Equality Virginia to Build on Success with “Day of Action” on February 5

Register with Equality Virginia to Participate on Feb. 5!

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Former Governor Terry McAuliffe poses with Equality Virginia staff, legislators and attendees at 2017 EV Day of Action reception. (Source: Facebook, Equality Virginia)

Equality Virginia (EV) hopes to build on the legislative successes made in 2017 by convening its “Day of Action” on February 5 in Richmond.  Last year, EV was instrumental in defeating anti-LGBT bills and helped lobby for bills protecting LGBT Virginians in employment and housing pass with bipartisan support in the Senate.

During the 2018 legislative session in Richmond, EV hopes to defeat of any law that discriminates against LGBT Virginians and demand the House of Delegates pass the same protections as the Senate.  Given the razor thin GOP majorities and new members in each chamber, this may be possible during this session.  Among the many community co-sponsors of this event include two Hampton Roads groups – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Norfolk/South Hampton Roads and the Hampton Roads Business Outreach (HRBOR).

EV’s Day of Action is designed to empower LGBTQ and allied Virginians to create positive change, meet legislators and discuss legislation important to the LGBTQ community, network and attend workshops hosted by some of the area’s top attorneys and fellow activists. At the end of the day is a Legislative Reception, where attendees are joined by a number of legislators for LGBTQ equality and others allies.  Below is the 2018 Equality Virginia “Day of Action” schedule.  For more information or to register, click here.

DAY OF ACTION 2018 SCHEDULE

8:30 am to
9:15 am
Registration & Welcome
Meet your team at Day of Action Headquarters
Library of Virginia, 800 E Broad Street
9:30 am Lobby Your Legislators
Captains lead your group to the General Assembly Building
12:15 pm Lunch Break
Library of Virginia, Room TBD,  open to everyone
1:00 pm to
5:00 pm
Workshop Sessions
Learn how you can be part of the change and move equality forward in Virginia
5:30 pm to
7:30 pm
Equality Virginia Legislative Reception
Enjoy Refreshments and rub elbows with legislators in the General Assembly
Library of Virginia Lobby
AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

1:00-2:00 pm in Room B
What is PFLAG all about?

For over four decades, PFLAG has provided support to families and allies of LGBT people, through peer-to-peer meetings, community education, and public advocacy. But, more than that, for many people, their local PFLAG chapter has become their extended family. Across Virginia, almost a dozen PFLAG chapters exist and the panelists in this session will explore the challenges and strengths of their own chapters and discuss the steps that you can take to create a chapter in your area.

1:00-2:00 pm in the Auditorium
Genderqueer 101

The National Center for Transgender Equality’s 2015 US Trans Survey showed that a third of transgender people identify as non-binary! Attendees of this session will leave with a better knowledge of who non-binary people are, definitions and context to help you become a better non-binary ally, and an overview of needs and barriers specific to non-binary people.

2:00-3:00 pm in Room B
Transgender Advocacy Speaker’s Bureau

Equality Virginia is connecting people across the state with the trans community through this speaker’s bureau. Rather than facilitate an educational program, members of the speaker’s bureau simply tell their own personal journey stories. In this session, you’ll get the chance to hear from and connect with Andrew, a member of the speaker’s bureau living here in Richmond. This session will also include an in-depth Q&A and information on how you can invite a speaker’s bureau member to facilitate a presentation in your own community.

2:00-3:00 pm in the Auditorium
Speaking Justice From a Grounded Faith

Ending spiritual violence and systemic oppression isn’t just about the Bible, but it is a good place to start. Join Soulforce to learn how to create your own faith-based narrative of LGBTQI inclusion and justice, and unpack the myths of Biblical literalism and inerrancy. From this conversation, we hope you will increase your biblical literacy, intensify your passion for combating Bible-based violence, and feel more prepared to have challenging conversations about the Bible and justice.

3:00-4:00 pm in the Auditorium
Your Personal Story as an Advocate

Whether you are speaking with your state legislator or your local school board member, it is important to have a polished personal story to share that explains “the why.” There are key qualities that every personal story should encompass, and this session will help you to develop and practice those skills. Whether you are a novice or expert advocate, this interactive session will have tips for everyone to hone their personal story.

3:00-5:00 pm in Room B
Navigating Difficult Conversations

The Richmond Peace Education Center will facilitate this 90-minute session. In this workshop, we will focus on crafting and employing strategies to navigate difficult conversations with both adversaries as well as allies. During our time together, we will explore topics around nonviolent communication through, individual reflection, group activities, and role plays.

4:00-5:00 pm in the Auditorium
Healing Ourselves, Healing Our World: Building inclusive LGBTQ advocacy through racial justice

This session will explore how LGBTQ spaces can be more racially inclusive. We will examine privilege, particularly in terms of race and also as it intersects with other social identities such as nationality, religion, gender, sexuality, class, ability status, etc. This examination serves to: build an understanding of how examining privilege is a necessary first step in dismantling oppression; exploring the ways in which whiteness, white privilege, and white supremacy function in our world; engage in critical self-reflexivity; and, begin developing commitments/practices that vision a just world.

LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION

Following EV’s Day of Action, EV hosts an evening reception to thank volunteers, members and to recognize supportive General Assembly members. We hope that you will join us for this unique opportunity to mingle with Virginia’s legislators and other supporters of LGBT equality. Hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served. This is a free event open to the public, but advanced registration is required. If you plan to only attend the Legislative Reception and not the Day of Action, please register separately here.