WASHINGTON - September 23 - The National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Stonewall Democrats and Pride At Work are co-convening the “LGBTQ Table” for One Nation Working Together , a new progressive movement demanding secure jobs, justice and quality education. LGBTQ groups will be joining with thousands of progressive allies in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2 for One Nation Working Together's national rally. “This is about getting people energized and re-engaged,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “We can show our collective leadership by mobilizing our constituents, and we will continue to stand tall and steadfast until our priority initiatives become a reality.”
More than 200 organizations have endorsed One Nation Working Together, including the NAACP, AFL-CIO, SEIU and many other labor, civil and human rights, faith, immigrant rights, environmental, women and peace organizations.
"Everyone deserves the right to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage," says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "This is about fundamental fairness. This includes ensuring people are not discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. It's about passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It's about ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It's about ensuring people get a fair shake and are able to support and care for their families. It's about real lives and livelihoods."
The nation's economic climate has left people all across the country vulnerable, and the ongoing discrimination in employment, schools, housing, health care and the absence of relationship recognition present added economic barriers and stresses for many within the LGBTQ community. In addition, the 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBTQ people living in this country and 36,000 binational couples, deserve access to a system that allows workers to earn legal status and permits people from all backgrounds to stay with their families.
“One Nation Working Together has already been an unprecedented opportunity for the LGBT community to work in coalition with many progressive organizations with a common purpose,” says Michael Mitchell, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats. “The focus of One Nation Working Together — jobs, justice, education — is also what we are fighting for as LGBT Americans.”
"One Nation Working Together is about Oct. 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C., but it is much more than that,” says Peggy Shorey, executive director of Pride at Work. “This is about building stronger coalitions at the intersection of race and sexuality, and becoming more effective allies across our communities. This is about lifting the voice and struggle of low-income LGBT people, of LGBT people living in poverty, of LGBT working families struggling with unemployment and discrimination, of LGBT people also fighting racism. Just as important as Oct. 2 is how we carry the work forward — encouraging all of our members to register and vote in November, and continuing to organize in solidarity to win justice and equality for all people.”
Also on Oct. 2, the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., is hosting its 24th annual AIDS Walk Washington, which takes place Saturday morning prior to the One Nation Working Together rally. Event information, including registration, is available at www.aidswalkwashington.org . Whitman-Walker Clinic is proud to be a partner organization of One Nation Working Together. Rally attendees can sign-up online for the AIDS Walk and receive a 25 percent discount off the standard registration rate (code:ONWT).
The LGBTQ Table is encouraging people to support the AIDS Walk, as well as rally with One Nation Working Together. LGBTQ organizations and activists are invited to gather at Freedom Plaza at 10 a.m. to share in the closing ceremonies of the AIDS Walk and then march as a delegation to the One Nation Working Together rally.
For more details of how to get involved in One Nation Working Together, visit www.onenationworkingtogether.org Facebook at “One Nation Working Together,” or Twitter using the hashtags #OneNation, #DC10210 and #OneNationLGBTQ.