Urgent: Act now to protect children in Orleans Parish

Tomorrow evening (Thursday, 1/17), the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) is scheduled to elect a new President.

Current OPSB Vice-President Leslie Ellison is actively lobbying to assume this public-facing role, and along with it, the enormous responsibility to ensure a robust and inclusive education for our children. Unfortunately, Ms. Ellison has a well-documented history of bias against the LGBTQ+ community.

Ms. Ellison is on the record:

This is not a case of a public official “evolving” on our issues after bigoted remarks in the past. Just this week, after the Forum and many other leaders from our community engaged with Ms. Ellison, she pointedly declined to retract or even reflect upon her past statements. Make no mistake – these are her current and sincerely-held views.

Write to OPSB members!

While we have made a significant amount of progress in recent years, there is much work to be done. It is genuinely shocking when someone with Ms. Ellison’s record of public anti-LGBT advocacy reaches high office in our City/Parish.

We must be clear that anyone who supports Ms. Ellison for President of OPSB believes that a career of vocal support for anti-LGBT discrimination is not disqualifying for a purported educational leader – and they will be held accountable. Period.

Not only do we need to protect all children in New Orleans from bullying and discrimination, but we also need to protect them from Ms. Ellison and those who agree with her. Please take action now by telling OPSB members to oppose Ms. Ellison’s candidacy for Orleans Parish School Board President.

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Need to know you’re with us

We’ll accomplish great things in 2019 if we do it together. Are you with us?

Every now and then, progress seems to come all-at-once like a giant burst of wind. Often however, progress is made little-by-little, brick-by-brick, phone call-by-phone call. Either way, we’ve got the experience, gumption, patience, and resolve for every fight. And we’ll win. Sure, there will be challenges along the way, but we’re in it for the long haul – and there’s no way we can lose if we’re united.

We’re looking to enter 2019 with momentum. The more people we have by our side, the more momentum we’ve got. Will you make a gift today to let us know you’re with us?

I'm With You!

2018 was an exciting year for us and our allies across Louisiana. We partnered with Louisiana Trans Advocates to host an HIV policy summit in Baton Rouge and enjoyed a legislative session with zero bad bills and a victory for the Louisiana Nondiscrimination Act at the committee level. In New Orleans, we honored Governor John Bel Edwards for his continued support of Louisiana’s LGBTQ community and hosted the 2018 Equality Federation Leadership Conference with state and national leaders in the fight for equality.

We look forward to building on our progress with you in 2019. Please make a gift today to propel us into the new year! Your donation supports our education, advocacy, organizing, and communications efforts.

Happy New Year, and thank you for your support!

For Equality,

SarahJane Guidry

Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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Give Where You Live, Louisiana!

Today is #GivingTuesday! #GivingTuesday has become a global movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy during the holiday season. How are you supporting Forum for Equality and our community on this global day of giving? We have so many ways that you can get involved and help give where you live!

  1. Make a donation that will support the work of making Louisiana a more fair and just place to call home! Just for today, if you donate at least $25, you’ll become a FFE member for 2019.
  2. Give a gift of at least $25 today, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate to one of these great spots: Audubon Nature Institute, New Orleans Boulder Lounge, City Segway Tours, or Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
  3. Help spread the word about how people can participate in #GivingTuesday by supporting Forum for Equality. Forward this email to your friends and family and tell them about Forum for Equality and the communities you support.
  4. Stay updated on Forum for Equality news and events by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and joining our email list.

We know that equality begins at home. Who else besides us Louisianans are going to make this happen? We need each other, and Forum for Equality needs you this #GivingTuesday. WE cannot do this without you!

Forward Together,

SarahJane Guidry
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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FFE Endorsements for the November 6 2018 Election

At the Forum for Equality PAC membership endorsement meeting, our members voted to make the following endorsements in the upcoming statewide elections as well as in key races in Alexandria and Orleans Parish. Forum for Equality PAC interviews candidates and our membership votes to support those who are committed to advancing equality and good government. Please support and vote for the following candidates in the November 6th election:

Statewide Races

US Rep 2nd Congressional – Cedric Richmond

US Rep, 6th Congressional District Race – Justin Dewitt

New Orleans

Judge, Civil District Court, Division E – Richard Perque

Clerk, Civil District Court – Jared Brossett

Clerk, 1st City Court – Austin Badon

Alexandria

Mayor – Catherine Davidson

To read the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana’s guide to the constitutional amendments, please follow this LINK.

Find important election information here – GeauxVote.com

If you are interested in becoming involved in Forum for Equality and our endorsement process, please become a member today. If you have questions regarding our endorsements, please contact Kenny Tucker, FFE PAC Chair, kenny.tucker@forumforequality.org.

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Coming out for the Acclaim Awards?

IT IS ALMOST HERE — the 2018 Twentieth Anniversary Acclaim Awards Gala is this Saturday! As we prepare for a new year of accomplishments and potential challenges, we want to honor an inspiring leader that has made a tremendous impact on equality here in Louisiana: Governor John Bel Edwards.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has proven himself to be a leader focused on moving Louisiana forward. His work has included creating greater access to quality healthcare through Medicaid expansion, stabilizing funding for higher education, implementing historic and bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation and creating job equality in state government.

As part of his efforts, he has supported the LGBT community by issuing an executive order protecting gay and transgender state employees, state contractors and recipients of state services. He helped secure New Orleans as the venue for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game by promoting the rich diversity and inclusiveness of our great state and the city itself. In addition, Gov. Edwards has employed members of the LGBT community in his office and administration.

We are proud to have a Governor that exemplifies the Louisiana values of union, justice and confidence. Please stand with us as we honor him with the 2018 Acclaim Award for his political leadership.

We hope you will come out and join us Saturday night for the Twentieth Annual Acclaim Awards gala.
It is definitely not a night to be missed! You can find more information about the Acclaim Awards and purchase your tickets here!

Yours in Equality,
SarahJane Guidry

Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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Early Bird Gets the Discount!

In just a couple of weeks, we will be celebrating Forum for Equality’s 20th Anniversary Acclaim Awards Gala! Join us at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, October 13th as we honor Governor John Bel Edwards for unrelenting support of the LGBTQ community! Read more about Governor Edwards and his accomplishments here.

2018 has been an exciting year, and we are thrilled to celebrate our victories and prepare for a new year with new challenges and more gains.

Our early bird tickets are on sale until October 1st, so reserve your seat and purchase your discounted tickets here!

We look forward to celebrating with you at one of the most memorable – and meaningful – events of the year!

 

Yours in Equality,

 

 

SarahJane Guidry

Executive Director, Forum for Equality

PS. Do you and your friends want to enjoy the dinner together? If so, sign up to be a table captain! Table captains can buy a table for 10 or put together a group of 10 people who buy tickets to be seated together. We invite all of our table captains to our patron welcome reception as thanks for their efforts to make the Acclaim Awards Gala the best event of the year! Send me an email at sarahjane@forumforequality.org to sign up.

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Support the Lafayette Public Library!

Yes, the libraries in Lafayette are still being attacked for being a space for learning and exploration. The Lafayette Public Library is joining many others in hosting a story time by local drag queens. The positive impact of inclusivity and diversity through these events is felt in the communities we call home.

Now the Louisiana Family Forum is pressuring the Lafayette City Parish Council to take a position on the Library’s Drag Queen Story Time event hosted by the local Delta Lambda Phi chapter at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. You can find the Louisiana Family Forum’s call to action here.

No matter where you hail from, tell the Lafayette City Parish Council that you support the queens’ right to read – and everyone’s right to enjoy their public library as a place where diversity and inclusivity are celebrated!

If you live in Acadiana, tonight, Tuesday, September 18th, the Lafayette City Parish Council is meeting at 5:30PM and there will be an opportunity for public comment. We encourage you to attend and share your support for your public library and our shared values of love, respect, education and diversity.

Story times are about bringing families together to encourage literacy by reading children’s books in a fun way. Drag queens are performance artists, many of whom have children of their own. This is an activity that families can choose to attend. And every family should have the opportunity to use the public library no matter who they are or whom they love.

Remember the statement from the Lafayette Public Library:
The Drag Queen Story Time will share stories of individuality, openness and acceptance with families seeking an opportunity to show their children that every person is unique and should be treated with equal respect.

With Equality,

SarahJane Guidry

Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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