The following post comes from HRC Diversity Program Associate Hyacinth Alvaran:
More than 40 of us marched under the HRC flag for the One Nation Working Together rally on Saturday, October 2. We joined the LGBT organizing table – the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the National Black Justice Coalition, Stonewall Democrats, and Pride at Work – in addition to hundreds of youth marchers and AIDS Walk participants at Freedom Plaza, then marched more than a thousand strong to the Lincoln Memorial to join over 200 organizations and their supporters on the National Mall.
Lead by Donna Payne, Associate Director of Diversity, we were excited to be joined by HRC members from different parts of the country, from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, to New York, Indiana, and North Carolina. Our voices rang clearly as we chanted “What do we want? EQUALITY! When do we want it? NOW!” and walked side-by-side with our sisters and brothers in the labor, civil rights, and environmental movements. Although they were not able to join us, many of the 17 students who came from Bennett College in North Carolina wore their HRC t-shirts proudly as a sign of solidarity through our work together on their campus. (HRC partners with student leaders and faculty at 25 Historically Black Colleges & Universities to improve the environment for the campuses’ LGBT and ally communities.)
Organizers estimate an attendance of about 175,000 people, who listened to leaders such as NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper speak passionately and eloquently about the urgent need for jobs, a stronger public education system, and civil rights and justice for all. “Our national destiny,” implored Jealous, “is to move ever forward, and never backward!” And Nipper declared, “Even though it is a challenge, I believe that it is the diversity of this nation that makes this nation so great.”
We also used our participation as an opportunity to call people into action and help us Dial for Equality. According to HRC Regional Field Organizer Christine Sloane:
“One of the greatest things about being a field organizer is the direct contact I get to have with folks on a regular basis. The interesting conversations, inspirational stories, and witnessing the sheer passion so many individuals have for equality makes me feel so lucky to do the work that I do.
This past Saturday, October 2, 2010, was no exception. I had the honor of marching with HRC supporters, friends and colleagues under the Human Rights Campaign banner to the One Nation Working together rally on the Washington Mall. It truly is a beautiful sight to see the progressive community come together once again to raise their voices for equality, education and jobs.
With the help of three fantastic volunteers, we were able to sign up more than 60 individuals to help us Dial for Equality to ensure that HRC’s members are mobilized nationwide to elect and protect pro-equality candidates on November 2, 2010.
While this is fantastic news, we still need your help. We’re less than a month away from the critical mid-terms elections and your 2.5 hours of volunteer time will allow you to reach out to over 100 Human Rights Campaign voters in critical areas like New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.
We’ll be making calls every Monday and Wednesday, 6-8:30 p.m. from HRC’s headquarters located at 1640 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
If you don’t live in the D.C. area, please email Christine.Sloane@hrc.org to find out how to participate in a virtual phonebank right from home! We couldn’t make it easier to make it difference. Please sign up for your shift today.”
A special thanks goes out to our 40+ members and supporters who joined us for this rally; our allies who included us in this extraordinary event; and our steering committees from Washington, DC and New York, our staff, and our interns who helped make this occasion a tremendous success! We couldn’t have done this without you.