’s theme:

Taking the Privilege Out of Polyamory: Addressing Race, Ability, Sex, and Class in the Non-Monogamy Community.

Facilitator: Coriama Davis; Panelists: Michaela Lovegood, Laura Madalinski, Timotheus Gordon Jr, Polly Williams, Emma Fine, and Marta Collazo

In what ways does privilege influence our existence in the non-monogamy community? How do our oppressions impact our ability to navigate polyamory spaces? In what ways do we ignore our privilege as polyamorous folks, identifying more with the ways that we feel marginalized for being non-monogamous? How safe are polyamorous spaces for marginalized folks? An intersectional understanding of ourselves and those in the community is integral to our ability to build a healthy, diverse, and safe community. This understanding is also paramount to our ability to come together to be seen as a community, and to fight for justice both within and outside the community.

 

Coriama Davis (she/her) is an artist, activator, and aesthetic consultant whose work is all about the ABC’S (art, beauty, culture, and sexuality). She aims to utilize the ABC’S as a means to create broader understandings of social change, beauty sentiments, and liberation. She states “the ABC’S intersect and interact to make up the unique lens through which all of us experience life!” Coriama, also the founder of sex KiKi, a sex-positive community, and queer media outlet. Utilizing sexUALITY as a healing art, their intent is to dissect pleasure and desire through radical dialogue and visual art.

Michaela Lovegood: Michaela Lovegood brings over 20 years of experience in the areas of anti-oppression training facilitation, local, national and international grassroots community organizing, and organizational effectiveness consultation.  For the last 15 years, Michaela has worked as a professional community organizer, organizing grassroots groups around issue- and constituency-based social justice issues, including human rights, LGBTQ and youth rights, police brutality, criminal justice, violence against women, access to affordable housing, hunger, and education. Michaela has provided organizational effectiveness consultations to nonprofits, including developing fundraising plans, grant writing, and individual donor development; board and membership development, training curriculum development, and retreat and meeting facilitation. For more than 20 years, she has facilitated anti-oppression classes and workshops with a focus on eliminating the division, scarcity and disconnection between and among all people that is caused by systemic oppression and mistreatment. Currently Michaela is the Field Director for People’s Action/ People’s Action Institute, a national grassroots network with local affiliated organizations in 30 states.

Laura Madalinski (she/her) spent her childhood in West Virginia, where she was queer before she knew it had a name. She studied film and video at Columbia College Chicago before launching a career in post-production. After working in-house for eight years, she started her own company, Strange Charm, in 2013. She wrote Two in the Bush: A Love Story with her partner Kelly Haas. The film is Laura’s directorial debut.

Timotheus Gordon, Jr: Timotheus Gordon Jr. is an African-American autistic self-advocate in the Chicagoland area, writer, and Master of Science candidate in disability & human development at UIC. Through various publications, including his blog the Black Autist, Gordon speaks on being autistic in the African Disapora, police violence towards disabled/Deaf people of color, autism in mainstream media, and non-monogamy among autistic people. He is polyamorous himself and has been supporting the lifestyle for five years.

Polly Williams: Polly is a bisexual, polyamorous business owner and artist. She explores the world through meditation, movement, and connection to others. Polly’s art/work underscores her interracial existence by coloring humanity as they choose to be seen, and working between the lines to fight against the confines which label us. She focuses her time and energy in the spaces where light and dark overlap; in the grey areas that constitute us all. Polly has explored non-monogamy for much of her life, purposefully and reflectively expanding the boundaries that work so hard to erase her intersectionality.

Emma Fine (she/her) is a student of the School of Hard Knocks. Through her studies she has gained  “experience” and “wisdom.” Her post-graduate work has led her to develop networks of caring, open-minded people to whom she is a mentor and collaborator. Finding great satisfaction in telling people what to do with their lives, she has recently applied to return to an accredited college to pursue a career in paid Social Work. She spends her time with two partners, four kids, one grouch of a cat, numerous friends, and even sometimes makes time to spend alone with herself.

Marta Collazo (she/her) has explored self-care since her early adult years, studying self-examination and eye gazing meditation. She has written narratives to explore the gap between attachment, suffering, and surrender, and encourages a sex-positive spiritual movement where we can foster forgiveness of self and others.