Friday, April 17, 2009

Equality Focus - April 17

Top Story-GLSEN releases Arizona Report

A joint press release released in Arizona by GLSEN and Equality Arizona discusses the experience of LGBT students in Arizona schools. The report, Inside Arizona Schools: The Experiences of LGBT Students, has been released as Arizona students prepare for the 13th annual National Day of Silence on Friday. You can also hear from Phoenix GLSEN representative Matthew Heil who discussed this report with Donna Rossi on Equality Arizona radio this week by clicking here.

“As Arizona students prepare for the National Day of Silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, we learn just how pervasive the problem is in Arizona schools,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “Arizona has lagged behind other states in taking the simple and effective steps to begin addressing anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. Arizona and all of its schools need to commit to making sure that schools are safe for all students.”

More than eight out of 10 Arizona LGBT students experienced verbal harassment based on sexual orientation in the past year, 43% said they had been physically harassed and more than one-fifth said they had been physically assaulted.

“While this report points out the problems and threats faced by LGBT students in Arizona, it also serves to strengthen the commitment of Equality Arizona and GLSEN to ensure every student has a safe place to learn and thrive,” said Barbara McCullough-Jones, Executive Director of Equality Arizona. “This report illuminates the steps we must take now for the safety of all students, and reinvigorates our drive to get anti-bullying legislation passed here in Arizona.”

To read the entire press release click here. To read the entire report click here. To hear GLSEN on Equality Arizona Radio click here.

Issue Update – Stand Together with GPGLCC

It is more important than ever that we stand together as a community. Equality Arizona has many amazing partners that support our work to secure, protect, and defend the rights and welfare of LGBT people in Arizona. The Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (GPGLCC) is a long standing partner and champion of our community here in the Phoenix metro area. Collaboration is key as we move forward as a community,” according to Angela Hughey, Vice Chair of the GPGLCC.

The event planned for tonight, “An Evening of Pride” is one way the GPGLCC gives back, as this event will benefit Equality Arizona and other LGBT organizations. We hope you will join us this evening. Tickets are still available at the door.

An Evening of Pride

TIME: TONIGHT! 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
VENUE: Wyndham Phoenix
ADDRESS: Fifth Floor on the Veranda

Fifty East Adams Street Phoenix, AZ 85004

Political Update-Unemployment

Unemployment is a concern in every community. Especially in the LGBT community since we can still be fired based on discrimination. The figures are staggering. Unemployment nationwide is at 8.5 percent. Arizona's unemployment just hit 7.8 percent. Arizona has lost more than 200,000 jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Nationally 600,000 people are filing unemployment claims a week, and only 37 percent of unemployed workers collect unemployment benefits.

In Arizona, unless the legislature takes action very soon, thousands of unemployed workers who are still looking for new jobs will stop receiving their weekly unemployment insurance checks because their benefits will expire.

The AFL-CIO has created www.Unemployment, a one-stop online guide that links workers to local resources, from unemployment offices to veterans' services to child care. It also offers the opportunity to talk to others and share support and lessons learned. (reprinted with permission)

To learn more from the AFL-CIO click here.

News from the Equality Arizona Education InstitutePhoenix Pride!

Equality Arizona is EVERYWHERE this weekend at the Phoenix Pride celebration. We will be leading the parade with our Parade of Politicians, and then heading over to the festival grounds. Be sure to look for us and show your support. All of our beverage booths will be by the dance floor and every beverage you buy will help support Equality Arizona. If you are an early bird, visit our coffee booth (in partnership with Fair Trade CafĂ©) where you can purchase vegan baked goodies, iced homo pomo, iced chai like you a latte, or a stone cold butch (iced coffee). You can also purchase some Queer Coffee Beans to take home with you. Of course, you will want to stop by our information booth where you can learn about Equality Arizona, and even sign up to meet ALIS. She is our new friend that you won’t want to miss.

This week on Equality Arizona Radio- GLSEN

Listen up as Emmy Award winning host Donna Rossi digs deep into the harassment and bullying faced by lgbt students with co-chair of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network of Phoenix, Matthew Heil. Hear discussions on the recent suicides of two lgbt students due to bullying and the launching of GLSEN’s new Think B4 You Speak Campaign. Click here to listen to the podcast.

Calendar items

Saturday, April 18, 2009, 1:00 PM-4:30PM, 3109 N. 24th St., Phoenix, AZ, HEALTHCARE TOWN HALL, Panel and Question and Answer forum with Congressional representatives, nurses, doctors, and city government

Saturday, April 18, 2009 and Sunday, April 19, 2009, 12:00 PM- 9:00PM, Steel Indian School Park. PHOENIX PRIDE be sure to visit the Equality Arizona booth, and stop by and purchase a cup of coffee of a tasty beverage to support Equality Arizona.

Saturday, April 25, 2009, 1:00pm-4:00 pm, Mesa Arts Center, Piper Hall, Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue (FID) presents the second Arizona Children's Festival with the theme of 'Friendship'. This is a free event open to the whole family. For details visit

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