Equality Ride Written into Congressional Record and Honored by the City of New York

Equality Ride Honored in House of Representatives by Congressman Jerrold L. Nadler and in New York City by the New York City Council

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: April 16, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Brandy Daniels, East Bus Media Director
Cell: 612-715-6284, brandy@equalityride.com
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(New York City, NY) — The 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride today has been honored by the House of Representatives and written into the congressional record. Rep. Jerrold L. Nadler of New York addressed a tribute to the Equality Ride and its Riders to the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Nadler commended the Riders’ dedication to fighting homophobia through challenging policies and campus environments that oppress lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

As the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, Nadler recognized the Equality Riders for their structured dialogue in the academy, interaction with the community, and commitment to non-violence based on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nadler called it his honor " to pay tribute to these visionary young people and congratulate them on their courage, determination and dedication."

In addition to the recognition by the House of Representatives, the City Council of New York honored the Equality Riders Monday with an official proclamation. The proclamation commends the Riders for engaging students, faculty, and administrators on the "damaging effects of homophobic doctrine." Due to the dedication, commitments, and non-violent practices of the Equality Riders, the City Council "honors Soulforce and recognizes the exceptional service of the 2007 Equality Ride participants."

The congressional record and city council proclamation are transcribed in full following this document.


Soulforce Q is the young adult division of Soulforce, a social justice organization that works to end political and religious oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. For more information go to www.soulforce.org or www.equalityride.com.


IN HONOR OF THE EQUALITY RIDERS
HON. JERROLD NADLER OF NEW YORK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, April 16, 2007

Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an extraordinary group of young adults — The Equality Riders — who have dedicated 2 months of their lives, traveling thousands of miles, visiting 32 colleges and universities around the country and talking to countless students, faculty members and staff in pursuit of social justice.

The spirit of The Equality Ride was born out of the recognition that homophobia is globally pervasive and that no country, state, city, community or school escapes its reach. The Equality Ride offers a unique opportunity for student activists to dedicate their time and energy in the pursuit of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered equality through the practice of nonviolent resistance and educational campaigns.

I embrace the spirit of The Equality Ride and these leaders in the fight for social justice. The participants of the Equality Ride as well as its supporters have changed numerous lives, raised awareness and challenged notions regarding homosexuality through both on and off campus activities.

While conducting their work on the various campuses, riders confront some of their harshest critics and engage in structured dialogue with the academic community through classroom presentations, panel discussions, school-wide forums and film screenings as well as informal interactions. Outside of the college and university campuses, communities have welcomed the riders to share in worship, potlucks, fundraisers and meetings.

I applaud these riders and their supporters who have tirelessly waged a campaign of truth based on the nonviolent practices of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi to end the cycle of fear and misunderstanding that causes this vicious form of prejudice. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, it is my great honor to pay tribute to these visionary young people and congratulate them on their courage, determination and dedication.

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The Council of the City of New York

PROCLAMATION

Whereas: The Council of the City of New York is pleased and proud to honor Soulforce on the occasion of its 2nd Annual Equality Ride; and

Whereas: It is the tradition and custom of the New York City Council to honor those individuals and organizations that have enriched us with their contributions, and today we are delighted to recognize the brave participants of the Soulforce Equality Ride for their tireless devotion to the fight against homophobia; and

Whereas: The purpose of the Soulforce Equality Ride is to travel to various religious colleges and engage the students, faculty and administrators in a conversation about the damaging effects of homophobic doctrine; and

Whereas: We proudly celebrate the 50 young adults who have dedicated two months of their lives, traveled thousands of miles, and visited a total of 32 colleges and universities around the country in the pursuit of social justice as it pertains to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from religious and political oppression; and

Whereas: The participants of the Soulforce Equality Ride will pursue their goal through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance; and

Whereas: Homophobia is globally pervasive and no country state, city, community or school escapes its reach. We recognize the damaging effects of homophobic doctrine – the false notions that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities are sick and sinful – and we applaud these participants and their supporters who have waged a campaign of truth in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi; and

Whereas: We embrace the spirit of the Soulforce Equality Ride and its empowered participants, who have changed countless lives, created an environment of understanding, and liberated the oppressed; and

Whereas: It is with profound gratitude that we recognize the participants of the Soulforce Equality Ride for all they have done on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people throughout our nation. Their passionate advocacy is instructive and they are worthy of the esteem of all New Yorkers; now, therefore

Be it known: That the Council of the City of New York honors Soulforce and recognizes the exceptional service of the 2007 Equality Ride participants.

Signed this 14th day of April in the year Two Thousand and Seven

Christine C. Quinn, Speaker – For the Entire Council

Rosie Mendez, Council Member 2nd District, Manhattan

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