Rabbi Joshua Lief, Congregation Ahavath Chesed

Rabbi Lief is the Senior Rabbi at The Temple in Jacksonville. He grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia where he was active in all sports, music, and was an Eagle Scout. He attended Princeton University, where he swam on the varsity squad, competed on the debate team, and graduated with a degree in History. Learn more: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-jV

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Allies: Mark and Meredith Frisch

The Frisch Family proudly join the “We are Straight Allies” campaign in support of their son and brother, Jeffrey, and for the entire LGBT community. In their own words, they describe the importance for why they are ‘coming out’ as allies.

Read their full profile here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-fV

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We Are Straight Allies Responds to Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

article-0-207A58A300000578-767_634x532Jacksonville, FL – In response to the St. Louis County grand jury’s failure to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, We Are Straight Allies issued the following statement:

We Are Straight Allies express our deep disappointment and stand in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown and those who seek accountability and justice for this senseless killing. America’s long history of racism and police profiling has again influenced a decision that denies a grieving family the right to have this case tried in public.

Fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we are still far from realizing the dream of equality. We as Americans must continue to challenge unjust polices, call for reform of the criminal justice system and hold our local elected officials accountable for better screening and training of police officers hired to “protect and serve” not mete out injustice through racial profiling, illegal stop-and-frisks and the senseless and too frequent killing of unarmed citizens.

We send our deep condolences to the family of Michael Brown and will honor their wish to continue to engage in thoughtful, intentional, peaceful protest. As allies, we know it is critical that the voices of those groups in power stand steadfast with those groups that are oppressed. As straight allies, we work to create a culture of awareness and understanding of the challenges that face those in the LGBT community.

We encourage white people across our nation to use their influence, voices and action to create an America free of bias and discrimination towards Black people and other people of color.

Our histories are inextricably bound. We are not free until all of us are free.

 

ALLIES: Mondo Mike and the Po Boys with Spice

Last night, Mondo Mike and the Po Boys with Spice premiered their new single, “Soul to Soul”, a lush bluesy ballad in a Ray Charles style of arrangement on the Electro Lounge 89.9. If you remember, they were rockin’ it out with us at our Equality Party at One Spark this past April.

They have dedicated this song to the passage of a human rights ordinance in Jacksonville as MMPB/S believe in everyone’s inalienable right to love whomever they please. The song was inspired by the TEDx talk of Dr. Judi Herring on gender diversity and complexity.

Thank you for adding your voices to the growing chorus for Equality in Jacksonville!

PRESS: Transgender Experiences on First Coast Connect

This past Tuesday, We Are Straight Allies Founder and Co-Creator Chevara Orrin, along with Gina Duncan from Equality Florida, Tricia Russell, Chair of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality Gender Identity and Expression Committee and Cam, one of newest members of the JCE, appeared on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, as a continuation of our series discussing transgender experiences. [The segment begins at 29:20]

Listen to Transgender Experiences on First Coast Connect

Thank you to all of our partners and panelists for your courage to have dialogue in hopes that we may better educate our city about transgender people and why it is important that we protect the rights of our T-community – you rocked the house!

We are straight allies coming out in support of our LGBT community and the Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance.

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