From Charlottesville, Virginia to Sutherland Springs, Texas we saw the absolute worst of what humanity and our country are capable of in 2017. At times, it seemed like the fabric of our nation was ripping apart in real time.
In January of this year, we weren’t certain of the path forward. What would this new administration mean for rights and protections? For the safety and well-being of the least among us?
We fell back on what we knew how to do best – hit the road and get out there and talk to people in their hometowns and organize all across the South. Here’s what 2017 looked like for the the Campaign for Southern Equality team:
In January, we held a phone bank to call our Senators and told them to #StopSessions.
Next up, we hit the road with a bunch of paperwork and legal forms for a series of free Legal Clinics across Mississippi during January.
Back porch organizing in Hattiesburg.
Much love and respect to Diane Walton, who volunteers her time as a pro bono attorney and has led clinics across the South.
Que Bell, an amazing organizer in Selma, ran a CSE Name Change Clinic in January.
Packed house in Oxford for our clinic.
Updates from local organizers with Mississippi Rising in Pass Christian.
We sent a message of support to Gavin Grimm as his court case was heard.
Jasmine and Maya registered voters as part of our TurnOUT Asheville efforts.
We upped our swag game for Pride events across the South.
To kick off the fall, Lindsey and Maya organized a pumpkin carving party. It was really messy, so we don’t have any after photos. 🙂
Fletcher and Ivy led a Trans 101 training to students at West Virginia Wesleyan University.
We packed the house for the first-ever LGBTQ City Council Candidate forum in Asheville.
In total, here’s what 2017 looked liked for the CSE Team:
- 26 free clinics
- 15 trainings for direct service providers and students
- 6 panel discussions on LGBTQ issues
- 5 Pride events
- 4 rallies and marches
- 2 press conferences
- 2 federal court hearings
- 2 trips to Fort Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA with Southern Poverty Law Center
- 2 Get-Out-the-Vote phone banks
- 1 LGBTQ candidate forum
- 1 town hall on HB142
- 1 vigil to honor the anniversary of the Pulse shooting
- 156 NC voters registered
After all that, if there’s one thing we feel certain about at the end of 2017 it’s that organizing works. Even in the South. Especially in the South.