Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

October 9-Proud Hearts Service Day

5,000+ ESF volunteers engaged in service events across 36 states in conjunction with Coming Out Day.

Tomorrow, October 9, is a big day for the Empowering Spirits Foundation…it is the Proud Hearts Service Day.

ESF is a national LGBT civil rights organization dedicated to service.

Quote start“ESF is proud to be working with various organizations to address many of the major issues facing Americans today; affordable housing, inadequate healthcare, and a lack of funds for neighborhood revitalization.”Quote end

Every year the event adds service projects throughout the US, and this year will collaborate with the Department of Defense Federal Globe (DOD FED Globe), Habitat for Humanity, TexTango,, and Equality Alabama; to once again participate in a day of service-oriented events designed to allow LGBT individuals to work side-by-side with their non-LGBT counterparts. Building bridges between people while bettering communities makes this such an important day. Some of the 2010 events are assisting the San Diego Park and Recreation Department restore Gonzalez Canyon in Del Mar, CA; assisting Habitat for Humanity in construction of a new home in Birmingham, AL; assisting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee serve the hungry in Nashville; assisting the DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests in Miami, FL; and assisting the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Partnerships for Parks to help restore a park in Manhattan.

“Any time we build coalitions through mutual efforts with the greater society, huge strides are made in educating the public,” said Lisa Kove, Executive Director of DOD FED Globe. “Once those that might not have previous exposure to, or understanding of the LGBT community, find themselves in a situation where they’re working alongside us, barriers and misconception are broken down.”

Instead of attempting to change laws, ESF strives to change the hearts and minds of those who are generally ignored by existing LGBT organizations.

Shopping List

Sure, Santa is making his list and checking it twice—but you have some list checking to do as well.

It is a crime that in 2009, this is still an issue, but there are corporations and businesses out there that do not take care of all of their employees equally. We have a duty to NOT give them our business until they drag their sorry selves out of the dark ages. Luckily, we don’t have to do a ton of our own due diligence to find out what companies have been naughty and who has been nice.

The Human Rights Campaign has once again done the homework for us, for the fifth year. They have released their Buying For Equality 2010 list so we can check up before we spend. Hundreds of America’s most popular brands and stores are ranked and scored based on their treatment of LGBT employees. The guide is broke down into categories:  Food and Beverage, Home and Garden, Apparel & Accessories, Banking & Finance, Eating Out, and Technology.

Just like when you were in school, the higher the score, the better they are. A “green” level makes every reasonable effort to provide workplace equality and gets a thumbs up for patronizing them. A “yellow” ranking business has some work to do but is on the way—shop there with discretion, and perhaps send along a message to management that your confidence would be better if their track record gets better. A “red” rating is given to a business that refuses to take part in the study or flat out does not work for equality. Don’t go there. They simply do not deserve your dollars. In addition to the stoplight colors, each business is also given a score, and in 2010, 305 of the businesses got a perfect 100%.

Buying For Equality 2010

Equality Ride

Taueret Manu, an Equality Rider from the Bronx, prepares literature for the stop at Liberty University

Taueret Manu, an Equality Rider from the Bronx, prepares literature for the stop at Liberty University

What are you doing next spring? Young people from across the country are going to be on a particularly pithy tour in March and April…maybe you should join them.

Inspired by the Freedom Rides of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the Equality Ride began in 2006 to address the over 200 colleges and universities with explicit policies that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students. The “Soulforce” team visits campuses to open eyes and hearts and advocate for equality. The team of college-age participants leads vigils, classroom presentations, worship services, and public presence activities to draw attention and answer questions about religion-based discrimination.

They open dialog with administrators and teaching staff, and most importantly with their young peers on campus and in the surrounding community. It is remarkable how prejudice can melt in the face of meeting someone one-on-one and having a conversation.

2010 will be the fourth annual bus tour for LGBTQ youth and straight allies to engage college students throughout America in the struggle for social justice. Applications are being taken now for riders–and you can sit in the back, the middle, the front, or any damn place on the bus you wish–it is your right (and responsibility)

Applications and more info here