Media Advisory: TEP to honor Anderson, AT&T, and Vanderbilt at Parthenon gala Sept 19

Media Advisory:  Tennessee Equality Project to honor AT&T Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson at Olympus gala event at Parthenon on Friday.

September 19, 2014

 CONTACT:           Chris Sanders

                                  (615) 390-5252

                                  chris@tnequalityproject.com

Nashville, TN (September 19, 2014)—Tennessee Equality Project will gather members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and allies at the Parthenon on Friday, September 19 at 7:30 to honor Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson, AT&T Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University as Champions of Equality during its annual gala event.

THE HONOREES

Chris Anderson is a first-term Chattanooga Council Member who introduced a partner benefits and non-discrimination ordinance for city government employees.  He successfully fought off an anti-gay recall effort this year.  Anderson is the first openly gay elected official to win a contested race for a legislative body in Tennessee.

AT&T is an American multinational telecommunications corporation with a long history in Tennessee.  As well as putting in place exemplary policies inclusive of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, AT&T Tennessee played a significant role in diffusing the “Turn the Gays Away” bill in the 108th General Assembly.

Vanderbilt University is one of the nation’s leading research universities.  Vanderbilt was among the first large employers based in Tennessee to offer policies inclusive of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  Vanderbilt has also defended these policies against attacks in the General Assembly.

WHEN:  Friday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. Central Time.  Awards at 8:30 p

WHERE:  Parthenon in Nashville

WHY:  To honor Champions of Equality for advancing the equality of LGBT people in Tennessee.

WHO:  The Tennessee Equality Project, a statewide organization who mission to protect the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Tennessee.

Tickets available at http://www.OlympusTEP.org

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Murfreesoboro prepares for DAY ONE, Jackson next on Sept 22

murfreesborodayoneA group of 14 signed the Marriage PLUS Pledge on Saturday after participating in Murfreesboro Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE at Unity.  We are grateful to Unity for their willingness to host the event and to everyone for coming up.

After the session ended the group headed to Ignite for a cocktail party.  Many thanks to Ignite for opening their doors to us.

Tennessee Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE comes to Jackson on September 22.  Join us at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  You can learn more and RSVP at this link.

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Transgender woman Alejandra Leos murdered in Memphis

Updated at the end of the post!

WREG in Memphis reports that Alejandra Leos, a transgender woman, was murdered in Memphis on Friday night.  She was shot in the 1600 block of Berkshire.

According to the WREG piece, a family friend said that one of her favorite sayings was, “If you don’t know Alejandra, then you don’t know Memphis.”

That struck me as profoundly true and true for people throughout Tennessee.  Lack of public awareness of the struggles of transgender people in our state means not only that they don’t know their neighbors, but that the lives of their transgender neighbors are in peril because of it.

How can we help the public understand that TRANS LIVES MATTER, TN TRANS LIVES MATTER, and MEMPHIS TRANS LIVES MATTER?

The TEP Shelby County Committee is reaching out to see how we might help aid the investigation of the crime.

If you have relevant information, contact the Memphis Police Department at 901-636-3700 .

If you would like to help with funeral expenses, you can contact Hickory Hill Funeral Home in Memphis at (901) 795-6688.

 

UPDATE:  The murder appears to be related to domestic violence.  Police have made an arrest, according to WREG.

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What happens at a TN Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE session?

Our friend Haven Caylor, who attended the recent session in Collegedale, has dayoneredsome of the answers at his blog.  Check out the link here.

Here’s some of the information that stuck with him about volunteer opportunities for DAY ONE:

“On DAY ONE, There will be state-wide volunteers who will find and report to the TEP who will, in turn, share 1) Marriage Sentinels (one for each of the 95 counties in Tennessee) who will call their County Clerks to make sure they are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex partners. 2) Marriage Guardians who will be moral support for those getting married. They will also be eyes and ears in the community to report on any anti-same-sex marriage rhetoric. They may have to notify the area law enforcement if necessary. 3) Personal Marriage Guardians. These people will “adopt” a same-sex marriage couple and contact them on several occasions: The day they wed, the day after the wedding, and the next week. The guardians will then report back to the TEP on the couple’s progress. 4) Celebrant Facilitators. These people will guide same-sex couples to judges, county commissioners, mayors, county clerks, ministers/clergy, and some other legislative figures that will solemnize (perform) a same-sex wedding.”

 

I think Haven would agree that sometimes what we get out of a session is a greater sense of how we can contribute meaningfully to efforts to advance equality.

We hope you will join us for the next two sessions.  Here’s the information:

Murfreesboro on September 13.  RSVP and learn more at the Facebook event page.

Jackson on September 22.  RSVP and learn more at the Facebook event page.

 

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TEP announces 2014 Olympus Champions of Equality. Awards gala at the Parthenon set for September 19.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Sanders, Tennessee Equality Project
Phone: (615) 390-5252

TEP to honor Anderson, AT&T, and Vanderbilt University at September 19 gala in the Parthenon

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Equality Project will honor Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson, AT&T Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University as Champions of Equality at Olympus, the organization’s annual gala event at the Parthenon on September 19.

The Honorees

Chris Anderson is a first-term Chattanooga Council Member who introduced a partner benefits and non-discrimination ordinance for city government employees.  He successfully fought off an anti-gay recall effort this year.  Anderson is the first openly gay elected official to win a contested race for a legislative body in Tennessee.

AT&T is an American multinational telecommunications corporation with a long history in Tennessee.  As well as putting in place exemplary policies inclusive of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, AT&T Tennessee played a significant role in diffusing the “Turn the Gays Away” bill in the 108th General Assembly.

Vanderbilt University is one of the nation’s leading research universities.  Vanderbilt was among the first large employers based in Tennessee to offer policies inclusive of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  Vanderbilt has also defended these policies against attacks in the General Assembly.

Tennessee Equality Project Executive Director Chris Sanders released the following statement about this year’s honorees:

“Our 2014 Champions of Equality highlight the importance of workplace protections for LGBT people in Tennessee.  As the courts bring us closer to a decision on marriage equality, we still have much to do to protect our community from discrimination at work.  We celebrate Councilman Chris Anderson, AT&T, and Vanderbilt for advancing protections that make the workplace truly inclusive.  We invite the community to join us in honoring them on September 19.”

For more information on Olympus and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.OlympusTEP.org .

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Are Moral Mondays coming to Tennessee? Maybe.

North Carolina’s Forward Together movement with its Moral Mondays led by North Carolina NAACP has become well known around the country as a way of building a coalition of progressives to resist a socially and economically conservative state legislature.

 

Equality North Carolina–an active participant in Moral Mondays

What about Tennessee?  There are stirrings of a movement inspired by Moral Mondays in Tennessee.  “Put the People First” seems to be the battle cry.  As the story at the link indicates, what we have so far in Tennessee isn’t quite what they have in North Carolina.  It’s a beginning, though.  Tennessee faces the challenges of being a wide state with many population centers that make it hard to gather the thousands that North Carolina has been able to marshal at the doors of its legislature.

Another difference seems to be the list of issues.  North Carolina’s movement now includes the full range of progressive issues including reproductive freedom and LGBT issues.  We are hopeful Tennessee’s movement includes all of these as well as immigration issues, etc.  But movement building takes time.

How to learn more:  Tennessee has a great opportunity to learn more about North Carolina’s movement on September 10 when Equality North Carolina’s executive director Chris Sgro visits Nashville.  We hope you will join us at the event at 6:30 p.m. at OutCentral located at 1709 Church Street.  You can RSVP here.  We will also use the event to encourage participants to sign a card thanking Mayor Karl Dean for becoming the first mayor in Tennessee to sign Freedom to Marry’s pledge.

Become a sponsor:  So far the event is cosponsored by OutCentral, Tennessee Young Democrats, and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.  We would welcome other organizations to cosponsor at no charge.  If your organization would like to be listed, contact us at info@tnep.org .

Let’s see whether we can build an inclusive movement in Tennessee.

 

 

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