JRC has moved to www.jordanrustinla.org.
Our personal POWER: JRC Canvassing Project Data Release Party
November 17 7:00 pm to 9:00pm
In late spring and summer JRC launched the JRC Canvassing Project. Our focus was to talk to as many registered Black voters in South Los Angeles about marriage equality in our own backyard. With a team of 21 people we knocked on doors in Leimert Park, Inglewood, Hawthorne, South LA and many other neighborhoods to find out what our people had to say. Come out and see what the results were. You’ll be surprised about what we have to share.
Refreshments will be served
Jewel’s Catch One: Jewels Room 4067 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006 Free Parking Provided
August 31, 2011
An Open Letter to People of Faith in the African American Community
Regarding the FAIR Education Act
For a productive dialogue to begin is important to acknowledge the existence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people not as “outsiders” who are separate from the Church community but as people and Children of God who are members of this community. It must be accepted that LGBT people are sons, daughters, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, and contributing members of the Church family. We are not seeking acceptance outside of the Church community but rather recognition and support as a part of that community.
Our primary concern is the creation of a safe environment for all children. More specifically, our concern is fostering an environment which allows for self-expression and acceptance which doesn’t come at the cost of violence and abuse. The FAIR Education Act allows for this, as it stands for principles that are cherished in our community: Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful. It has been proven that students who learn about LGBT people are much less likely to participate in bullying and harassment, creating a safer and less violent environment for all students, as anti-gay derogatory language highly contributes to a hostile environment for all regardless of sexual orientation.
Perhaps if the FAIR Education Act had had been in place, 15 year-old Larry King, a child of mixed race from Oxnard, California, would not have been shot to death by his classmate, who killed him because he was gay. Perhaps if students heard more accepting and tolerant rhetoric from their teachers and parents, LGBT students , or those perceived as gay, would not have to endure the terrible bullying that leads to so many teen suicides every year. No matter your specific opinion on LGBT people, as people of faith we know you agree that intolerance and ignorance should never cost a young person their life, regardless of the justification. The FAIR Education Act gives us a chance to save lives and prevents other families and communities from suffering such tragic deaths.
Here are the facts about the FAIR Education Act. The FAIR Education Act amends an existing law that requires non-discriminatory, inclusive teaching materials. It requires that the contributions of LGBT people, people with disabilities and Pacific Islanders be included, along with the contributions of other people of color, into history and social studies courses – nothing more. Students are free to have their own opinions about these contributions and to discuss them with teachers and their parents. Just an accurate accounting of history including the events at Stonewall in New York, the passing of the American’s With Disabilities Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and its repeal, the contributions of Bayard Rustin, Barbara Jordan and others. We simply want the facts to be taught.
We already know the importance of non-discriminatory and inclusive education. Young people develop a sense of their own place in history by knowing about those that came before them. When Black children learn about the enormous contributions of Rev. King and other civil rights heroes, it bolsters their sense of self-worth. For children to also learn of the contributions of openly gay activist Bayard Rustin, who served as an advisor to Rev. King and key organizers in history it teaches pride, tolerance and understanding. And if that child also happens to be gay, it will help them to develop their own sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, today, most children learn of the contributions of Bayard Rustin and Barbara Jordan, a Black lesbian who was the first Black person elected to the Texas Senate and the first southern Black woman elected to the US House of Representatives, only after reaching adulthood.
It is absolutely unacceptable to pretend that any particular people or group simply did not contribute to America as it is today. We want fair, accurate, inclusive, respectful and responsible teaching.
Christianity—among many religions—teaches that what is expected of us is to have an understanding and appreciation for our fellow man. It teaches us to respect all people, even those different from us. It teaches us that each life is just as valuable as any other. It is in this spirit that we want you to open a sincere and honest dialogue with us on the FAIR Education Act for the sake of our children, our community, and our common struggles.
Yours in faith,
Milton Davis, Program Director, the Jordan/Rustin Coalition
Roland Palencia, Executive Director, Equality California
Rabbi Steven Jacobs
Rev. Dr. George Regas
The Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition is proud to be the community collaborator for the movie “Punks” Directed by Patrik-Ian Polk.
Before the hit series, “Noah’s Arc,” Patrik-Ian Polk made a splash at Outfest 2000 with his debut feature “Punks.” Infusing it’s hip-hop and R&B rhythms into a completely black gay world in West Hollywood, “Punks” is a romantic comedy featuring Marcus, a successful 20 something photographer who becomes infatuated with his completely gorgeous and supposedly straight neighbor Darby. Full of fresh characters, snappy dialogue and great performances, its’ a pleasure to revisit the not-often-seen “Punks” a decade later.
Please join us on Sunday July 17th, 2:30 pm at the REDCAT Theater:
631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The results are in, and this year’s Juneteenth Pride Awards Celebration was an event of many firsts for JRC, among them:
We honored Shelley Brown with our first ever Member of the Year Award, Jewel Thais-Williams with the Barbara Jordan Award & Ron and Richard Harris with the Bayard Rustin Award.
Councilwoman Jan Perry came to speak directly to our members
The Black League of L.A. Opera came to provide us with their unique and inspirational brand of music
Even more amazing, however, is the grassroots fundraising power our members showed through this event.
This year we were able to bring in:
Over $2,000 in sponsorship for the event thanks to Equality California, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, and the ACLU of Southern California
Over $2,000 in pre-event ticket sales
Most impressively, we were able to gain over 30 new paying members through the event and raised over $3,000 through grassroots fundraising AT the event. By bringing in over $8,000 in sponsorships, ticket sales, and donations, we have DOUBLED the success of last year’s Juneteenth event.
We would like to let our constituency know that this is the type of grassroots fundraising power we hope is just the beginning of what our community is able to achieve. The money raised at this event will go directly toward our two largest community programs: knocking on doors in South Los Angeles to convince more Black voters to support their LGBT neighbors, and organizing a Queer Straight Alliance at Southwest College in Inglewood as a model of culturally relevant–and competent–student organizing. So, if you weren’t able to be apart of this year’s event, we certainly look forward to getting you involved before next year’s!
See you at Juneteenth 2012!
New York Senate passed a bill which will legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples in the state. Andrew Cuomo, the Governor who championed the bill, will sign it into law.
JRC is especially pleased to have marriage equality in New York because of its diversity–it is encouraging to know that not only has the number of people who could legally marry in this nation doubled, but many of them are also from the communities of color which are underrepresented in current states where marriage is legal.
JRC would like to congratulate all LGBT people and allies not only in the state of New York, but throughout the nation. This bill is just one step–but a very important one–in our ongoing efforts to ensure that all people are treated equally and fairly under the law. It is our sincere hope that this victory will provide us with the momentum we need to change hearts and minds here in California and beyond.
You can buy tickets HERE. They are $10 less before Sunday June 19th.
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center currently has a major staff opening – Director of Senior Services – and is particularly interested in hearing from people of color candidates. If you or anyone you know might have any interest at all, please follow the link below to the full job description:
Or you can view all of the Center’s current employment opportunities at:
WE WANT YOU to join us for our First Monthly
Barbara Jordan Day of Action!
We will teach you Black LGBT politics 101: including writing letters to elected officials, utilizing networking to promote a political issue, recruiting friends and family to a Black LGBT rally or event, and sharing your personal story with friends and family.
WHAT: Day Of Action: LA Black LGBT Politics Workshop
WHEN: Saturday March, 12, 2011 12pm-4pm
WHERE: Holy Faith Episcopal Church 260 N Locust Street, Inglewood, CA 90301
WHO: Questions? Contact JRC Field Organizer Rodney Nickens at (424) 645-7252 or firstname.lastname@example.org