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Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Advisory Council (IICAC)

October 20, 2020

October is LGBTQ History Month, and a coalition of LGBTQ organizations are celebrating by making tools available to school administrators, educators, youth, and families to help implement the state’s new Inclusive Curriculum Law.

Today, the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Advisory Council (IICAC) unveiled the new tools, which include professional development opportunities, a guidance document, and a classroom lesson plan search portal. The IICAC is composed of the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago’s Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, the Legacy Project, and Equality Illinois.

LEARN MORE HERE

 

EI’s Endorsed Candidates

October 16, 2020

To achieve full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people, Equality Illinois is committed to endorsing and supporting pro-equality candidates who will fight for civil rights and social justice.

Equality Illinois proudly endorses the following candidates for the General Election on November 3, 2020.

 

Voting 2020 Town Hall

October 13, 2020

The 2020 election, the most impactful of our lifetime, is underway, and Election Day is quickly approaching. On October 19 from 10 – 11 AM, Equality Illinois will host a Zoom Town Hall to answer all of your questions about voting safely and securely and to let you know what you can do in these remaining days to get out the vote.

RSVP today HERE.

State Senator Julie Morrison, the chief senate sponsor of the new law that expanded vote by mail opportunities in 2020, and Grace Pai, Director of Organizing at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, will share their expert insights on these critical issues. We want to make sure you are fully informed about all the different ways to vote as well as share information on how to volunteer and help people vote. There will be time for live Q&A at the end of the discussion.

You will receive the Zoom information in an email before the event.

Please RSVP as soon as possible! Only the first 100 RSVPs can join us for the Town Hall.

 

EI Press Release

October 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2020

EQUALITY ILLINOIS APPLAUDS PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION’S SUCCESS IN DIVERSIFYING REPRESENTATION ON STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
While there is more work to do regarding representation of LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders, Illinois’ State Boards and Commissions are moving closer to reflecting the vibrant diversity of our state

CHICAGO – Equality Illinois applauds the Pritzker Administration’s efforts in FY20 to appoint more LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders to state boards and commissions. On Thursday, the Governor’s Office released the Administration’s FY20 Boards and Commissions Act Report that details the demographic data of gubernatorial appointments to state boards and commissions, including the voluntarily disclosed LGBTQ identities of appointees.

“We thank Gov. Pritzker and his Administration for their work to ensure our state boards and commissions better reflect the diversity of the people and communities they serve,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “While there is more work to do to ensure representation of LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders in public service, the governor’s new report shows the results of the Administration’s diligence and partnership with community organizations like Equality Illinois. This report reflects the governor’s ongoing commitment to making sure Illinois is a state where all people are inspired to lend their talents to public service.”

According to the FY20 report, Governor Pritzker has nearly quadrupled the appointment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) people to state boards and commissions compared to appointments made in FY19.

Also, unlike in previous years, appointees in FY20 were able to self-report if they are trans; if they are asexual, pansexual, or queer for their sexual orientation; and if they are intersex or non-binary/genderqueer for their gender. The application page is located here.

“When LGBTQ people are visible, we are powerful. As an organization that believes strongly in LGBTQ representation in roles of civic leadership, we are excited to see more and more out LGBTQ people pursuing public service,” said Myles Brady Davis, Press Secretary and Director of Communications at Equality Illinois. “Representation at tables of power matters when it comes to passing inclusive policies and for changing hearts and minds by sharing our stories.”

The data on LGBTQ identity in the Boards and Commissions Act Report is collected because of the LGBTQ Public Service Law (Public Act 100-0234), an initiative of Equality Illinois that was sponsored by State Sen. Scott Bennett (Champaign) and Rep. Will Guzzardi (Chicago) in 2017. The measure allows individuals who apply to serve on boards and commissions under the authority of the governor to voluntarily identify as LGBTQ. Prior law requires applicants to state board or commissions to self-identify their gender, disability status, and ethnicity. All of this data must be published annually in a report to the General Assembly of the demographic data of individuals who apply for boards and commissions and for those who are appointed. The state website appointments.illinois.gov contains information about the boards and commissions and previous annual reports of the demographic data of the appointees.

Here are some key takeaways from the FY20 Boards and Commissions Act Report:

Regarding sexual orientation:

  • 3.7% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as LGBQ (up from 1% in FY19).
  • 4% of the applicants in FY20 identified as LGBQ (roughly the same as in FY19).
  • Also, FY20 appointees who declined to state or did not respond to the inquiry about their sexual orientation dropped significantly compared to FY19 (30% in FY20 but 52% in FY19). This could mean more appointees are comfortable living authentically and publicly.

Regarding gender identity (which were new questions added in FY20):

  • 1.17% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as genderqueer or non-binary.
  • 1.36% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as trans.
  • The result is that 0.5% of those currently serving identified as trans and 0.4% identify as genderqueer or non-binary.

More highlights from the FY20 report:

  • The percent of Black, indigenous, and people of color appointees by the governor in FY20 was 37.6% (up from 32.8% in FY19).​​​
  • The percent of appointments who identified as women in FY20 was 48.3% (up from 39.4% in FY19).

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Equality Illinois’ historic Can’t Stop Our Pride broadcast

June 11, 2020

Equality Illinois’ historic Can’t Stop Our Pride broadcast on June 20!

Leaders from across Illinois are stepping up to support our community. Please meet our Can’t Stop Our Pride host committee. They are tireless champions of our work and we are so grateful to them.

Buy tickets TODAY!

 

New Date Alert!

June 3, 2020

Today, we want to say that our hearts and our support are with the brave protesters fighting for needed change across the state and the country. We recognize that Pride (and so many LGBTQ rights in the US) would not exist if it hadn’t been for brave queer people (specifically, Black and brown trans women) who stood up for the whole community and demanded change. We hope to honor their spirit through our Can’t Stop Our Pride event. For all those reasons, we are moving Can’t Stop Our Pride to June 20 to give space to the situation at hand and to allow us time to ensure that we are including appropriate messages and the right voices in this broadcast.  

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

 

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Special Message from CEO Brian C. Johnson

June 1, 2020

Pride at its core is a police protest…It is our duty to stand with our LGBTQ African-American siblings and demand better from police.”
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Hear the personal message from our CEO Brian C. Johnson

 

Happy Pride Month

June 1, 2020

Fifty-one years ago this month, LGBTQ patrons of the Stonewall Inn rose up against police brutality. Led by people of color, and trans women of color in particular, their rage fueled a protest that lasted for days. We must never forget that, at its core, Pride is a police protest.
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As we watch the protests and riots in our country, it is our duty as LGBTQ people to honor those from historically marginalized communities who continue to push back against the police injustices they experience. It is our duty to stand with our LGBTQ African-American siblings and demand better from the police.

 


Can’t Stop Our Pride: One Day, One Illinois!

May 26, 2020

Join us June 13th!

Our FABULOUS host committee is excited to be a part of our historic statewide virtual pride event, Can’t Stop Our Pride: One Day, One Illinois!

Can’t stop Our Pride will include family Storytime, a interfaith service, cooking and mixology classes, intimate conversations with LGBTQ leaders in cities across the state, and a DJ afterparty!

 

Can’t Stop Our Pride: One Day, One Illinois!

May 21, 2020

On Saturday, June 13th, Equality Illinois will host Illinois’ first Statewide Pride. The theme of the Virtual Pride event will be “Can’t Stop Our Pride: One Day ● One Illinois.  This virtual event will be broadcast on Equality Illinois’ YouTube channel from Noon until 5PM and will feature elected leaders, community leaders, performers, chefs, activists, and many others.

 

Illinois Healthy Workplace Act

May 5, 2020

We know telling and sharing stories of impact matter. You have moved hearts and changed minds by sharing your stories and experiences with policymakers and the public.

Now, as part of the coalition advocating for state legislation to ensure paid sick days in Illinois, we want to hear from you: how has the absence of paid sick days (for yourself or to take care of a member of your family) impacted your life recently?

The Illinois Healthy Workplace Act (currently SB 471) will ensure workers in Illinois can access paid sick days. This critical legislation affirms workers who need to care for their own healthcare needs and the healthcare needs of their families, including chosen families.

Please share your story with us!

If you haven’t yet contacted your state representative in support of this bill, you may do so now.

 

 

FY19 Annual Report

May 4, 2020

2019 was one of the most productive legislative sessions for LGBTQ rights in Illinois history!

Equality Illinois has been in awe of the power of our community and the courage of our allies so much over the past year.  While we worked on many bills last session, we are most inspired by the impact two key bills will have. The Inclusive Curriculum Act will ensure that Illinois young people will learn about the rich contributions of LGBTQ people to our shared history.  With the Equal Access Restroom Act, we have helped Illinois move one step closer in ensuring that public spaces are safe and affirming for our trans siblings.

This came on the heels of nearly 10,000 Illinoisans stepping up and taking a pro-equality civic action with Equality Illinois.  We contacted legislators, we signed up to vote, and we supported pro-LGBTQ public leaders.

None of this would have been possible without you.  As our supporters, our partners, and our public officials, you have made sure Illinois is one of the most LGBTQ inclusive states in the country.

Thank you!  On behalf of the over 400,000 LGBTQ Illinoisans who rely on us to advocate fiercely for them, thank you!

 


Equality Illinois COVID-19 Resources

April 9, 2020

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Our number one priority is the health and safety of Our LGBTQ Community

During this time of uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), one thing is without question:
We will navigate through this challenging time, together!

 As Equality Illinois continues to hear about the surge in needs and challenges our LGBTQ community is experiencing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put together a list of online resources.

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Please let us know any helpful resources that you find by clicking our “Share With Us” button.

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COVID-19 Resource Center

March 24, 2020

As we all learn how to navigate our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic; this should not and will not stop us from working toward equality for all. It is important that we keep each other informed and do our best to support each other.

Stay informed by visiting our COVID-19 Resource Center outlining our response.

Challenging times have always brought us together. That spirit is alive and well in our communities. We will move forward, together. 

 

Women’s History Month

March 4, 2020

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During Women’s History Month, we will honor women who have broken barriers and push our society forward.

Today’s #wcw is Bamby Salcedo. As the founder of the TransLatin@ Coalition in Los Angeles, Mexico-born Bamby Salcedo not only advocates for the needs of trans Latinxs who have immigrated to the United States, but also speaks about and fights for the rights and safety of those living with HIV and AIDS. In 2016, the Obama Administration invited her to speak at the White House United State of Women Summit, where she spoke out about ways to help prevent violence against women. She continues to speak and work with LGBTQ Latinxs and win awards for her advocacy and community work.

 

Early Voting

March 2, 2020

Starting TODAY, early voting expands across Illinois ahead of the March 17 primary!

Find your early voting location HERE!

Head to the Illinois State Board of Elections to check your registration status and make sure it is up to date. If you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote in person at an early voting location, or on election day at your polling location.

 


EI’s 2020 Endorsed Candidates

February 25, 2020

To achieve full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people, Equality Illinois is committed to endorsing and supporting pro-equality candidates who will fight for civil rights and social justice.

Equality Illinois proudly endorses the following candidates for the Illinois Primary Election on March 17, 2020.

 

EI Day of Action for Yoni Pizer for State Rep.!

February 21, 2020


Join Equality Illinois and team Pizer for a day of action on Saturday, February 29th at 11:00 am! We will be knocking doors, making calls, and texting voters! 

Let’s get ready to hit the streets and tell voters why Yoni Pizer is the right choice to represent the 12th House District!

Feb 29, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Yoni Pizer HQ , 3221 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

 

#TDOR 2019

November 20, 2019

Today we pause to remember the known and unknown Trans people around the world who have lost their lives to anti-trans violence. The majority of the known victims have been black and brown trans women.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We MUST stand firm and unite against bigotry, hatred, and prejudice!

Until we are all equal and safe to exist in the world without harm.

 

Community Advisory Group

November 4, 2019

Meet the 2019-2020 Equality Illinois Community Advisory Group!

The Community Advisory Group contributes to Equality Illinois’ understanding of the many issues that LGBTQ Illinoisans experience every day. And, at a time when many LGBTQ individuals are feeling isolated, anxious, and frustrated about policymaking, Equality Illinois is dedicated to ensuring our policy agenda is developed through the consistent and ongoing engagement of many voices, perspectives, and lived experiences.


 


#RiseUpOct8

October 8, 2019

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear three cases about LGBTQ employment discrimination that will determine if federal law protects LGBTQ people. The Supreme Court will consider how Title VII’s ban on workplace sex discrimination protects LGBTQ people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

No one who is well-qualified, talented, and hardworking should have to live in fear of being fired or denied a job or promotion because of who they are or whom they love. That’s why a majority of Americans from all walks of life support these protections.

We are proud of ACLU of Illinois’ John Knight for arguing one of the key cases in front of the Court today.

To learn more listen to Lambda Legal’s Director of Constitutional Litigation Camilla Taylor and Equality Illinois’ Director of Public Policy Mike Ziri talk with The 21st Show and Illinois Public Media about the impact the ruling could have on the community.

 

THE INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM BILL

August 11, 2019

Starting with the 2020-21 school year, students in Illinois public schools will learn about LGBTQ contributions in history. The Inclusive Curriculum Bill is the initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and The Legacy Project!

Thank you to our fierce legislative champions, State Representative Anna Moeller, 43rd District and State Senator Heather Steans!

Thank you to our amazing partners, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and the Legacy Project!

 

Illinois Equal Restroom Access Bill

July 31, 2019

The Illinois Equal Restroom Access Bill is now law!

The Equitable Restroom Access Bill will require that all single occupancy restrooms in public accommodations and public buildings in the state be gender-neutral.  This will provide trans and gender non-conforming Illinoisans, parents of opposite gender children, seniors with opposite gender caregivers, a safer and more affirming experience!  

Thank you to Governor JB Pritzker for signing SB 556 and to Senator Melinda Bush and State Representative Sam Yingling for leading the charge in the Illinois General Assembly.

Special thanks to our partners at the Chicago Restroom Access Project for their leadership in developing public policy regarding conversion of gendered single-stall restrooms to all genders.


 

Fahrenheit Chicago 3

July 25, 2019

Equality Illinois Institute with presenting sponsors Howard Brown Health and The Reva and David Logan Foundation are excited to invite you to Fahrenheit Chicago 3 on August 23-25, 2019!

Fahrenheit Chicago is a “party with a purpose” for LGBTQ Illinoisans, centering the experiences and rich community assets of the Black and Latinx LGBTQ community. We have many free and fun events planned for you that weekend.

 


Volunteer Opportunity!

July 18, 2019

Equality Illinois has been selected to staff the gates at this year’s Northalsted Market Days and we are rounding up the troops!

We need 50 volunteers per day. This is a great opportunity for you, your friends, and family to Show up, SPEAK UP! on behalf of LGBTQ Illinoisans.

Northalsted Market Days is the largest street festival in the Midwest and Chicago’s hottest summer celebration, August 10-11, 2019.

The weekend long festival features an all day lineup of live music on 4 stages, 200+ unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink, DJ’s and dancing, sponsor booths, and more!