Revision of the Vanderburgh County Discrimination Ordinance
In March 2012, hundreds of community members and allies in Vanderburgh County wrote letters, signed petitions, and spoke at public hearings to urge the county commissioners to add sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability to the county’s non-discrimination ordinance. Despite the overwhelming response, the commissioners ultimately voted against the proposal. Check out the transcript of testimonies from March and April.
Community Reaction to the Possible Defunding of the HRC
In response to comments that were made by one of our county commissioners, a local group of allies spoke up the only way they knew how - by protest. The goal of the protest was to bring awareness to the disappointment in the community with regard to the commission’s decision to stop the county's funding of the Human Relations Commission in the county. Their protest was covered by News14 and WFIE television networks and was discussed on the local NPR news-brief the next morning.
Inclusive Representation of our Local Couples
In 2013, we asked if our local News4U would begin featuring LGBT couples in their “A Couple of Thoughts” column. Further, we suggested they change the disclaimer on the printed version of the article. In our allies’ own words: "Second, we would like to suggest a modification to the disclaimer about inclusion with regard to ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Although some may perceive the word "backgrounds" as including sexual orientation and gender, most will not (at least most in the LGBT community), as it is safer to assume it doesn't. Below you will find our suggested modification: "Each month we're posing questions to couples of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities in and around the Tri-State area. Each couple is given the questions separately, at the same time and without influence on their answers from their significant other." Check out the April 2013 issue of the Magazine. This was a win!
FULFILLING OUR VISION OF EMPOWERMENT
We do not have special powers; we cannot empower people. However, we do believe we can create opportunities for people to empower themselves. We view empowerment as "an intentional, ongoing process centered in the local community, involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring, and group participation.” As such, our allies have stepped up to this idea, and continue to design and sponsor many events on campus and around Evansville. Time and time again, these events prove to be successful, allowing allies with differing sexual orientations and gender identities to have a voice and be visible
Community members and groups like you help us fulfill our mission of fostering a socially just community.
Our sponsors assist us in holding trainings by covering the expenses associated with the printing of the training supplies; catering breakfast or lunch (depending on the timing of the training); advertising materials; and trainer fees when applicable. If you would like to sponsor a training for students, faculty, staff, community members, or your organization please do not hesitate to contact us for more details.
Do you have some free time? Do you have a talent that could help us fulfill our vision and mission?
Whether you are a local artist, musician, writer, or simply someone who would like to volunteer, let us know. We are continually looking for ways to better connect our program with the diverse talents of the individuals residing in the Tri-State area.
Do you work somewhere that aims to create an inclusive environment for those who are LGBT?
Do you operate a business that strives for inclusion? Do you provide services to those in the LGBT community? If you answered yes, please consider being listed as one of our local resources and displaying a “Safe Zone” decal in your window or on the door. Together, we can foster a community that is inclusive and visible. If you are interested in being listed as a local resource and/or displaying a "Safe Zone" decal, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Tri-State Safe Zone Initiative
FULFILLING OUR VISION: CREATING SOCIETAL CHANGE
Founded on the idea that change happens in a multi-layered system, we utilize an ecological perspective to guide the Safe Zone initiative. We encourage our allies to serve as persons of trust as well as action; whether that action takes place within the confines of an office, a family unit, a community group or a political party. Our “calls to action” are designed to provide opportunities - both big and small - for our allies to create change within each layer of our societal system. From the micro to the macro, they serve as a way for our allies to have a voice, and for that voice to be heard. We truly believe in a “small wins” approach to creating change. If you have an idea for a “call to action,” no matter how small you may feel it is, please share it with us.