Our Uniting Communities Project brings together racial justice and LGBTQ equality.
The Uniting Communities program supports organizations to advocate for LGBTQ justice, which includes:
- Providing an analysis of how their mission intersects with LGBTQ justice;
- Ensuring that the organizational culture and internal policies are inclusive;
- Coaching their leaders and members to be allies and public advocates;
- Reflecting LGBTQ justice values in their programs.
We are stronger when we work together. A movement that includes multiple issues and identities ensures that we advance collectively.
Since 1988, more than 27 cities in Oregon have passed anti-LGBTQ laws. By 2013, Oregon had 35 anti-LGBTQ measures on the ballot; one of the highest number nationwide. Race is increasingly being used as a wedge between communities by the Far Right. One of the strategies in the Right’s playbook is to portray people of color as more homophobic and transphobic than Whites. This is accomplished by intentionally hiring high profile people of color to be the spokespeople of anti-gay campaigns.
In response, the Center created Uniting Communities to counteract this wave of intolerance in our region. Communities of color and the LGBTQ community have a great deal in common - being targets of discrimination and leaders for positive change. It is critical for communities of color to proactively support LGBTQ justice to improve the conditions for LGBTQ people of color. Additionally, LGBTQ people of color will be better served if organizations based in communities of color aim to be inclusive.
Since 2008, we have worked with 15 organizations using a cohort model. The focus of these groups has included everything from immigrant rights to tribal sovereignty. We've trained their staff and membership to better serve their LGBTQ constituents.
Some of our successes include:
- Publishing Uniting Communities: The Toolkit and Enlazando Comunidades: El Juego De Herramientas, a compilation of training materials and case studies;
- Organizing communities of color to win the freedom to marry in Washington;
- Training a diverse group of organizations from Alabama to Illinois including faith communities and immigrant rights groups.
In 2013, we launched an 18-month long multi-state cohort to work with the following organizations in Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Check out our Uniting Communities column in Street Roots, a local Portland street paper:
- Two Spirit People Work to Keep Traditions Respect Alive
- A Chosen Family Deepens Connections to their Communities
- Creating a Space We All Can Share
- Gay Straight Alliances Raise Awareness, Courage in Youths
- The Road to Basic Rights for all Oregonians
- Uniting Communities Highlight: CAUSA
Ten organizations from the Uniting Communities program collaborated to work on a social media campaign we call, Coming Out for Social Justice - We are Powerful. See artwork, blogs, and calls to action from the campaign here.