QACON (Queer and Asian Conference) is a free three-day, student-run conference hosted at UC Berkeley devoted to the queer and Asian identities. The conference has been around since 2008 and is the only conference of its kind at the collegiate level. The first annual Queer and Asian Conference was founded with the intention of being a conference in which each participant’s story could and should be heard. The key difference that distinguished this conference from others was the inclusion of a “Storytime” component — a session in which individuals were invited to share their personal stories with each other in small, intimate groups, and continues to be one of our most popular activities. With this emphasis on personal stories, QACON aspires to develop the process of community building with the message that empowerment often comes from within — that inspiration doesn’t have to be external but can come from our own voices, narratives, and experiences. Can you help us continue to run this conference by making a gift today?
This Year’s Theme: Limitless
In light of the turmoil faced by our communities last year, QACON ’17 presented the theme “Enough" to convey a message of empowerment and resistance—that we are enough, and that we have had enough. Since then, there have been many other aggressions against our communities, including, but not limited to, Trump’s attempt to ban trans individuals in the military, the firing of the entire Presidential Advisory Council on H.I.V./AIDS, and the deportations of Southeast Asian and Muslim refugees and immigrants. In spite of these and many other attacks, our communities have survived by facing our challenges head on, and learned to rise through adversity. Thus, with the spirit of resilience and resistance in mind, QACON ’18 wants to push beyond being simply “enough”— we are Limitless.
Being limitless is about realizing our potential to be more without neglecting our past and present struggles. We must acknowledge our limits, whether they be bamboo ceilings or gender binaries, and push past them. With the election of Danica Roem, the first openly trans state legislator, and Taiwan’s legalization of same sex marriage, these triumphs show that we already challenge the limits of labels and victimizing narratives. We will only continue to do so through the everyday radical act of existing as queer Asians and embracing our boundless potential.
The conference is primarily attended by those in the queer and/or Asian communities, many of whom are college students from across the country; alumni, community members and organizers, high school students, and youth groups also regularly attend. That said, with part of our goal being promoting university values of diversity, education, and open dialogue, the conference is open to people of all backgrounds who are interested in learning more about and supporting the queer and Asian intersection. We also aim to make this conference as accessible as possible, and thus have made the conference free of cost to attendees.
Our goals are to empower individuals, build community, and encourage our attendees to think critically about the struggles faced by our intersection. Through keynote speakers, workshops, film and art showings, community performances, storytelling, and devised mingling activities, we aim to both celebrate and investigate the intersection of the queer and Asian identities, an intersection which is often overlooked in textbooks and conventional curriculum. Our space is open to all who are interested, whether they be queer, Asian, or allied individuals. Not only will attendees be exposed to a great deal of history, culture, and ideas related to our conference’s focus, but they will also be able to establish networks of support with other attendees who share similar experiences.
Where do donations go?
We are currently trying to raise money in order to best provide for these goals. As many people from the Berkeley community and beyond attend our conference, we wish to give them the best experience possible, and in order to do so, we would like to have the best events, speakers, and resources. Room reservations on campus, vegan, gluten-free food, and publicity materials are also significant costs to the conference. In addition, a major concern of ours is accessibility (for example, transportation on campus and visual/audial aids), and with extra funding, we hope to be able to make the event accessible and enjoyable to anyone who wishes to attend. We currently have about 80% of our minimum budget fulfilled, but this low allocation omits nonessential but desired items in our ideal budget, like more food, more/higher quality booklets, more colors on the T-shirts, a Snapchat filter, and the ability to pay (or at least give nice gifts to) our performers.
In donating to this conference, donors can help expand the reach of this conference and enrich the experiences of those who attend. With more support, we hope to be able to spark important conversations about underserved communities, and for these discussions to reach beyond the conference itself into the mainstream. Should we end up with more than what would be reasonable to spend for this year, we will save any excess funds for next year’s conference.
Please support our cause by making a donation today!
Thank you so much for your support, and go bears!
For more information, feel free to check out our website, visit and message our Facebook page, or shoot us an email at email@example.com. Also, of course, don’t hesitate to drop by! As previously mentioned, the conference is open and free to anyone who wishes to attend. Register today!
of Thanking You
A public thank you via our conference Facebook page!
Prior to April 7th — a page of this year’s booklet will be dedicated to our most generous crowdfunding donors |
After April 7th — a special mention will be made during the opening ceremony thanking each of our most generous donors