Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Support the NAACP’s Opposition to Prop 8

A letter from Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

You may have heard the great news recently that the NAACP came out in support of the California legislature’s resolution against Prop 8. NAACP national board chair Julian Bond and President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous urged passage of House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7, resolutions calling for the invalidation of Prop 8.

The NAACP has been a long-time supporter of full equality for all citizens, and their stance on marriage equality is just further evidence of their deep and abiding commitment to equal rights. Their leadership throughout the fight for marriage equality has been invaluable. Having such a visible and powerful ally has transformed the conversation about marriage equality, not just in California, but across the nation. We are deeply indebted to the NAACP for their vocal support, which is why we need you to speak up and show your support ASAP. The resolutions are expected to be voted on by March 2nd.

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

Contact your NAACP State Conference president, local NAACP Branch president, and anyone else within the NAACP:
4805 Mt. Hope Drive
Baltimore MD 21215

Toll Free: (877) NAACP-98
Local: (410) 580-5777

Post a note on the NAACP page on Facebook
We would not be where we are today without the strength and support of our allies. Please take the time to thank them.

In Solidarity,

Kate Kendell, Esq.
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Camp Courage - Fresno, CA

What will it take to repeal Prop 8?

A grassroots army of activists empowered with the tools and skills necessary to effectively organize their own communities -- especially in communities like Fresno.

WHAT: Camp Courage, for activists and organizers working to repeal Prop 8
WHERE: Fresno, venue provided via email after application is confirmed
WHEN: Saturday, March 7 (8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.) AND Sunday, March 8 (8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
NOTE: There will be a reception on Saturday night, location TBA.

Grassroot's activism is what propelled Barack Obama into the White House and that's what it will take to restore marriage equality to California.

"Camp Courage" training program in Fresno on March 7-8. Inspired by "Camp Obama," Camp Courage uses community organizing methods that have developed leaders and nurtured progressive social movements for decades.

The first Camp Courage in Los Angeles received phenomenal reviews from participants, with evaluations averaging 9.36 on a scale of 1 to 10. We chose Fresno as the next Camp Courage location because we believe Central Valley activists are at ground zero in California's marriage equality movement.

Fresno's intensive two-day training will teach participants about community organizing, empowerment, team building, leadership development, voter persuasion and more. With these tools, participants will be primed to organize their own communities, door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor across all 58 counties of California.

We want you to be at Camp Courage in Fresno on March 7-8. But first, we need you to fill out a short application. Space is limited, so please apply now before the event is full:

Who is planning and organizing Camp Courage in Fresno? Veteran organizers like Torie Osborn, Mike Bonin and Lisa Powell.

Osborn currently advises Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and has previously served as the Executive Director of the Liberty Hill Foundation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Bonin, a longtime campaign staffer and community activist, was a regional Field Organizer for the Obama campaign. Powell is an attorney, longtime trainer, community leader, and co-founder of United Lesbians of African Heritage.

Together, Torie, Mike and Lisa are recruiting the best trainers and building a training curriculum for Camp Courage Fresno that will help activists create the kind of people-powered movement that helped Barack Obama become president and that will restore marriage equality to California.

Spots are filling up fast for Fresno's Camp Courage on March 7-8. Please fill out the short application below ASAP so you can be there:

What will it take to build a people-powered army to repeal Prop 8?
You. And your friends. If you know people who think grassroots community organizing is the key to restoring marriage equality to California, please forward this message to them.

Thank you for helping us serve the people and organizations building the marriage equality movement. - Rick Jacobs, Chair

Monday, February 23, 2009

National Lesbian Health Summit, in San Francisco

You are invited to participate in expanding our movement at the National Lesbian Health Summit, in San Francisco, CA, March 6-8, 2009 – just 2 weeks away!

Join advocates, community members, and healthcare professionals as we learn from each other and discuss how health plays into the lives, loves, and communities of lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender people around the country.

The Summit will feature a diverse array of workshops, focusing on clinical care, community initiatives, education and training, leadership development, public health policy, research, and sexuality. For detailed information, please visit our website:

Confirmed panelists and workshop presenters include leaders in lesbian and queer women’s health:
  • Dr. Leslie Calman, Executive Director of the Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization
  • Rebecca Fox, Director of the National Coalition for LGBT Health
  • Dr. Sandra Hernández, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Foundation
  • Dr. Marjorie J. Hill, Chief Executive Officer of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis
  • Amber Hollibaugh, Chief Officer for Elder & Women’s Services, Howard Brown Health Center
  • Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
  • JoAnne Keatley, Director of the UCSF National Center of Excellence for Transgender HIV
  • Surina Khan, Vice President of Programs at the Women's Foundation of California
  • Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of Adolescent Health Initiatives, César E. Chavez Institute, San Francisco State University
  • Carmen Vazquez, Coordinator, LGBT Health and Human Services, State of New York Department of Health
Acclaimed writers Dorothy Allison, Elana Dykewomon, Jewelle Gomez, and Cherrie Moraga will join our health experts to speak out about health.

Community registration for the National Lesbian Health Summit costs $30. We have a limited number of registration scholarships which we will award based on economic need.

For more information on the 2009 National Lesbian Health Summit – including registration, exciting volunteer opportunities, and Summit highlights – visit our website:

Join us in discussing the upcoming Summit and keep up to date with the latest Summit news on Facebook:

Friday, February 20, 2009

4th Annual Queer People of Color Conference

Date: April 3rd and 4th 2009

Location: UC Davis

Theme: "Building Communities through Art, Action, and Resistance."

All are welcome.

"This conference will allow individuals to come together & express a new sense of community. We'll redefine & introduce alternate forms of resisting, noting that our very existence is resistance and qpoc resist in their day-to-day lives via written, oral, thematic, artful & other means. We're aware that not all qpoc participate in "activism," but we insist simply being qpoc is taking a political stance. We'll come together to tackle issues, network in our communities, celebrate our creativity & redefine societal assumptions on what "resistance" is. The 4th Annual Queer People of Color Conference will promote that we are not a generation of apathy, we are a generation of action."

This is also a CALL FOR WORKSHOPS to be held at the conference.

Please submit proposals for your workshop by February 27th to

Your Proposal should include the following:
A 200 word/abstract/summary to appear on the conference program
An outline of the workshop
Names of presenters/organization

For more information about the Conference please visit our website, (and scroll down), or email us directly at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The State of Prop 8: The Case Before the California Supreme Court

On Saturday, February 21, 2009 JFK University is hosting an event that brings together the Bay Area’s LGBT and legal communities to discuss the State of Prop 8 from a legal perspective. Titled “The State of Prop 8: The Case Before the California Supreme Court”, the event will consist of a presentation and Q&A led by veteran LGBT family protection lawyer and advisor at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, JFKU Professor Ora Prochovnick.

As you know, the California Supreme Court will be hearing the legal case on March 5; this event is designed to generate a discussion and an understanding of the legal and civil-rights facts prior to the hearing. Topics will include:

Background on marriage equality
An Overview of Prior Marriage Cases Heard by The California Supreme Court
An Overview of the Proposition 8 Electoral Campaign –Funders, Voting Patterns vs. Media

A Summary of the Writ of Petition Currently Before the California Supreme Court
The Status of 18,000 couples who married between June and November 2008

The discussion will be followed by an open house for the University’s law school, for anyone interested in learning more about legal careers that advocate for the LGBT community. If you have any additional questions about the event, visit

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stronger Together - Benefit for Richmond Jane Doe

A benefit event featuring kick-ass performing artists in support of Richmond Jane Doe!

Stronger Together - Benefit for Richmond Jane Doe

Friday, February 6th & Saturday, February 7th
6:30 PM - Doors
7:00 PM - Performances

Featuring a Line-Up of Performing Artists (See details below)

Rose Street House of Music
1829 Rose Street
Berkeley, CA

This is a fundraiser to benefit the young lesbian who was gang-raped in a hate crime. Please show her that you are here for her and attend this event, it'll be fun, and it'll make you feel good!

Come together in community to help a sister in need, to help rebuild her life while staying strong for her 8-year-old daughter.

- Link to online information about JD:

- Link to Related Associated Press News Story by Lisa Leff:

* Reservation Information -
$10 - $99 suggested sliding scale donation.
100% of proceeds will go to JD (Richmond Jane Doe)

Reservations not required, but be sure to come early (especially on Friday).

Requested no fragrances/perfume please

To volunteer, please contact with "RJD volunteer" in the subject line.

* Featured Performing Artists -

- Irina Rivkin - live-looping OutMusic Awardee

- Pam & Jeri of Blame Sally (2/6)

- Andrea Prichett and Lisa Zeiler of Rebecca Riots (2/6) fresh radical folk

- StormMiguel Florez (2/6) real tranny folk rock

- Shelley Doty (2/7) - guitar goddess

- Green and Root (2/7) - authentic songs, sublime harmonies

- Maureen Brownsey MC's (2/6)

- Special guests Rebecca Crump, Sai Mayi Magram and Carrie Gerendasy

* About the Artists -

- Mo Brownsey, author of "Is It a Date or Just Coffee?" a veteran stand-up comic who has headlined internationally, and film/video maker who co-produced a PBS screened documentary on the Religious Right and Anti Gay Legislation of the mid-90s, will MC the 2/6 evening.

- Irina Rivkin (2/6 & 2/7), Outmusic Awardee, layers her poetic lyrics with rich textured harmonies, swirling with vocal percussive beats, all created live on-the-spot using her loop station instrument. "jazzy, and rhythmic . . . hot, harmony-rich vocals...rhythm & sound would pass as a Russian Sweet Honey in the Rock. "Angela Page, Sing Out!"

- Pam Delgado and Jeri Jones (2/6) consistently bring an audience enthusiastically to their feet with dynamic vocals, rocking percussion and guitar.

- Andrea Prichett & Lisa Zeiler (2/6) of Rebecca Riots - fresh, radical folk with inspiring originals that blend an intense dedication to social justice with an irresistible, welcoming attitude and lots of humor.

- StormMiguel Florez is a Mexican aMaricon singer/songwriter, QueErotic performance artist, and live tranny sex show producer. Sometimes he does these things all at once.

- Shelley Doty (2/7) articulate passionate songwriter, masterful guitarist " . . . the complete performer in her use of cranked up emotions in her singing, edgy rock energy and swinging jazz guitar rhythms." East Bay Express

- Green and Root (2/7) sing deliciously evocative songs with perfectly spiced harmonies. "The self-expression is immense" Robert Laurence, We the People

- Rose Street House of Music is a volunteer-run volunteer-hosted house concert & touring musical community bringing out women's voices through poetic music of substance & depth. All genders are welcome as audience, volunteers, & back-up musicians for the artists featured. or (510) 594-4000 ext. 687.

"Stronger Together" is produced by Tallon Nunez & Irina Rivkin / Rose Street House of Music.

Promotional support provided by Betty's List.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Comedy Show (and a little music)

Sunday, Feb 8, 2009 6 pm

Doors open at 5:30 ~ refreshments & snacks available
Tckets $15 adv. $18 at the door or at (they charge a small fee)

Tickets are now on sale! Seating is limited, but VERY comfortable!!

Go to for information on how to buy tickets. You can also see who's performing and see a list of great door prizes.

Enter our Win a Futon Raffle.
Tickets are $2 and all proceeds benefit the Mountain Play Assocication.

A portion of the proceeds from refreshment purchases will benefit Spectrum LGBT Center.

The drawing will be held after intermission (winner need not be present.) All together we will be giving away 12 GREAT prizes.

Get you tickets soon as this is sure to be a sell-out event. As you may know, this comedy show was mentioned in the New York Times!!