EqualityCamp: Make a New Year’s Resolution for Civil Rights

December 23, 2008 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


I was at the gym today, overcompensating for some holiday overindulgence, when I ran into a dear friend and fellow gym rat. As the two of us embarked on our hour of elliptical torture, I glanced over to see what she was reading.
It was a copy of The Advocate. And the cover, which I had seen before, screamed out: “Gay is the New Black.”
A stark statement, perhaps, but as time has moved away from the November 4 election and the passage of Proposition 8, the bitter sadness and disappointment of loss has given rise to a powerful new wave of the civil rights movement.
It’s being powered *heavily* by Web 2.0, and on January 3, 2009 we take another step down that digital path.
On that day, the inaugural outing of EqualityCamp takes place in San Francisco. It’s a “BarCamp” style event that will bring together netroots, grassroots, and technologists to help coordinate efforts to repeal Prop 8 and support marriage equality. (Note that if you don’t fit into one of those previous categories that *doesn’t* mean you shouldn’t come!)
Put even more simply – it’s time to “Obamafy” the efforts for marriage equality.
If you’re convinced and don’t need to read any further – here’s the link to register.
How about this …
There are myriad groups and individuals throwing their efforts into this challenge and EqualityCamp – being organized by myself, Tara Hunt, Heather Gold, Adina Levin, Hillary Hartley and supported in part by the Courage Campaign – will be a critical step in that process. Because it does precisely what was not done during the “No on 8” campaign – namely taking full advantage of the opportunities for grassroots organizing using technology.
The last six weeks have been rife with amazing efforts – like the nationwide Join the Impact rallies, which drew hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in cities across the entire nation on one day. (It merits mentioning that Amy Balliett, the 26-year-old woman in Seattle who was responsible almost single-handedly for galvanizing that day, will be at EqualityCamp!).
In short – so far so good. But there’s much left to do, and the opportunities ahead are plentiful.
To give you an idea, here are a few themes and topics you’ll find at EqualityCamp:
connecting “netroots” and traditional organizing
– using “Web 2.0” tools to support a grassroots movement
– taking effective practices from the Obama campaign and using them in – the movement for marriage equality
– how to best use digital video to share stories and build support
The logistics for the day are:
Date: January 3, 2009
Location: CitizenSpace, 425 2nd Street, Ste 300, San Francisco
Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm
For more information: http://equalitycamp.com/
Registration: http://equalitycamp.eventbrite.com/
If you cannot make it to San Francisco for January 3rd, visit EqualityCamp.com to learn how to make your own!
We are dedicated to making a people-powered marriage equality movement work from the bottom up. So please, if you are in town and are able, join us. And spread the word!! We are hoping to outgrow our space and already have larger back-up locations lined-up.
That’s a problem I’d love to have … so how about contributing to that problem for me!


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