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Making Progressive Allies

16 Nov

How many times have you heard “We need to make allies in the broader progressive movement” come out of an LGBT activist’s mouth? Well I’ll say it again. Its true. We do need to build stronger ties to other social movements in order to help us identify new pockets of supporters and to link our issues to the broad campaign against injustice everywhere.  Pooling resources, sharing ideas, and trading tips strengthens both the fight for LGBT equality and the progressive movement as a whole.

The New Organizing Institute has created an opportunity for us to do just that.  RootsCamp is an incredible chance for LGBT leaders to meet other progressive organizers and make the connections we need.  The NOI team calls it the “unconference” because we get to set the agenda, drive the conversation, and skip the boring powerpoints.

Details:

What:  RootsCamp – 5th Anniversary

When:  December 11-12

Where: George Washington University, Washington DC

Who: Volunteers, field staff, new media gurus, data geeks, state-based bloggers, campaign managers – anyone and everyone who played a part in the 2010 cycle, with civic engagement campaigns or as a part of issue groups.

RSVP here: http://rootscampdc.eventbrite.com/

Jamie and I will be attending, representing TAE, and sharing what we have learned from all of you.  You should probably join us.

One Nation?

28 Sep

It’s always a good thing when progressive organizations can work together towards equality. This Saturday, October 2nd, the new coalition calling themselves “One Nation Working Together” will be marching on Washington.

The coalition includes more than 300 organizations and their website lists 11 different goals with everything from full equality for women to energy independence to creating jobs. Among the endorsers are at least 25 LGBT-specific groups. Yet out of 11 reasons to march, there’s no focus on LGBT-issues – no mention of DADT, ENDA, transphobia, school bullying, marriage equality, hate crimes, nothin. In speaking to one of the Steering Committee members this evening, he sadly couldn’t confirm any LGBTQ representation among the speakers at the march, but not all decisions have been made yet.

With that being said, it’s vitally important that we build coalitions that will work together – and to stand up for all our allies in the fight against oppression. We have spent far too much time being splintered and it is only when we work together that things are accomplished. But we must make sure that we have a real place at the table – we must stand up and tell our stories.

So go to the march this weekend, and find someone to tell YOUR story to. If we have to change this world one person-one story at a time, we will. Hopefully this will be the start of something good.

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