Saturday, January 16, 2010

Equality Ride 2010

This fall I was accepted on to the Equality Ride with Soulforce. I could try to write something fancy describing what I'm doing but instead I'm going to copy and paste in a description from the Soulforce website.

In March 2010, young adults from around the country and around the world will embark on the fourth annual Equality Ride, a youth bus tour visiting religious colleges and universities across the United States to challenge on-campus discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students. Guided by the principles of nonviolence, Equality Riders will engage in critical dialogue, direct action, and in some cases civil disobedience, to press for much-needed changes for LGBTQ students.

“The Equality Ride is an opportunity for young adults to come together in the struggle for social justice,” says Asher Kolieboi, co-director of the Equality Ride. “It’s a way for both LGBTQ folks and straight allies to work together to address religious-based oppression and create safe spaces for queer youth on campuses across the country.”

For two months Riders will stop at a variety of religious colleges and universities to meet with campus administrators and students, and engage local communities on a range of issues from the relationship between faith and sexuality to the intersections of race and gender. “Like past Equality Rides, we hope to open dialogue on campus about issues affecting LGBTQ youth,” says Caitlin MacIntyre, Director of the Equality Ride. “But we’re also looking to build relationships between campus and the surrounding community to keep that conversation alive.”

Inspired by the Freedom Rides of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the Equality Ride began in 2006 to address the over 200 U.S. colleges and universities with explicit policies that discriminate against LGBTQ students. Developed by Soulforce Q--the youth-driven arm of the national LGBTQ social justice organization Soulforce--the Equality Ride has stopped at nearly seventy academic communities since its inception, leading vigils, classroom presentations, worship services, and an assortment of direct actions to draw attention to the dangers of religion-based discrimination.

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