Equality Ride to Conclude at Simmons College of Kentucky with Spotlight on LGBT People of Color

Young Adults Tour Christian Colleges to Advocate Safety and Inclusion for All Students

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ADVISORY: November 10, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Caitlin MacIntyre, 
Equality Ride Media Director
Cell: 612-715-6138 Email: caitlin@equalityride.com
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What: On November 13th, the Soulforce Q Equality Ride, a youth-organized bus tour to faith-based colleges, will bring a message of inclusion and safety to Simmons College in Louisville, Kentucky. Currently the university has refused all contact with Equality Ride organizers concerning the visit and the possibility of providing an open forum for dialogue. However, the Equality Ride will still travel to Simmons in an effort to begin discussion with the students on campus about faith and fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Simmons College is a historically black institution, and the Equality Ride visit will focus on gay and transgender people of color and the ways in which their voices have been silenced both in society and in faith communities.

Why: More than 200 U.S. colleges and universities have explicit policies that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. Simmons College policy states that, "We deny any teaching that would excuse…any kind of homosexual acts or unions as contrary to the express teachings of the Bible and contrary to the historic faith of the Christian community in all past ages."

When: Thursday, November 13th
11 AM, Riders arrive at Simmons
1:30 PM, Riders will walk to St. Stephen’s Church in order to engage the congregation and leadership about their beliefs and the effects these ideas have on diverse members of their community.

Where: Simmons College-1811 Dumesnil St.
St. Stephen’s Church-1008 S 15th St.

Who: The 18 to 26-year-old Equality Riders are members of Soulforce Q, the young adult division of Soulforce, a national social justice organization.

Since 2006, the Equality Ride has visited more than 50 schools, hosting public forums, participating in panel discussions, and taking part in worship services and Bible studies. The goal is to inspire further conversation and to empower students, faculty, and administrators to make their school welcoming to all students.

The organizers of the Equality Ride use a collaborative approach, writing to college administrators months in advance and inviting them to work together to design programming that examines diverse points of view — including points of view that affirm gay and transgender students.

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 through relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information, go to www.equalityride.com.