Sunday, October 26, 2014

Join the Impact

Activism Rooted in the Internet

Tell-Three.org

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, www.tell-three.org, 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 www.tell-three.org 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.

In a roller coaster ride of hypocrisy yesterday, the Yes on 8 Campaign filed a brief to revoke the 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that were made between June 16th and November 4th. Yes that’s right, the very people who have sworn that their actions were meant to “protect” marriage and families, are now trying to FORCE 18,000 FAMILIES INTO DIVORCE! How does this protect marriage or the family at all?!

Do they understand how this takes their entire argument one gigantic step backwards? Granted, their arguments have always been illogical, but this just seems to take the cake. How is it possible to protect marriages and family by saying to the nation that it’s imperative the state force 18,000 families into a state of divorce? Seeing the lack of logic in their argument, the CA Attorney General quickly filed a motion to revoke Proposition 8! This was a surprise change of mind on his part and part of me wonders if the Yes on 8 hypocrisy sparked this.

That’s the message that we need to BURN into the minds of everyone around the country:
NO FORCED DIVORCE!

This effects everyone of us, regardless of the state we live in. I have heard a lot of people say lately “Why should something in California effect me?” It’s simple: If it can happen in California, it can happen ANYWHERE with ANY of our RIGHTS! In Ohio, for instance, Domestic Partnership Registries were just passed (at the city level in Cleveland). This is simply a registry – something where you can document that you’re partners. How does this harm anyone? Well, a group of proponents to this initiative have already begun planning their own version of Prop 8 to take away this registry. In Arkansas, same-sex couples were denied the right to adopt. Throughout the nation, 37 states have DOMA written into their constitution. TONIGHT is the time to illuminate the hate with love, knowledge, visibility, and honesty. NO ONE has a right to force my family into divorce!

Tonight is your opportunity to spread this message far and wide! Show the nation what our struggle is all about! Let’s LIGHT UP THE NIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS!

Good Luck to ALL of you tonight. And thank you SO MUCH for all of your hard work!

Friday 12/12/08 – Tools of the Week

Posted by amy On December - 12 - 2008

As we near closer to our next HUGE NATIONAL EVENT on December 20th, we want to continue keeping everyone informed about what they can do between now and then to continue the conversation of equality and continue forward movement for LGBTQ Civil Rights.

A few things came up this week that made me realize just what this movement means to everyone. As we continue to drive attention to LGBTQ rights, more and more people are getting on board and Joining in to make an Impact. The conversation of equality is seeping into households that ignored it in the past. 8% of Those who voted “Yes” on 8 say they would vote “No” if they had a second chance. Day Without a Gay brought national attention back to this conversation with news coverage on ABC, CNN, and other national networks. Those who oppose us are starting to speak louder and we can’t let our voices be drowned out by them. On November 15th, we rose together as one, and now we must remain standing tall as one strong voice! We need to understand that this movement will NOT be won overnight. It will take time. It will take tears. It is the beginning ONLY of the next round, not of our struggle. So between now and December 20th, continue on with the Food Drive and utilize the following tools to help keep our visibility at a level this nation has never before seen!

Newsweek put out an amazing article on behalf of Same-Sex Civil Marriage. Newsweek has now seen a surge of angry letters from those that oppose our call for equal rights. Please join the HRC in letting Newsweek know that we support them and help to ensure our voices are not drowned out by others.

GayWallet.com, is a great website for the conscious LGBTQ consumer. Join them in the December 23rd, Gay Dollar Day Campaign in which we show how supportive our dollars can be and just how much we impact our economy.

It’s time we take our visibility to the next level. Join us in putting positive LGBTQ imagery EVERYWHERE. Let’s start by creating videos to raise awareness about our struggle, our lost rights, and the rights that 1 in 10 US citizens have never had. Create a video today that begins with one sentence: I Joined the Impact Because… Post this to YouTube and TheImpact and we’ll keep spreading the visibility of our movement and community!

Are you a Washington citizen? Join Equal Rights Washington in their One Minute For Marriage Campaign.

This is YOUR IMPACT. Join the Impact is your movement and your voice! Help us continue making an impact on this nation and the world! Join us on December 20th to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights and show this nation who we are!

Tools of the Week

Posted by amy On December - 5 - 2008

In an effort to continue the conversation of equality, the JoinTheImpact team would like to provide you with a weekly set of “tools.” Each week, we will pick from the MANY websites, announcements, blog posts, videos, etc. that have sprung up, and let you know about them. Last week, we did this by providing a Thanksgiving Cornucopia of Knowledge. Here’s some more food for thought:

The NGLTF’s Creating Change Conference is Coming up and JoinTheImpact will be there! Creating Change is an amazing conference that personally changed my life when I was 19. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with other members of the LGBTQ community and work toward equality! Creating Change offers many great scholarships to get you to this important conference. Please take a look at their site and find out how you can attend!

Marriage Equality USA Needs our help with a very important survey.

Our organization, Marriage Equality USA, has created an on-line survey to collect input on California’s Prop 8 campaign and the status of marriage equality in the other 49 states. We also a series of questions to help us evaluate public education strategies and messaging based on their level of effectiveness within their local communities. Finally, we’ve asked for personal stories that will not only allow us to better describe the impact of being denied the freedom to marry, but the harm that comes through these initiative and/or ballot measures processes.

Here is an AMAZING way to turn the ignorance of the Fred Phelps movement into outreach for the LGBTQ community: The Phelps-A-Thon
Here’s a great film that you could pass around from: http://www.loveisloveshortfilm.com/

Prop 8 The Musical

Posted by amy On December - 3 - 2008

In a country founded on the separation of church and state, the fact that we are denied equal protections under the law based on a religious belief, is nothing short of hypocrisy. And with anything hypocritical, someone always sees a way to shed a little humor on the situation that keeps the conversation going at full force. Thank you Marc Shaiman and all of the amazing talent that went into this video.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

View the Press Release Here.

Make it happen!

Posted by willow On December - 1 - 2008

You’ve seen what can happen when someone gets a great idea and runs with it. This website is a testiment to that. We get so many emails about exciting things that people are putting into action. Read the rest of this entry »

Change is on the Horizon

Posted by amy On November - 25 - 2008

Has anyone heard the news from Floriday today? In a landmark decision, the Florida ban on gay adoptions was declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Our movement has made many strides since Stonewall and even before then. Read the rest of this entry »

Join The Impact – Over 1 Million Strong!

Posted by amy On November - 14 - 2008

Tomorrows events will turn out over 1million people organizing across 300 cities in all 50 states and 10 countries world-wide! Please get the word out to all of your friends. This has grown beyond a national event – this is HISTORICAL! Read the Press Release Here…

Tips For Saturday – Your Checklist

Posted by amy On November - 13 - 2008

To everyone organizing and participating in Saturday’s INTERNATIONAL protest:

As Saturday’s events come closer, it’s time for that last minute check list to ensure that everything is covered:

  1. Do you have permits? If you do not have permits yet, please work with your local LGBTQ organiziation to quickly obtain these. If you do not have a local LGBTQ organization, then please contact your local police and governement to get their help
  2. Please be as transparent with the police as possible. If you, like many of us, have found that your event grew from 300 to 3000 overnight, don’t hesitate to tell the police about these new projections. They are there to protect you and shouldn’t be stretched thin.
  3. Make sure you don’t bring anything that would be considered a weapon – I know this sounds like common sense, but few people realize that the sticks they use for their signs have to be no thicker than 1/4″ or else they are considered a weapon.
  4. Do you have speakers? Every city is handling this differently and that is perfectly fine. If you want to have speakers but don’t yet, here are some suggestions: Local religious leaders that are also gay allies, local members of the media, local LGBTQ advocates, local radio personalities, you – are you the organizer? Then you should speak.
  5. Find your protest location. Contact the local organizer if you wish to volunteer.
  6. Organize your volunteers. Give everyone who you can manage a job to help you keep things moving. Gather emails (we will soon compile all of these with you).
  7. Finally – I want to make sure that we are always always always focusing on peaceful demonstrations. Please remain respectful of your neighbors and reach across the aisle to our opponents (I’m sorry for that extremely trite phrase considering how it’s been hammered into our heads this election year). This is an amazing opportunity to continue the conversation and drive change. Please keep promoting peace, respect, and outreach.

There are always loose ends to tie up. Please utilize the resources made available to you at HERE, and those available to you from your local organizations joining in this movement!

Thanks!

The JoinTheImpact Team

Who We Were Then & Who We Are Now

Posted by amy On November - 11 - 2008

The past three days have seemed like an eternity. So much has happened, and I realized that in all this, we never gave you any background about JoinTheImpact. On Friday morning, November 7th, I (Amy) received an email from a good friend, Willow Witte (our Cleveland protest coordinator). Willow like many of us, was fired up about Proposition 8 and seeking a way to mobilize. She had put up a post on her blog with an email template for people to write their local LGBTQ organization and ask for help planning something – anything. I responded to Willow’s email saying that we shouldn’t wait, we need to mobilize now and we need to on a national level, at the exact same moment, throughout the country. We have allowed our opponents to take our issues and make them local. Once they have divided us, they take their national movement and attack our smaller state-wide or even city-wide one. JoinTheImpact was forged as a way to give our community a national stage. We all must work towards equality in our state, but we need to know that every member of our community, across the nation cares about what happens in every state. California, Arkansas, Florida, and Arizona should not stand alone in this fight. We must all stand with them and for each other. These ideals are what spawned JoinTheImpact. That is who we were on November 7th at 9am PST.

Now, 4 days later, we are more than anyone could have imagined. Look in the mirror. We are you. We are your family. We are your loved ones and your allies. JoinTheImpact has not just gone national, it has gone international! Here’s the timetable so far:

1. November 7th – Launch
2. 5 Hours post launch – First 10,000 visitors
3. Midnight on November 7th – 20 cities organizing
4. November 8th (Afternoon) – Thanks to the help of organizers, we made CNN’s iReport.
5. November 8th (Evening) – Our site hit 35K visitors
6. November 9th (Morning) – 30 cities organizing
7. November 9th (Afternoon) – We got the attention of ParezHilton.com
8. November 9th (Evening) – The tipping point – Traffic jumped to 50K visitors/hour. With the help of Hostdango.com, we immediately switched to a new web server (Generously donated by Hostdango!)
9. November 10th 8am PST – Our initiative goes international! Now there are protests being planned around the world for the exact same minute on November 15th!
10. November 10th 11am PST – WetPaint.com enters the mix of local Seattle based companies donating time and services. Thanks to WetPaint, we now have an amazing Wiki to upload contact information and protest locations for every single city! They created a social site just for us: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com.
11. November 10th 11pm PST – 49 states have local organizers in over 80 cities!!!
12. November 11th – 1am PST – We reached 1million visitors!!
13. November 11th 8am PST – Hostdango shows even more generosity by upgrading us to an amazingly robust dedicated server to ensure that we can handle the traffic!
Read the rest of this entry »