Oct 3, 2019
State of Equality: ENC October Newsletter
A Message from Kendra
It’s been a wild couple of months for our staff, board and communities across North Carolina, to say the least. The end of summer brought us Pride celebrations across the state, the ongoing municipal elections, of course, our 40th Anniversary Gala weekend in none other than The Bull City.
There are two moments in particular over the past several weeks that significantly impacted me and I wanted to share them with all of you. The first is the immense sense of gratitude, fellowship and love that I felt as our ENC float made its way down the Charlotte Pride parade route in mid-August. As I gazed out on the sea of LGBTQ folks and allies from all walks of life cheering us on -- I’ve never felt something quite like that moment.
And then there was our Gala weekend -- a series of events that I will truly never forget. It was a testament to how far ENC has come as an organization and our work to truly help everyone see themselves in this movement. If you didn’t get to experience it with us, I hope you'll come out to a future event and see the fruits of our labor as we continue to try and push this organization forward to fight for all LGBTQ folks.
Please check out some additional highlights below. As always, thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do for Equality North Carolina. Happy Fall!
End of Summer in Review
Upcoming Title VII Opening Arguments
On Oct. 8, The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear opening arguments for three cases that will determine whether Americans can be fired from their jobs for being LGBTQ. Arguments for the cases will establish whether Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees nationwide protection from workplace discrimination for LGBTQ people. These cases hold more weight for LGBTQ folks than the marriage cases of several years ago. Please stay tuned to Equality NC's social media channels as well as local and national news coverage about the significance of these cases for LGBTQ Americans. You can read more here.
Charlotte and Durham Pride
Pride season seems to never truly end in North Carolina, and we've ensured that we maintain a presence at every Pride event possible. Our biggest cohorts this year were Charlotte Pride where we had our first-ever float, and Durham Pride this past weekend with a contingent of over 140 marchers. Check out some Pride photos here, and head here to sign up if you'd like to get more involved in the future.
Equality NC 40th Anniversary Gala Weekend
We wanted to do our 40th Anniversary Gala Weekend big -- and y'all did not disappoint. You showed up and showed out for every single event and our team could not be more grateful. ENC kicked off the weekend with some "Queer-e-oke" at The Pinhook, and then nursed ourselves back to health Saturday morning with yoga led by Durham wellness legend Jessamyn Stanley. The Gala itself was a night that we will truly remember for the rest of our lives, followed by hours of dancing and drinking at local queer dive The Bar. Finally, we ended the weekend with a bittersweet farewell brunch at Dos Perros on Sunday morning. Whether you came to one event or all five, thank you for showing up for ENC. It means the world to us.
Have you voted? Early voting is ongoing in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, High Point and Fayetteville and will end Oct. 4. Election day for these cities is Oct. 8 and elections for the rest of the state will take place on Nov. 5. Turnout for Municipal Elections is often low so we're counting on you to ensure your friends and family vote! Head here for our entire slate of endorsed candidates.
We are beyond proud of the first cohort of Rural Youth Empowerment (RYE) Fellows who just completed their year in our program. These young people envisioned and executed incredible, groundbreaking projects while receiving mentorship and leadership development throughout the course of their Fellowship. These projects range from addressing the unique healthcare needs of transgender North Carolinians to forming a peer-to-peer LGBTQIA+ sexual health squad that educates young people aged 16-20 about queer sexuality, health and wellness, to creating space for queer folks of color living with HIV to form community.
We're currently accepting applications for the 2019-2020 RYE Fellowship Program! Head here for more information.
Upcoming Events & Other Updates
ENC is proud to welcome Rebby Kern to our team as our Education Policy Coordinator. Currently, Rebby oversees the Rural Youth Empowerment Fellowship creating platforms for youth organizing in rural areas to create change and progress for their communities. Head here to read their bio in full.
LGBTQ History Month, October
October is LGBTQ history month and you can expect a series of emails from us helping paint a portrait of historically significant LGBTQ icons and events. Please, take the time to read these profiles. It's more important than ever that we all invest in our shared history together. Thank you for your support.
Town Hall on The Equality Act, Wednesday, Oct. 9
What does the Equality Act do? Why is the work we do now in North Carolina so critical to eventually passing the Equality Act? How can you help from home & in your community? Join the Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina & LGBTQ Democrats of North Carolina at Johnson C. Smith University for an Equality Act Town Hall. More information here.
Charlotte: ENC Mix-N-Mingle at Petra's, Friday, Oct. 11
Join us as we team up with our friends at Petra’s to host our monthly ENC Mix-N-Mingle bar social! We’re very excited to have you join us, as we enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of Petra’s and an opportunity to learn more about Equality North Carolina. More information here.
Ever wondered how you can keep up with everything ENC has on the horizon? We have a new Events Section on our website when you can view everything happening across the state! Have a partner event you'd like us to promote? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.