Thursday, July 25, 2024

Join the Impact

Activism Rooted in the Internet

Posted by amy On February - 3 - 2009

Some of you may have heard rumblings about JTI partnering with some AMAZING orgs like the ACLU to roll out a new initiative… well, here’s confirmation in Press Release form:

Join the Impact has partnered with other national LGBT groups to develop a web based public education campaign,, to encourage LGBT people and their supporters to have three conversations with friends and family to help build support for LGBT equality.

“The passage of Prop 8 in California has motivated LGBT people and their supporters like never before,” said Amy Balliett of Join the Impact, a grass roots organization with more than 15,000 regular members and millions of world-wide participants, that has helped to organize massive demonstrations throughout the U.S. since the November elections. “Now that we’ve had some time to get over our anger and sadness, we’re ready to act. And the single most important thing we can do to guarantee we don’t find ourselves on the losing side of another political campaign is to have conversations with our friends and family about what it means to be LGBT.”

Other organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union; Equality California; the Equality Federation; Freedom to Marry; The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, will be rolling out their own versions of the campaign on their websites. The goal of the campaign is for all LGBT groups and individuals to seize upon the momentum that has been generated since the passage of Proposition 8 in November and work together to tell their stories to build support for all of the issues affecting LGBT people.

“Harvey Milk was right on the money to encourage everyone to come out to their friends and family, but we know now that coming out alone isn’t enough,” said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “To persuade others to support LGBT equality we need to have personal conversations with people that explain what its like to be LGBT. We need to talk about our relationships, the struggles we face as LGBT people, the ways our lives are the same and the ways they are different.”

Visitors to can find additional information on who to talk with and how to start these important conversations. There are also resources for those who want to learn more about the issues affecting LGBT people. But, as the website notes, the most important thing is for people to have personal conversations. The website encourages LGBT people to talk about their relationships, about growing up, and about how being LGBT has made them feel different from others in some respects and the same in others. Straight allies are encouraged to talk about their relationships with LGBT people and to speak up when they hear others make homophobic or transphobic comments.

The groups are encouraging everyone – members of national and local LGBT groups, individuals and couples supportive moms and dads, and allied friends and colleagues – to join the campaign and get people talking. The site makes it easy to spread the word to others to send an e-mail to their friends. Eventually there will also be opportunities for people to share their experiences on the site.

The campaign is also calling on bloggers and videographers to help spread the word by sharing their experiences of having these important conversations. “After Prop 8 passed, we spoke through demonstrations and we made ourselves heard. We need to take our voices beyond the streets into every home in America, and to do that we need to use every avenue available to sparking conversations,” added Balliett.

Light Up the Night – Videos From Around the Nation

Posted by amy On December - 21 - 2008

If anyone asks you what JoinTheImpact is, you tell them “You’re looking at it.” YOU ARE THE IMPACT. Last night, it was YOU that stood up and demanded change! It was YOU who said that you will not be silenced anymore. It was YOU who touched 1 million people with the message of equality. YOU lit up the night! YOU are this movement. YOU are the hope for equality. YOU ARE THE IMPACT!

Watch Your Impact:

News Stories:

Rex Wockner

Q News


Google News Link

Join the Impact Press Release

Light Up the Night Illuminates 1 Million Lives!

Posted by amy 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.

Jon Stewart Has 1 of his 10 Conversations

Posted by amy On December - 11 - 2008

10 Conversations could change the world. Over the next 10 months, JoinTheImpact will continue to encourage each and everyone of you to have 10 respectful and heartfelt conversations about equality. You won’t change the mind of every person out there, but you’ll touch the minds and hopefully hearts of all. Although Mike Huckabee didn’t have a miraculous realization and suddenly join in the cause of Equal Civil Marriage, he did at least join in the conversation. He listened to the other side; to our side. And, although his mind wasn’t changed, someone watching may have changed their mind. This is why OUR VISIBILITY is so important! If we continue to come out by the Hundreds of Thousands and then the MILLIONS Day after Day, Week after Week, and Month after Month… then this conversation will continue. If we sit back and hope that only a few people will keep this going, then we risk a huge loss. Our allies are out there ready to join at our sides and fight this fight. Let’s continue to give them a reason to talk about one simple dream: A Truly Equal America! JTI and dozens (if not hundreds) of other organizations are working together to keep our community visible. Please show this world how all of us can MAKE AN IMPACT! Join us on December 20th to Light up the Night for Equal Rights! We need organizers in many cities still (and JTI has an amazing support system to help you organize)! Let’s not let the holiday’s overshadow our visibility. This is our time! This is our movement! And this is OUR OPPORTUNITY to continue this AMAZING CONVERSATION OF EQUALITY!

What Happens Next

Posted by amy On November - 14 - 2008

I’m sitting on a plane flying from Vegas back to Seattle, WA. I have been in Vegas for 3 days for a work-related conference and have spent my nights into early mornings in my hotel room, sifting through emails, answering phone calls, and getting the word out. You know how sometimes you sit on a plane and end up in a nonstop conversation with the person next to you? And since their proximity is so close to you, there is no real way to stop the conversation without being rude. And none of us want to be rude to the person we are going to sit next to for the next 2-3 hours. Well the people behind me are in this predicament. They first started talking about what is truth, then shifted to truth in politics, and then I heard it… the statement that made me wake up from my attempt at sleeping, open this computer, and start writing: Someone asked “Have you heard of this protest thing happening? Have you heard of Join The Impact?” I must admit, I have now been rudely eavesdropping as these people continue the conversation. On a plane ride, flying across the country, two perfect strangers are talking about our rights!! Ladies and Gentleman, we have started something huge! Saturday is fast approaching and it’s time I share with you what we plan to do next.

It is the wish of the JoinTheImpact team to keep working with and for our community. Over this week, we have been contacted by multiple organizations and fellowships who want to work with us to continue this conversation, to drive this movement, to work harder than we’ve ever worked before and make a gigantic difference in this world! JoinTheImpact is about unifying as one and working together to bring about positive change. On November 4th, our opponents thought that they won. They thought we had fallen. On November 7th, a call to action was made and on November 15th our community WILL RISE! Moving forward, we will not step down, we will not be silenced, and we will not compromise our rights! JoinTheImpact will team up with other grass roots organizations like and other like-minded organizations that share our same goals – We will band together for rapid movement and ultimate coverage. Together with these organizations we are forming OFFER: the Organized Fellowship For Equal Rights. JoinTheImpact and other members of OFFER will help guide this movement, but we need you in the drivers seat! As I said on November 7th, we can not do this alone! This community is unifying and we need to act with one loud, proud, and strong voice!
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