Soulforce Joins Voices in Support of the Audre Lorde Project’s Trans Day of Action 2010

The Audre Lorde Project’s TransJustice group has announced the 6th annual Trans Day of Action 2010, to take place June 25th, 2010 when trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, gender non-conforming people of color (TGNC) and their allies will take to the streets of New York in pursuit of justice for oppressed people.

Soulforce joins a growing list of local and national organizations endorsing the Trans Day of Action and encourages our members and allies to help (1) raise awareness of the Audre Lorde Project’s pivotal work, (2) attend and support the 2010 Trans Day of Action on Friday, June 25 at 3 p.m. (location to be announced).

Soulforce is committed to nonviolent resistance against religious and political oppression of LGBTQ people and, within that context, often encounters and seeks to understand and address the specific and many layered ways that oppression is experienced by people of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, people with disabilities, youth and aged people, and people of low to moderate-income — both within and outside our own LGBTQ and allied communities.

Andi Gentile, Coordinator of the Soulforce Equality Ride for 2010, says:
Spiritual and physical violence grow out of religious bigotry expressed historically and presently not only in transphobia and homophobia, but in racism, ableism, classism, xenophobia, and sexism. It is Soulforce’s commitment to stop spiritual and political violence and we are grateful to the Audre Lorde Project and Trans Day of Action organizers for their excellent work in these areas.

Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of Soulforce states:
As justice-seekers, our liberation is interwoven with the liberation of all peoples, and therefore, we add our strong endorsement to the 2010 Trans Day of Action and we applaud the courageous action of the Audre Lord Project and its Trans Day of Action organizers.

In their formal Call to Action, the Audre Lorde Project says:
We as TGNC People of Color (POC) recognize the importance of working together alongside other movements to change the world we want to see. We live in a time when oppressed peoples including communities such as people of color, immigrants, youth and elders, people with disabilities, women and TGNC, and poor people are disproportionately underserved, face higher levels of discrimination, heightened surveillance, and experience increased violence at the hands of the state…. It is critical that we unite and work together towards dismantling the transphobia, racism, classism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia and xenophobia that permeates throughout our movements for social justice."

Updates will be available at www.alp.org as well as www.soulforce.org.

Frequently Asked Questions for Reporters about the Equality Ride

What is Soulforce Q?
Soulforce Q is the young adult division of Soulforce. Soulforce Q works to uplift the lives and liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, working primarily with individuals between the ages of 18 and 28.

What is the Equality Ride?
The Equality Ride is a project that takes young LGBT advocates to colleges and universities in order to have meaningful conversations about fairness and diversity. Traveling by bus, Equality Riders, as they are called, engage their peers and promote open dialogue about faith, gender and sexuality. Schools they visit are contacted months in advance and invited to host the Equality Ride. Some schools choose to work with them, and they go on campus for presentations, panel discussions, classroom visits, and meals together. Some schools, however, choose to reject dialogue. In such cases, civil disobedience becomes a possibility, which can result in arrests.

Who are the Equality Riders?
They are young adults, age 18 to 28, from all over the world. Some are Christian, some are from other faith backgrounds, and some do not identify as religious. Some are students and some are not affilitated with any institution. The Co-Directors are full time Soulforce Q staff. Other Equality Riders are volunteers; they are not paid for their work.

What are the primary goals of the 2010 Soulforce Q Equality Ride?

  1. We often hear on campus, "I have never met any LGBT people." The Equality Ride accomplishes this first and most important step towards reconciliation: making the humanity and spirituality of LGBT people real to students across America. With dignity and scholarly dialogue, Riders convey to students and administration that real lives are affected by the harmful rhetoric promoted by many campuses.
  2. The Equality Ride and other campaigns of Soulforce Q work with young adults to build community and nurture leadership. The Equality Riders give voice to students that are silenced on campus. We draw together LGBT students and allies to form communities of informed dissent and safety.
  3. There are a handful of scriptures used to condemn LGBT people. We discuss the Biblical scholarship that affirms LGBT people, heard less often if at all, on conservative campuses.

How can I schedule an interview with the Equality Riders or students?
Contact the Equality Ride Co-Directors:

Andi Gentile, andi@soulforce.org

Asher Kolieboi, asher@soulforce.org

What happened today on the Equality Ride?
Each day participants will update the Equality Ride website with accounts of their time on campuses, podcasts and video when able.

Can I use the photos that are posted on the website?
Yes. If you visit our Resources for the Media page, high-resolution photos are available. Please attribute photo credit to the Soulforce Q Equality Ride.