Tell No Lies

Last week’s Got Your Back conference included an interesting mix of speakers and workshops – and due to the physical layout of the event, for a change i actually got to listen in to the closing panel’s each day, as they were in the area right next to where i was tabling

Just want to mention this real interesting observation by Dean Spade, founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, during Saturday’s panel discussion on self-determination.

Dean explained that the hunger for funding, grants, subsidies, etc. leads many organizations to engage in dishonest practices, downplaying real defeats or else seizing on some partial symbolic victory and pretending it is a real victory. All in order to “look better” and get more $$$ in the grant-getting-game. He also explained how this can play out in legal-defense-oriented groups, where a choice may be made to concentrate on helping someone with a better chance of winning, because donors like to hear about victories – the corollary being that someone in really dire straits and facing really long odds would appear as a really unattractive “cause” to support.

Anyway, these were just a few observations made in a wide-ranging and interesting discussion, but they struck me as particularly important.

Hopefully the entire panel discussion will be up online soon…


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