UPDATED AND REVISED ON FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2020:
Earlier this month, we co-signed the Human Rights Campaign’s open letter in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Today is an important day to reflect on intersectionality in the LGBTQ+ community and our commitment to diversity.
Juneteenth commemorates the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas to liberate the last slaves remaining in bondage on June 19, 1865 at the end of the Civil War. General Granger arrived in Galveston more than 2 months after General Lee surrendered in Virginia, and more than 2 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862 and issued the order on New Year’s Day 1863.
Today, the LGBTQ+ community has made incredible progress with more social acceptance and legal protections against homophobia and discrimination, but some in our community have been left behind. We are committed to continue working for those that have been left behind because #PrideIsAProtest, #BlackTransLivesMatter, #BlackLGBTQLivesMatter, #BlackWomensLivesMatter and #AllBlackLivesMatter.
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Aubrey. Tony McDade. Nina Pop. David McAtee. We say their names. This Pride Month, we are pausing to remember that Pride is not a party, PRIDE IS A PROTEST. We remember that the LGBTQ+ community continues to be victimized by police brutality and discrimination. We remember that Pride commemorates the Stonewall Riots that started on June 28, 1969 led by brave activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera fighting against police brutality.
Keeping that legacy in mind, we have compiled a list of organizations on the front lines committed to ending police brutality and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Some of our members have already asked us to recommend reputable community service organizations that are making a difference right now. As an organization committed to diversity and serving marginalized communities, we encourage our members to donate to organizations on the front lines, especially those providing legal services to marginalized communities. We also encourage our members to use our voices to amplify black voices, black trans voices, and incorporate lessons learned at protests, rallies, and community events into our own thoughts, words, and actions.
When our pools reopen, we are committed to dedicating resources to recruit more people of color into our aquatics community. We acknowledge that systemic racism and inequality has historically barred many people of color from participating in recreational aquatics activities. Over the past few years, we, as a organization, have discussed diversity and recruitment, but we have not yet implemented diversity programming due to rising pool costs and budget deficits. Before the pandemic started, we were working on developing programming to offer free LPZ workouts sponsored by Heritage of Pride to make our programs more accessible for low-income communities. After our pools reopen, we anticipate launching our program to help incorporate new swimmers into our community. If you would like to volunteer to assist with that program, please contact our Event Planning Committee here.
If you would like to donate to an organization on the front lines in Minneapolis, we recommend the Legal Rights Center of Hennepin County, which provides public defender legal assistance at no cost to people of color, particularly juveniles and those who may have been arrested during the protests. To support their public defender program, donate here.
We also recommend the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which is a community based nonprofit that combats the harms of incarceration by paying criminal bail and immigration bond for low-income individuals who cannot afford to do so, and advocates to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing. To support their bail relief program, donate here.
Similarly, there are various community organizations here in our local area that provide free and/or low-cost public defender legal assistance and other types of legal services for marginalized communities. We also recommend that all of our members register to vote. A list of our recommended resources is provided below.
- New York City Legal Aid Society
- Urban Justice Center
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)
- Anti-Violence Project
- Brooklyn Bail Fund
- Emergency Release Fund
- American Civil Liberties Union
- New York State Voter Registration (NYS Board of Elections)
- New Jersey State Voter Registration (NJ Department of State Division of Elections)
- Connecticut Voter Registration (CT Department of State)
- A Guide to being a more Effective Ally
- #BlackLivesMatter Protests and Actions in New York City (@JusticeForGeorgeNYC on Instagram)
- Our List of #BlackLivesMatter/Pride Experiences, Events & Programming
In addition, if you are the victim of police misconduct or you witness police misconduct in New York City, you can file a complaint online with the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board. You can also report police misconduct to the NYPD Bureau of Community Affairs, the NYPD Inspector General’s Office, the NYC Department of Investigations, the New York City Council, the New York City Public Advocate’s Office, and the New York City Mayor’s Office.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay engaged. Please check this page frequently for updates. If you have any questions, or if you would like to recommend additional organizations and resources to add to this list, contact the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors at: firstname.lastname@example.org