FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2015
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Jacksonville, FL – As part of its statewide expansion plan, We Are Straight Allies (WASA) will feature executives from SunTrust Bank and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the highly successful human rights marketing and public awareness campaign, launched in August 2013. A primary focus of the expansion will be to engage cities, and leaders, in Florida previously receiving a low Equality Index rating from the Human Rights Campaign, as well as create a comprehensive initiative to gain understanding and acceptance for the Transgender Community. Partnering with Equality Florida, WASA aims to broaden the reach of its educational efforts as the organization continues to raise awareness about the challenges still facing the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, despite recent national gains in policy, such as marriage equality.
“Equality Florida is thrilled to partner with We Are Straight Allies as they expand their campaign statewide. This innovative initiative has been effective in raising awareness, educating communities and building support across our state. We look forward to a continued partnership that amplifies allies’ voices in support of LGBTA equality,” says Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.
The WASA campaign features prominent allies the likes of feminist icon and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Gloria Steinem; Florida Blue CEO, Pat Geraghty; and Olympic gold medalist and attorney, Nancy Hogshead-Makar. Other allies include highly regarded members of the faith, business and nonprofit community. We Are Straight Allies is recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as a valued partner in championing for LGBT equality. “WASA has been instrumental in the cultural shift that is occurring in Jacksonville, FL, as it relates to our community moving closer to passage of a fully comprehensive Human Right Ordinance (HRO) and creating a more safe community,” says founder and co-creator, Chevara Orrin. “We have offered ally trainings across our city to corporate, community and faith leaders who are helping change hearts and minds, one person at a time.”
We Are Straight Allies seeks to educate, engage and “call to action” the business, faith-based, military, government, nonprofit, educational, arts and private sectors as we move towards passage of comprehensive polices that protect our LGBT community against discrimination in the state of Florida. The strategic educational and awareness efforts are targeted toward city and faith based leaders, as well as citizens, to ensure greater equity for the LGBT community in employment, housing and public accommodation. The campaign is designed to reaffirm those supporting fundamental human rights for all citizens and further engage the ambivalent, those who voted against comprehensive protections, and the uninformed about real challenges facing members of our LGBT community.
For additional information, visit the WASA website: www.wearestraightallies.com
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