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What a night!

February 11, 2021

Our 30th Anniversary Gala last Saturday was an incredible success.  Our deepest appreciation goes out to our sponsors, host committee members, and all our guests who joined us for the celebration!  Because of their generosity of spirit, we raised the funds Equality Illinois needs year round to fight for the civil rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans!

If you weren’t able to join us the night of the Gala (or just want to enjoy it all again!), you can watch the event on YouTube HERE

#EIGala

 

So many Champions!

February 9, 2021

Today we are able to do more for LGBTQ+ Illinoisans because our generous sponsors have stepped up to champion our community. We thank all of these organizations and companies for their continued support prioritizing LGBTQ+ communities all across Illinois.

#EIGala

 

Black History Month

February 8, 2021

 

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)

A master strategist and tireless activist, Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. It took 8 weeks to organize the march and Rustin did it without cell phones, email, or social media. He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement, and helped mold Martin Luther King, Jr. into an international symbol of peace and nonviolence. Despite these achievements, Rustin was silenced, threatened, arrested, beaten, imprisoned and fired from important leadership positions, largely because he was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era. In 2013 Rustin was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

 

Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Virtual Gala!

February 3, 2021

Click Here to make a donation

 


Black History Month

February 1, 2021

Equality Illinois is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the Black community to the LGBTQ liberation movement. Throughout February we will be recognizing Black heroes who have made contributions to the LGBTQ movement.

 

EI 2019-2020 Annual Report

January 28, 2021

This past year challenged the LGBTQ community in ways we could never have imagined, but we are proud to have worked with you to help place Illinois at the cutting edge of LGBTQ full equality.

While there is much to celebrate, I hope you will take note that we:

This past year we:

    • Provided over $100,000 in direct cash grants to downstate LGBTQ Illinoisans suffering the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis;
    • Connected over 10,000 LGBTQ Illinoisans with COVID resources through our Virtual Town Halls and our COVID-19 Resource Hub;
    • Introduced legislation which would require the teaching of LGBTQ-affirming sex-ed in schools;
    • Launched Illinois’ first ever single-day Pride including dozens of communities across the state;
    • Partnered with community groups and the State of Illinois to make government issued identity documents more inclusive and accessible for Trans and Gender Non-conforming Illinoisans.

 

There has been a beacon of change in the fight for LGBTQ people in Illinois this past year. We need to stay the course until every LGBTQ person has equal rights! We hope you will continue to partner with us going forward to help transform our state into the fully equal and accepting place we believe it can be.

 

 

What’s for dinner during the Gala? We have some ideas!

January 22, 2021

The countdown to the big day is on! Enjoy the Gala on February 6 while supporting LGBTQ-owned restaurants with a special custom meal from your choice of Illinois restaurants. You can pre-order your Gala feast for delivery or pickup directly from Lady Gregory’sThe Birdcage or Wilde Chicago. We are proud to promote these LGBTQ businesses who need our support now more than ever!   

       

Please note that all transactions will take place directly between you and your restaurant of choice – ordering through Equality Illinois is not an option.

Get your 30th Anniversary Gala ticket TODAY!

 

 

January 12, 2021

As the Illinois General Assembly navigates the remaining 24 hours of the 101st General Assembly in Springfield, Equality Illinois applauds the bold leadership of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in their work to eliminate systemic racism and advance long overdue and long delayed equity and justice for Black Illinoisans, including Black LGBTQ Illinoisans.

We know the legislative process is fast moving and will involve thoughtful debates and substantive amendments.  We want to take the time to thank the Black Caucus for the reforms on the table, reforms that will make the lives of Black Illinoisans, including Black LGBTQ Illinoisans, better.  There is much to call out about these remarkable pieces of legislation.  We admire the robust criminal justice reforms, including limiting the use of force by police officers, safeguarding civilian’s rights through heightened accountability for police officers, and strengthening the Illinois Attorney General’s authority to take action against harmful police departments.  We honor the enhanced efforts to ensure educational equity, including the greater emphasis on restorative justice and the teaching of Black history in schools.  We appreciate the proposals to bring about greater economic equity, including a comprehensive approach to equitable economic development and an insistence on meeting equity goals in the state’s historic cannabis legalization law. And we honor the insistence that healthcare equity is only fully realized when healthcare providers are culturally competent and healthcare institutions are collecting the right information.

The Black Caucus agenda is a real opportunity to end systemic racism and build an Illinois that lives up to her values of equality, equity, fairness, justice, and opportunity.  As these bills move through the legislative process and onto the Governor’s desk, we call on all members to keep the spirit of equity and the courage to be bold at the center of the work.

 


EI 30th Anniversary Gala Silent Auction is open!

January 12, 2021

A villa in Tuscany!  A trip to the Grammys!  A private Sing-A-Long with a Broadway Star!

Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala Silent Auction is open! Register now for our silent auction and browse all of the exciting packages. The silent auction will remain open until the end of the Gala on February 6, 2021, 8PM Central time. If you are the winning bidder, your credit card will be automatically charged and you will be contacted by Monday, February 8, 2021 with information on how to obtain your silent auction package.

Click the button below to register for the silent auction!

Bid often and generously! Your silent auction donation supports the ongoing LBGTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute.

Good luck! 

 

Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Virtual Gala Trailer!

January 11, 2021

On February 6th, Equality Illinois is hosting our 30th Anniversary Virtual Gala, presented by Molson Coors Beverage Company.

Called the “who’s who of Illinois politics” by ABC News, the Equality Illinois Annual Gala is one of the preeminent LGBTQ equality events in the country. This year’s historic virtual gala promises an evening of entertainment, fun, and nostalgia.

To Sponsor, join the Host Committee, or purchase a ticket, click button below

 

Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala Silent Auction

January 5, 2021

A villa in Tuscany!  A trip to the Grammys!  A private Sing-A-Long with a Broadway Star!

Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala Silent Auction is open!

The silent auction will remain open until the end of the Gala on February 6, 2021, 8PM Central time. If you are the winning bidder, your credit card will be automatically charged and you will be contacted by Monday, February 8, 2021 with information on how to obtain your silent auction package.

Click button to register for the silent auction!

Bid often and generously! Your silent auction donation supports the ongoing LBGTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute.

Good luck!

 

Your Chance to Win a Luxury Vacation in Bali!

December 21, 2020

Equality Illinois is excited to offer you a chance to win a luxury vacation: Private Villa in Bali!
Getaway to a one-of-a-kind villa in magical Bali, the most famous island in Indonesia, which blends breathtaking mountain scenery and beautiful beaches with warm friendly people, and vibrant culture!

You can purchase raffle tickets online at 2021 Gala Raffle until January 20, 2021, 5PM CT. For every one raffle ticket you purchase, your name is entered once for a chance to win. Raffle tickets are $50 each.

 

Your raffle donation supports the ongoing LBGTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois Institute.

 


Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala

December 16, 2020

We are excited to announce that we will have a surprise performance by a Grammy-winning musician for the Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala on February 6th

Called the “who’s who of Illinois politics” by ABC News, the Equality Illinois gala sells out one of the largest hotels in Chicago each year and has become a national draw. This historic virtual gala promises an evening of entertainment, fun, and nostalgia. To find out who the Grammy-Winning Musician is you must purchase a ticket.

To Sponsor, join the Host Committee, or purchase a ticket, click here.

 

Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala

December 8, 2020

We are excited to announce Molson Coors as the Presenting Sponsor for the Equality Illinois 30th Anniversary Gala.

For over a decade Molson Coors has been one of the staunchest supporters of Equality Illinois.  Our work advancing LGBTQ full equality in Illinois has been made stronger with Molson Coors in our corner.  Additionally, for the past seventeen consecutive years, Molson Coors has earned a perfect score on the HRC Equality Index signifying it is one of the most LGBTQ inclusive workplaces in the country. We couldn’t be prouder to have a company who has served as such a robust champion of LGBTQ equality serve as our Presenting Sponsor for this historic event.

The 30th Anniversary Gala will be held virtually on February 6, 2021.  To Sponsor, join the Host Committee, or purchase a ticket, click here.

 

EI Holiday Campaign

November 2, 2020

It’s an #EIHoliday! Thank you to our Holiday Campaign Committee for pledging to donate $100 or recruit three friends to give $25 each in support of our critical work to achieve full equality for all LGBTQ folks in Illinois. Click the image here to join the Committee or give what you can, and be sure to share your reason for giving this season with the hashtag #EIHoliday on your social media pages.

 

Announcing Equality Illinois’ 30th Anniversary Gala

October 27, 2020

CLICK HERE to join us!

 


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!

 

Contributions‌ ‌support‌ ‌the‌ ‌advocacy‌ ‌work‌ ‌of‌ ‌Equality‌ ‌Illinois, ‌ ‌a‌ ‌501(c)(4)‌ ‌organization,‌ ‌and‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌tax-deductible.‌

 

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!