Sunday, April 14, 2024

Join the Impact

Activism Rooted in the Internet

Author Archive

Day Of Decision

Posted by admin On March - 17 - 2009 is calling for a national response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop 8.  We cannot predict when this ruling will come down, we can only prepare our cities for a place and time to meet on D-Day (Day of Decision).  JTI has joined as just one of many co-sponsors to Robin Tyler’s  We are lending our resources and are asking any of our members and organizers interested to help out.  The CA Supreme Court will give us only 24 hours notice before they announce their decision.  We need to be prepared to respond, and hope that this is a response of celebration rather than protest.  Moving forward, we all must work together to fight for equality on a national level… we have begun this, but we must harness this, learn from our mistakes, and keep moving forward.  The world is buzzing with the word “equality.”  So many amazing conversations are happening (Check HERE and Checkout as well). is about continuing this momentum.  We must come together as a community and mourn our losses, while never backing down, and celebrate our wins, while knowing that there are more to come.

Here’s the Press Release:

Join the Impact Responds to the Call for Co-Sponsors

NATIONAL – In the near future, the California Supreme Court will announce its decision on whether or not to repeal Proposition 8.  The ruling could come down as early as this week, and as late as June 5th. When this time comes, it will either be a moment of protest or celebration for the LGBTQ community.  To respond to both possible outcomes, grassroots activists Robin Tyler and Andy Thayer are calling for Day of Decision activities across the US. Join the Impact and many other national organizations are adding their support and resources to the national effort.

“We have over 200 amazing organizers across the country who are eager to respond to Proposition 8” says Willow Witte, co-founder and Executive Director of Join the Impact.  The California Supreme Court will give 24 hours notice before reading its decision, but Witte is confident that with proper planning, 24 hours will be enough time for organizers to rally their base.

“I’m hoping that the day is one of celebration in the streets,” says Amy Balliett, co-founder and Communications Director of Join the Impact.  “If it is not, then the California Supreme Court will set an unhealthy precedent in this country; One that allows the majority to vote on the rights of the minority, and take a minority out of the Constitution.”

Along with their organizers, Join the Impact has also lent its virtual organizing platform to the mix by re-creating their November 15th Wetpaint tool for  This tool (, will allow organizers to update their city pages with event information, and will allow all who sign up the chance to be notified of their city’s actions almost immediately.

Robin Tyler and Andy Thayer are seasoned activists when it comes to events like this.  They called for national action by organizing celebrations in 50 cities for the Federal Supreme Court Day of Decision regarding Lawrence v Texas, the decision that struck down sodomy laws across the nation.  Tens of thousands of activists were on the streets, from Alaska to Hawaii to Puerto Rico and all over the mainland.  Robin Tyler has been the main stage producer for 3 marches on Washington and she and her partner, Diane Olson were the first lesbian plaintiffs in the California Supreme Court Marriage Equality case in 2008.  They are also petitioners in the recent California Supreme Court case to overturn Proposition 8.

To get involved in Day of Decision activities, go to and sign up to organize.  To stay informed about a local Day of Decision event in your area, go to and navigate to your state and then city pages to stay informed.  Joining the site will put you on the national mailing list to receive a call to action the day the decision is read.

A Long Awaited Update: Open Letter Signatures

Posted by admin On January - 25 - 2009

Hi Everyone,

I can’t even beging to tell you how many emails I have received this week regarding the Open Letter Signature Drive.  I apologize to everyone for not updating you in a timely manner, but the truth is, we are STILL counting signatures.  This is a GREAT problem to have!  It means that we had so many people participating, that the core group we put together to handle 1 million signatures, are overwhelmed!  One of our board members got a call on the 16th of the month from the post office.  They asked him to come over there immediately because they couldn’t handle the amount of mail we were receiving!  His apartment is covered with signature sheets!!

We did the math.  Each signature sheet has the ability to contain 20 signatures.  To get 1 million signatures, that means a MINIMUM of 50,000 sheets of paper!  Stacked on top of each other, 50,000 sheets of paper would be a little over 4feet tall!  Talk about an amazing visual impact!  Well, we have around 4-5ft of paper right now, and have decided to EXTEND the signature drive to DOUBLE our impact!  We are doing this because weather and college break got in the way of about 7 states participating.  Ohio had to cancel their event because of a huge snow storm.  Manhattan’s turn out was affected by weather.  Small college towns were just returning from break.  The list goes on.  We want to ensure that EVERYONE has a voice in this and EVERYONE’S SIGNATURE COUNTS! Because of this, we pushed our deadline to hand the signatures to Obama to the end of February.  We will need all signature sheets mid-Feb to ensure that they all get counted.  This ensures that the letter gets to Obama while Congress begins their session and that EVERYONE has the opportunity to participate.

So here’s what we are going to do:

  1. We hope that you’ll join us and print out the Open Letter and Signature Sheets and start collecting more signatures.
  2. Send signatures to our Ohio office BY MONDAY FEB 16TH to ensure all are counted
  3. Here’s a new twist based on feedback from our members: Write your own letter, sign it, and send it our way, we’ll ensure it gets to him.
  4. If you can’t get to a printer, then let me send you a letter and some signature sheets, as well as a self-addressed stamped envelope for you to mail the signatures back.  Use the contact us form to request the forms.

Many people want us to turn this into an online signature drive, but we feel that this will negate the purpose.  Many online petitions are taken less seriously and considered much less valid.  We have a 4.5foot stack of signatures to bring to Obama!  We want to make that 10 feet tall!  Handing over a DVD with all the signatures just doesn’t make the same visual impact.  We want the world to see just how many of us there are that support full equality for LGBTQI citizens!  Let’s do this in the most organic way possible.

Further, we want everyone to continue the conversation of equality.  This signature drive provides each and every one of you with the opportunity to do this.  So who’s with us?  Ready to kick it up a notch?

Light Up the Night Illuminates 1 Million Lives!

Posted by admin On December - 21 - 2008

I’m still sorting through emails and phone calls, but can say with great confidence that tonight’s vigils reached over 1 million people! Our amazing volunteers (all of you!) trudged through crazy snowstorms, rain, and traffic to ensure that their light could shine bright on the sea of change! Over 1 million 5 Rights Holiday Cards were passed out and hundreds of thousands had important conversations, educating the nation about our struggle.

In my own experience, I was met with eyes of confusion, disbelief, and even offense. Many people were angered that I wore the slogan “2nd Class Citizen.” Anger is an emotion that is extremely powerful, yet fleeting. If handled correctly, it can be changed into something extremely positive. People joined our march as they walked from point A to point B, they grabbed flyers and handed them out, one even started chanting for equality. And those who were angry, you ask? Well, some remained that way and didn’t want to speak. Others, took a moment to talk. Many, walked away with a feeling of new understanding. One elderly man told me that he will be at our next rally, and he was sorry he hadn’t understood before.

1 Million people educated

1 Million people touched

1 Million people reached

1 Million people illuminated.

Press Release Here.

Rick Warren – What Can You Do

Posted by admin On December - 18 - 2008

A quick list of tools for everyone wanting to take action on the pick of Rick Warren for Obama’s invocation speech:

  1. The HRC will be on EVERY Newssource tonight speaking out about this. Please tell your friends and family. Here’s a list of TV spots. Let’s educate the movable middle by getting everyone to see at least one of these spots.
  2. Come out on December 20th to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights and show the nation that we are one strong, united, and very visible voice! A reader just commented on our Rick Warren post that Evangelicals make up 7-16% of our country and we make up 10%. Why do they get representation and we do not? Make your voice heard on December 20th and spread the word of equality. Rick Warren Views us as 2nd Class Citizens… This needs to be known!
  3. Equality California has stepped up to provide a legitimate petition (since there are many out there) to get Rick Warren taken off of the list of speakers on inauguration day. Please sign the petition. Print it out and gather signatures at your local Light Up the Night event and forward the link to everyone.

LOGO Joins Light Up the Night – This is HUGE

Posted by admin On December - 17 - 2008



NEW YORK, NY – December 17, 2008 – The gay marriage debate continues across the United States. In response to’s “Light Up the Night for Equality,” LOGO will participate on-air and online in the nationwide candle light vigil occurring on December 20, 2008.

As members of the LGBT community and allies gather across the nation, LOGO will keep its audience up-to-date that evening with an “on-air candle” directing viewers to the latest news from, the online source for the latest LGBT news, opinion, video blogs and streaming video news. Updated news will be posted throughout the weekend, further supporting LOGO’s status as the ultimate aggregator of LGBT related content across all platforms: on-air, online, on mobile and on-demand.

LOGO continues to reach all various digital platforms on issues that affect the LGBT community including the recent “Day Without a Gay.” LOGO’s created a witty, but poignant viral video demonstrating what would happen if people called out “gay” at work in response to the nationwide “Day Without a Gay,” thus generating dialogue within the community and in the press. In addition, on-air efforts include “365Gay News,” LOGO’s half-hour weekly magazine-style LGBT news show, airing Thursdays at 7 PM ET/PT on LOGO and hosted by Emmy-award television journalist Ross Palombo. “365Gay News” has covered extensive issues related to LGBT rights including a recent special on Harvey Milk and political issues including gay marriage on its multiplatform brand “Road to Gay Marriage” on-air and on

For more information on “Light Up the Night for Equality,” go to and for the latest in LGBT news and entertainment, go to and

On December 20, 2008,, the official organizers of the nationwide November 15 protests against California’s Proposition 8, have called all LGBTQ individuals and allies of the community to participate in a peaceful demonstration in local commercial district areas in congruence with their National Food Drive for Equality.

JoinTheImpact at Creating Change

Posted by admin On December - 12 - 2008

Join the Impact is Going To Creating Change. Are you?

Fired up and ready to go? Looking for training, inspiration and friends in our LGBT movement? Want to meet and talk with Willow Witte, one of the founders of Join the Impact? Willow will be leading a workshop on the Join the Impact movement.

The 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change Conference is for you!

In its 21st year, the Creating Change Conference convenes the LGBT movement’s organizers, volunteers, leaders, and staff for five full days of training sessions, workshops, strategy-making, caucuses, and fun fun fun! Sponsored and produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Creating Change jumps off Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, 2009 in beautiful Denver Colorado. Let’s build the grassroots power of our movement. Let’s create change!

At Creating Change, you will learn from peers and colleagues, laugh with new friends, and grow in your own confidence and ability to create change in our world.

For more information about this one-of-a-kind life-changing LGBT event,

Scholarships and low-income registrations are available. Check it out today!

Some More Info on Day Without a Gay

Posted by admin On December - 9 - 2008

In a historic election, America voted for its first African-American President.
But opponents of full equality for another oppressed minority were also successful across the Nation.

It’s time to take a stand for FULL EQUALITY for ALL AMERICANS, including the LGBT Community!

45 States ban gay marriage in some form.
30 states ban gay and lesbian employment protection
16 states are planning to ban gay adoptions and fostering.
Civil Unions are denied the 1100 Federal benefits of marriage.

Join us on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.

STRIKE! Take the day off, close your business, or call in sick. (unless you may get fired because you are gay or lesbian)

BOYCOTT! Don’t buy anything, spend money or support the economy.

PARTICIPATE! Don’t stay home! To volunteer, petition or protest, go to
(If you live in CA, go to to find out how to help overturn Prop 8.)



THIS IS ABOUT RAISING AWARENESS. A one-day strike/boycott is symbolic and will not harm our economy in any way that won’t be fixed the next day. However, for millions of gay and lesbians, the current economic situation is made even worse without the rights and benefits of marriage or employment protection. Also, gay marriage would have brought $683 million and over 2200 jobs to CA in 3 years. If you support America’s economy, support Gay Marriage.

“The world only moves forward. We will be citizens! The time has come.” – ANGELS IN AMERICA

Why Day Without a Gay

Posted by admin On December - 4 - 2008

We’re getting a great deal of discussion on The Impact about the Day Without a Gay. A lot of people have questions about what to do on December 10th, why we chose the 10th, or why we chose this event in general. As such, I thought I’d take a minute to explain the purpose behind Day Without a Gay (although David Craig has his own personal story that explains why he came up with this idea).

Simply put: The LGBTQ Community contributes $700 Billion per year to the US Economy. When you put that into perspective, that’s the same amount as the economic bailout package. Our community could be, in a sense, the economic bailout… so we’re good enough to put billions a year into the system, but not good enough to be afforded the same rights as everyone else who contributes to that system? This is ONE of the THREE things Day Without a Gay is all about.

  1. An economic boycott for 1 day. On December 10th: International Human Rights Day. Do not use your phone, do not turn on the TV, do not go online, do not buy ANYTHING. Take it one step further if you wish: take $80 out of your bank account and keep it in your pocket all day. We are taxpaying citizens who are asking for the same rights as every other tax paying US citizen.
  2. A day of VOLUNTEERING. That’s right. Don’t sit in your house with all your lights off staring at the wall. Let’s get out there and show this world just how much our community has to offer. There are many ways to volunteer: Go to a soup kitchen, talk at a local school, work at a retirement center, collect food for the LGBTQ Food Drive, or work with your local LGBTQ organization to get marriage equality petition signatures in your area. Join The Impact is teaming up with the Courage Campaign to gather 1 Million Signatures to repeal Prop 8. These are just a few ideas.
  3. A day of VISIBILITY. We are asking that people call of work for this event. This is a great way to show just how many of us there are. Now here’s the IMPORTANT thing to note: there are still many states that do not have sexual identity inclusive ENDA laws. In other words, in many states, an employer can still fire an employee for being Gay. Consider your situation both economically and personally before calling off work. There are MANY WAYS to show visibility on December 10th. If you cannot call off work, we ask that you show up to work wearing a White Knot, but don’t forget to PACK YOUR LUNCH and refrain from that tempting coffee run.

So Join us in making an impact in many ways on December 10th. Let’s show the nation just how expansive our impact can be – how we give to the economy, and how we can all come together and give to our local communities. View the PRESS RELEASE here.

To quote Prop 8 the Musical “There’s Money to be Made.” How are we going to pay for the economic bailout? Why not allow the LGBTQ community to join in Civil Marriage? Could you imagine how much we would spend on weddings?! Well let’s find out how much won’t be spent on December 10th.

2nd Class Citizen?

Posted by admin On December - 2 - 2008

There has been a great deal of talk on The Impact about Light Up the Night and whether or not we should have 2nd Class Citizen T-shirts. Many feel that they are a 1st Class Citizen with 2nd Class Rights, and I think we should be allowed to express who we are in a way we are comfortable with. When it comes down to it, few will argue that our lack of rights incorporates a feeling of 2nd Class in one way or another. On December 20th, we want to bring light to this lack of rights and want you to feel comfortable expressing the 2nd Class status in your own way.

So many people still don’t understand what we are fighting for. Here’s some examples of the “unequal protections under the law” that the LGBTQ community faces:

  • We can not fight for our country without hiding who we are
  • In many states (like the recent law in Arkansas) We can not adopt a displaced child in need of a home and safety
  • In many states, we can still be fired because we are gay
  • My rights in Washington do not stand when I cross the border to Idaho. Therefor, if my partner were to fall ill on a cross country trip, she would be alone in the hospital and I would be powerless.
  • Partners cannot share insurance in many states
  • In many states, people can be murdered because of their sexuality, but their murderer will not be tried for committing a hate crime
  • A loving couple can share a home, but if one passes, that home can be taken from the other in states where shared property rights are not available.
  • Finally, a couple can share their lives, share expenses, share good times and bad over many years, but they still cannot gain the equal protections and recognition that two strangers can in one drunken night in Vegas. 2 Strangers + 1 20 minute ceremony + $50 + 10 shots of tequila = Holy Matrimony and 1st Class Protections Under the Law… now who’s crazy?

Giving Thanks

Posted by admin On November - 28 - 2008

Let us take a moment and give thanks – to those that came before us, those that are here now, and those that will come after us in this amazing fight for HUMAN RIGHTS.