SPEAK UP! Leadership Summit Frequently Asked Questions

chanting no shame no moreQ1. What is the SPEAK UP! Summit?

A1. The Summit is a 3-day leadership training for women living with HIV which will take place in Fort Walton Beach, Florida from September 27-30, 2016, organized by Positive Women’s Network – USA. All women with HIV, ages 18 and older, including women of trans experience, are welcome to register and participate. If you are living with HIV and interested in attending the Summit but will not be 18 years old by September 2016, contact us so we can see if there’s a way we can help you participate.

Q2. Where do I get information about the Summit?

A2. All information about the Summit is available on our website here. New information will be posted on the website as it becomes available. Important updates will also be sent by email to all those registered for the Summit.

Q3. Who can attend the Summit? Can I bring my family member, partner, friend?

A3. Only women with HIV can attend Summit activities. If your family member, partner or friend is a woman living with HIV, she is welcome to attend the Summit and should register for the Summit.

Q4. I’m not a woman living with HIV but I care about issues relevant to women with HIV. Can I come to the Summit?

A4. Women living with HIV are our priority in terms of participant space. But send us an email at pwnsummit@gmail.com to let us know you are interested in attending, and if space becomes available for people other than women living with HIV, we will notify you and others who have expressed interest at a later date.

Q5. I’m very new to advocacy. Can I participate in the Summit?

A5. Absolutely! The Summit welcomes women with HIV at all levels and points in their advocacy journey, from seasoned longtime activists to those for whom this Summit may be their first big step toward community work of any kind. There will be ample opportunities for mentorship and the sharing of valuable skills, experiences and herstories.

Q6. I want to participate in the Summit, but I am not public with my HIV status. Do I have to be concerned about my picture being taken and made public, or the names of Summit participants being made public?

A6. We are committed to making the Summit a safe space for women at all points on the spectrum of HIV disclosure. While photos will be taken at the event, we will take steps (no-photo seating sections at Summit gatherings, unique no-photo nametags and/or other tools) to ensure that anyone who does not want to be photographed will not have their picture taken. We never share our attendee lists with any outside party.

Q7. How do I register for the Summit?

A7. Registration for the Summit is now closed, as we have reached capacity. If you put down a deposit for the Summit, you can pay off your balance here.

If you need to finish paying by check, you can make a check out to:
Movement Strategy Center, PWN Summit (make SURE it says PWN Summit in the memo line!) Mail to:

Attn: Naina Khanna, Positive Women’s Network – USA,
436 14th Street, Suite 500,
Oakland CA 94612

along with the following information for registrants: First and last name, age, mailing address, telephone number, and email address if available.

Q8. What is covered by my registration fee?

A8: The Summit registration fee includes a shared hotel room for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (Sept. 27-29 nights) and the following meals: Tuesday: dinner, Wednesday: breakfast, lunch, dinner; Thursday: breakfast, lunch, dinner; Friday: breakfast, lunch.

If you are attending a pre-Summit Institute on Tuesday 9/27 (registration for Institutes is required and will open in June), your registration fee will also cover a shared hotel room for Monday and lunch on Tuesday.

NOT included: Flights to and from the Summit; room service; incidentals; alcoholic beverages — please come with a credit or debit card or cash to cover your own incidentals.

Q9. Do I have to share a room? I want my own room/I want to bring someone who is not attending the Summit and share my room with them.

A9. All Summit rooms are shared. A process to request rooming with another participant will become available in June 2016 for all those who are registered for the Summit. However, if you want your own room or want to room with other family members you are bringing, you will need to book your own room through the hotel. Rooms are $104 per night using our conference room rate. You can call 800-874-8962 and book a room using the conference room rate PWN2016. You will have to use your own credit card for this process. You can also go to the hotel’s website then click on the group code link and type in PWN2016.

PLEASE NOTE that even if you book your own room, you are still required to contribute the Summit registration fee to participate in Summit activities, since the registration fee serves as a donation to help offset costs for meals, materials, and Summit related content. If you do not pay the Summit registration fee, you will not be registered for the Summit.

Q10. Are there scholarships or travel funds available?

A10. There are no scholarships available for the Summit. The registration fee does not represent the true cost of supporting each attendee for the Summit (accommodations, meals, materials, and other production expenses). With the generous support of our sponsors, we offset the Summit costs so that the cost to participants is relatively low.

However, we recognize that the registration fee is not insignificant, and that travel costs to and from the Summit may present a challenge for many of our members. We encourage you to do some of your own fundraising to help offset costs. Additionally, you can ask a local organization to support the Summit as a supporting organization by funding your travel and/or registration fee. We can support your efforts with an official request letter.

Q11. What is the Positive Living Conference? How do I register for it?

A11. The Positive Living Conference (PLC) is a conference for people living with HIV which will start right after the PWN-USA Summit ends. PLC is organized by Okaloosa AIDS Support Information Services (OASIS) and will begin Friday, September 30, at 5pm, ending Sunday, October 1, at 12pm. You need to register separately and pay a separate fee for the Positive Living Conference. Registration for the PLC is now open! The cost of the PLC is $200, with partial scholarships available for people living with HIV (the cost of registration after the scholarship is $100.)

Q12. When should I plan to arrive and leave?

A12. The Summit will open Tuesday 9/27 at 6pm and close Friday 9/30 at 2pm. Also, there are three Institutes planned for Tuesday 9/27 during the day. Institutes are small, special sessions before the Summit and separate registration is required for the Institutes (however, there is no additional fee).

1) PWN Regional Chapter Leaders Institute
2) Women of Trans Experience Institute
3) Young Women’s Institute

Click here for more information about the Institutes. If after reading the descriptions you believe you are eligible for one of the Institutes and would like to register, please contact pwnsummit@gmail.com or call 510.698.3811.

If you are attending the Summit only, you should arrive on Tuesday 9/27 before 2pm and leave Friday 9/30 after 5pm. We understand that some Summit attendees may want to travel in a day earlier or leave a day later. If you do that, you are responsible for your own accommodations, food and other costs on those days, and will need to contact the hotel to book your hotel room accordingly.

If you are coming to attend both the Summit and Positive Living Conference, you should plan to arrive on Tuesday 9/27 before 2pm and leave Sunday 10/1 after 2pm.

If you are attending the Summit and an Institute, you should plan to arrive on Monday 9/26. You must be pre-registered for an Institute.

Q13. How do I get to the Summit?

A13. The Summit is in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, at the Ramada Fort Walton Beach. Fort Walton Beach, FL, is located on the Gulf of Mexico in the northern Florida Panhandle.

The closest airports are Fort Walton Beach (VPS) and Pensacola (PNS). You are responsible for making your own flight bookings; however, we will arrange ground transportation to and from the airport on Tuesday and Friday. You will not have to pay for this ground transportation to and from the airport to the Summit locations.

If you are driving to the Summit, we encourage you to carpool with other attendees – it’s cost-effective and better for the environment. Let us know if you can offer rides from your area by emailing pwnsummit@gmail.com. Parking at the Ramada is free.

Q14. I have mobility concerns. Is the Summit venue and hotel accessible to differently abled individuals?

A14. All common areas of the hotel and venue are accessible in accordance with ADA guidelines, and there are several guest rooms at the hotel that are also accessible, so we can place you in the appropriate room. Please make sure to indicate these needs on our participant questionnaire.

Q15. Can I bring my children with me to the Summit?

A15. Women with HIV so often take care of all those around us before we focus on and care for ourselves. SPEAK UP! can provide a unique opportunity for women living with HIV to gather together, learn together and have time to focus on their own goals and their own development as leaders. For this reason, we strongly encourage women to do the best they can to make arrangements for their children so that they will be able to attend the Summit on their own. However, not being able to make such arrangements should not be a reason not to attend the Summit, and we will have childcare available onsite at no cost to you. However, you will need to book your own room for the Summit (see Q9). Please contact the hotel directly to book your accommodations during the Summit using our code PWN2016 at the rate of $104/night. You must also be registered for the Summit.

Q16. I need to bring an adult with me (as support, caregiver, person I care for) who is not participating in the Summit. How does that work?

A16. We absolutely understand that bringing an additional person may be a necessity for some participants. Due to the limited space and resources available to us for this Summit, unfortunately, we are unable to cover the cost of lodging or meals for additional individuals. Please contact the hotel directly to book your accommodations during the Summit using our code PWN2016 at the rate of $104/night. You must also be registered for the Summit.

Q17. I want to room with someone specific; how do I do that?

A17. All registered attendees will can request a roommate when filling out our participant questionnaire. If you are registered and have not yet filled out the questionnaire, please do so immediately! You will only be placed with your requested roommate if: a) she also requests you as a roommate on her form; b) you are staying the same nights (e.g., if one person is coming early for an Institute, both must be–and remember institutes are subject to eligibility and space, and you must be pre-registered; if one is staying for the Positive Living Conference after the Summit, both must be).

Q18. I want to present at/speak at the Summit; how do I do that?

A18. We invite proposals in Spanish and English for a variety of types of sessions (affinity groups, discussion group, or workshop) for SPEAK UP! Positive Women’s Network – USA’s 2016 National Leadership Summit. You can find all details about how to present here.

The deadline for session proposals is already past; however, there may be additional unmet needs for sessions. If you have not submitted a proposal but have an idea, please email pwnsummit@gmail.com.

Q19. My organization wants to sponsor some clients to attend the Summit; how do we do that?

A19. If an organization agrees to support two or more clients or advocates from your organization with registration and travel costs, we will list them as an organizational supporter. Email pwnsummit@gmail.com to inquire about being listed as an organizational supporter of the Summit or for a letter to make such a request of an organization.

Q20. I want to support the Summit! How do we do that?

A20. We welcome and need your donations and sponsorships! Sponsorship details are available here. You can also contact Naina Khanna, executive director, at nkhanna@pwn-usa.org if you have specific questions about donating or sponsoring the Summit.

If this FAQ did not answer your questions, please contact us with your questions at pwnsummit@gmail.com or 510.698.3811.