Posts Tagged ‘fair education act’

Bayard Rustin and “From Protest to Politics”

August 28, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

Bayard Rustin From Protest to PoliticsIn February 1965, Bayard Rustin wrote an essay for the magazine Commentary, titled “From Protest to Politics: The Future of the Civil Rights Movement“.

In it, he argues that the work of desegregating lunch counters, hotels, swimming pools and libraries was peripheral to the broader Civil Rights Movement. “Without making light of the human sacrifices involved in the direct-action tactics … that were so instrumental to this achievement,” the protests, hit “Jim Crow precisely where it was most anachronistic, dispensable, and vulnerable.” The real challenge would be to shift the institutional and structural impediments to full equality. “What is the value of winning access to public accommodations for those who lack money to use them?” Rustin asked.

Rustin was not an outside critic of the Civil Rights movement; rather, Rustin was part of the core whose protests had been so instrumental to dismantling Jim Crow. He was the main organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, whose 50th anniversary we celebrate today. He convinced Dr. Martin Luther King jr. to speak last, knowing his, “I Have a Dream” speech would be an indelible vision of equality. Rustin was the person who introduced King to Gandhi’s non-violent tactics, and was an organizer of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. His pamphlet on the march remains a classic of organizing literature. Read the rest of this entry »

Bella and Alice present FAIR at Birmingham Community Charter High School for the GSA

October 19, 2012 By Guest Contributor
Students love EQCA and FAIR!

Students at Birmingham Community High School learn about FAIR from EQCA

My name’s Alice Vardanian, and I’m a volunteer at Equality California. I got started one fine day when a lady wearing a shirt that read “EQCA” across it swooped me up off my feet and got me into this whole mess. It’s a good mess, for sure. I’m only 16 years old, the youngest regular volunteer. Ever since then, for about 4-5 months now, I’ve been volunteering at EQCA almost every week at the gay pride parades, phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, and all throughout EQCA’s fight for SB 1172  and the FAIR Education Act. Last week, field organizer Bella Week and I gave a presentation at my school on the FAIR Education Act. Read the rest of this entry »

Growing Up LGBT in America

June 19, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

growing up gayThe Human Rights Campaign recently released a massive study on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, with a sample well north of 10,000 and with more detailed information on how LGBT youth live their lives now. Overwhelmingly, the evidence shows that the deck is stacked against them, and that on nearly every metric of civil or emotional engagement, significant barriers divide their lives now from their straight peers, even though aspirations, like to marry someone they love and settle down, are so similar it hurts.

But there is a bright spot: Through looking at California responses, we see youth that are happier, more engaged and less alienated from their families, peers and communities.

That’s not an accident. Equality California, joined by many other coalition partners, has successfully fought to remove barriers, broaden access and support, and build a state of equality here in California for over a decade. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pink Triangle

January 27, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

Pink Triangle Concentration Camp

The story of the genocide of millions of jews is one that we know, but many of us have never heard the story of how Hitler deliberately targeted and killed known or suspected gay people.

Nazi concentration badges were part of an identification system in Nazi camps. The badges, primarily triangles, were used to identify the reasons prisoners had been placed there. The Pink Triangle was sewn into the jacket of over 50,000 men between 1933 and 1944.

Originally intended as a badge of shame, marking prisoners in these camps for certain death, the pink triangle has been reclaimed as an international symbol in the LGBT equality movement.

Today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor the lives lost generations before us. We continue to fight so that injustices like these are never forgotten. And, thanks to inclusive legislation like the FAIR Education Act, we can teach about the past with the hope that History will never repeat itself.

A Breakthrough Conversation

January 23, 2012 By Paul Shirey

phone

I was so moved by the response from Bella's post last month, I felt c

ompelled to share a story of my own about the work we do to open minds and change hearts for full LGBT equality.

During a recent phone bank, I contacted a California voter about the FAIR Education Act. As I described how the FAIR Education Act would place the achievements and struggles of LGBT people into history books and social science classes, she abruptly interrupted me by saying, “Why do we need to talk about a person being gay? We should just focus on what a person has done.” I then told her that gay people have had to fight for equality throughout history. I explained that only a couple of decades ago The Briggs initiative would have made it illegal for gay people to teach in California's public schools. She agreed such a law was unfair. I asked if she or her family had ever experienced discrimination. She told me how she had recently been harassed by a store owner in Arizona because she was Mexican. She believes that this happened because of SB 1070, the anti-illegal immigration law. I took this opportunity to tell her that when gay folks were faced with the insanity of the Briggs initiative, they organized and successfully defeated that law in historic fashion. We both agreed that a law like the Briggs initiative and a law like SB 1070 were equally unfair. I explained that because LGBT Americans have been the victims of exclusion throughout history, they have had no choice but to organize to fight for basic rights, just like people have been doing in Arizona recently. I asked her if she believed that all people who fought equality should be included in history books–she said they should. At this point she told me that the history of the LGBT movement and LGBT people should be taught in schools and that she fully supported the FAIR Education Act.

Within minutes, miles of progress can take place and these are critical conversations to have in order to combat our opponent's scare tactics.Rich Text AreaToolbarBold (Ctrl / Alt+Shift + B)Italic (Ctrl / Alt+Shift + I)Strikethrough (Alt+Shift+D)Unordered list (Alt+Shift+U)Ordered list (Alt+Shift+O)Blockquote (Alt+Shift+Q)Align Left (Alt+Shift+L)Align Center (Alt+Shift+C)Align Right (Alt+Shift+R)Insert/edit link (Alt+Shift+A)Unlink (Alt+Shift+S)Insert More Tag (Alt+Shift+T)Toggle spellchecker (Alt+Shift+N)▼
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I was so moved by the response from Bella's post last month, I felt compelled to share a story of my own about the work we do to open minds and change hearts for full LGBT equality.
During a recent phone bank, I contacted a California voter about the FAIR Education Act. As I described how the FAIR Education Act would place the achievements and struggles of LGBT people into history books and social science classes, she abruptly interrupted me by saying, “Why do we need to talk about a person being gay? We should just focus on what a person has done.” I then told her that gay people have had to fight for equality throughout history. I explained that only a couple of decades ago The Briggs initiative would have made it illegal for gay people to teach in California's public schools. She agreed such a law was unfair. I asked if she or her family had ever experienced discrimination. She told me how she had recently been harassed by a store owner in Arizona because she was Mexican. She believes that this happened because of SB 1070, the anti-illegal immigration law. I took this opportunity to tell her that when gay folks were faced with the insanity of the Briggs initiative, they organized and successfully defeated that law in historic fashion. We both agreed that a law like the Briggs initiative and a law like SB 1070 were equally unfair. I explained that because LGBT Americans have been the victims of exclusion throughout history, they have had no choice but to organize to fight for basic rights, just like people have been doing in Arizona recently. I asked her if she believed that all people who fought equality should be included in history books–she said they should. At this point she told me that the history of the LGBT movement and LGBT people should be taught in schools and that she fully supported the FAIR Education Act.

Within minutes, miles of progress can take place and these are critical conversations to have in order to combat our opponent's scare tactics.
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New Developments At Equality California

December 15, 2011 By Guest Contributor

As many of you know, 2011 has been a year of change, challenges and opportunities for Equality California. We have seized this moment to take stock, to look at the big picture and to ensure that Equality California is well-positioned to continue to lead the LGBT equality movement in California.

In our last message, we shared with you that we had engaged long-time LGBT advocate and former GLAAD Executive Director Joan Garry to lead our transition efforts. And at that time, we promised to keep you posted on our progress.

Since then, we’ve grown our field staff to 32 and this talented team has been hitting the streets and the phones every day to ready ourselves for a possible campaign to protect the FAIR Education Act and to identify 25,000 new supporters of marriage equality. Their work and the passion and commitment they demonstrate remind us that change happens one conversation at a time.

We are also pleased to share some new developments with you. We are excited about them and hope you will be too. Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting LGBT Youth on Human Rights Day

December 10, 2011 By Shaun Osburn

lgbt youth bullying

Light was shed on the effects of bullying on our youth when coverage of lives lost hit television, radio and the internet last summer. More recently we have seen and been touched by the emotional video created and uploaded by Jonah Mowry four months ago. While bullying certainly isn’t a new phenomenon in schools or among youth, the average age LGBT young people are coming out is now 16, making them a target for homophobic bullying in the middle of their high school careers.

“It affects young people all the way through to adulthood, causing enormous and unnecessary suffering. Bullied children may become depressed and drop out of school. Some are even driven to suicide.” United Nations Secretary-Genera in a statement issued thursday, just two days before Human Rights Day.

Jonah Mowry’s fear of starting another school year, faced with an environment of bullying and no support, is why protecting laws like the FAIR Education Act and Seth’s Law is so important. Jonah persevered and made it to the other side, but many young people are still struggling and need our help.

Opponents of equality have initiated a total of five ballot attacks on the FAIR Education Act for 2012. If successful, California schools will become a breeding ground for extremism–the kind that can make life really tough for LGBT youth like Jonah and so many others.

LGBT youth have a human right to safety, dignity, respect and the ability to learn and grow in an environment free from fear and we’re calling on call Californians to help us make that right a reality.

To learn more about defending the FAIR Education Act visit: www.faireducationaction.com

Their Deception Caught On Video

September 29, 2011 By Guest Contributor

Max Disposti

This weekend, I caught anti-equality signature gatherers in the act–using ugly scare tactics and lies to trick voters into signing petitions to overturn the FAIR Education Act.

While walking with my husband along the beachfront of Oceanside Harbor in San Diego County, I used my cell phone to capture video of a woman collecting signatures at a booth that appeared to be an effort to protect kids from child molesters. I was shocked and disgusted when I realized that she was collecting signatures for the referendum to the FAIR Education Act.

Her lies about the new law couldn’t be further from the truth; The FAIR Education Act requires schools to integrate factual information about current events and history of people of color, people with disabilities and LGBT people into social studies lessons. It’s that simple. Read the rest of this entry »