Skip to main content

Apply to join the Carpenter Program at Creating Change 2015

The Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality is excited to send four students to the 2015 Creating Change conference in Denver, CO February 5-8, 2015!

What is Creating Change?  It is an annual conference hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force.  Here’s how NLGBTQTF describes it:

Creating Change (as it's affectionately known) is the nation's pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBT social justice movement. Since 1988, Creating Change has been the opportunity for thousands of committed people to develop and hone their skills, celebrate victories, build community, and to be inspired by visionaries of our LGBT movement and allied movements for justice and equality.

The primary goal of the Creating Change Conference is to build our movement's power from the ground up to secure our overarching goal of full equality, social justice and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States.

The conference attracts more than 3,500 people from all over the country every year. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations.

 Why is the Carpenter Program sending folks to Creating ChangeThe Carpenter Program is dedicated to empowering students to expand conversations around religion, gender, and sexuality by building bridges between academic rigor and engaged, community-based practices.  Creating Change will be an intensive conference experience that will add to students’ bridge-building toolbox specifically regarding LGBTQI issues.

  • Carpenter Program Creating Change participants will:
    • Gain tools, methods, and insights for community building and activism regarding LGBTQIA issues;
    • Build relationships with LGBTQIA activists and leaders from across the nation (particularly with the impacts of faith and religion in mind);
    • Explore leading-edge justice theories and practices, particularly toward building integrated, multi-issue movements.

The experiences and techniques that participants gain at Creating Change can be incorporated into faith-based and community-based work at Vanderbilt, in faith communities, and in broader community contexts. 

What will Carpenter cover? The Carpenter program will cover the cost of registration, travel, and shared lodging for four students.  Students will be expected to cover food costs. 

What is required to apply to be a Carpenter Delegate

  • Be enrolled (MDiv, MTS, or GDR PhD student) for the 2015 Spring Semester.
  • Exhibit passion about building justice and equality regarding LGBTQIA issues (one does not need to identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans*, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, or Asexual), particularly for Vanderbilt Divinity School and/or faith communities
  • Be prepared to participate enthusiastically in the intensive Creating Change conference schedule, including a day-long institute on February 5.  (Participants would travel to Denver on February 4 and return the 8th)
  • Be willing to formally and informally represent Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Carpenter Program.  This may include: staffing a recruitment table, wearing VU pins or other items, attending a Creating Change theological school reception, speaking to other Creating Change participants about your experiences at Vanderbilt Divinity School.
  • Meet several times before and after Creating Change with your fellow travelers to explore the possibilities for individual and collective impact.
  • Complete the attached (brief) application and return by email to Lyndsey Godwin ( by November 17th .

Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression consistent with the University’s nondiscrimination policy.  This policy covers all programs, services, policies, and procedures of the University including admission to education programs and employment.

How will participants be chosen? A selection committee of staff and faculty will review all completed applications. Applicant names will be redacted in an effort to provide a more impartial evaluation process. After the selection committee has completed the review process, individuals selected to attend Creating Change will be notified in early December. Priority for this opportunity will be given to students who have not attended Creating Change as a Carpenter delegate before.

How do I find out more?

Lyndsey Godwin

Assistant Director of the Carpenter Program—Vanderbilt Divinity School