PUBLIC has always celebrated community, accessibility, and inclusion. We have worked hard to reclaim our urban environment to make all feel welcome riding, walking, and being a part of public spaces.
In honor of Pride Month, and in alignment with our core values, we partnered with Equality Federation to design a special edition bike for their ‘Big LBGTQ Mixer for Equality’ in San Francisco that attracts hundreds of LBGTQ folks from tech, the arts, nonprofit, and beyond to raise money for their cause. Equality Federation partners with state-based organizations advocating for LBGTQ people. From Equality Florida to Equality Oklahoma to Basic Rights Oregon, they amplify the power of the state-based LBGTQ.
We chatted with Joellyn, Equality Federation’s Donor & Corporate Relations Officer, to learn more about what the organization does and what made them excited to partner with PUBLIC.
How did Equality Federation start and what is your mission?
Equality Federation Institute (EFI) is the movement builder and strategic partner to 39 state-based organizations advocating for LGBTQ people. The greatest opportunities for policy victories that improve the lives of LGBTQ people are in the states—where the work is hard but the impact is great. Since 1997, we have worked throughout the country to build the leaders of today and tomorrow, strengthen state-based LGBTQ organizations, and make critical progress on the issues that matter most.
We won’t stop until all LGBTQ people are fully empowered and represented in their communities and experience full equality in their lives.
What are some ways EF has been helping the LBGTQ community?
In as many ways as we can! We know that the way to build a strong LGBTQ movement is to develop strong leadership at the state level. The success of our movement depends on having strong and sustainable organizations with a diverse pool of resilient, adaptive leaders.
Our behind-the-scenes training is essential to the health and vibrancy of our member organizations and includes: leadership development, program support, annual conferences and HIV Advocacy Program.
Let me give a brief overview of some of our programs, first the Emerging States Program that we launched in late 2017. This program allows us to invest in helping people defend themselves against attacks in their communities and the places we call home, and was created to address urgent needs. Through leadership coaching, coalition building, strategic planning support, and development capacity building, advocacy groups in Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota will start down a path to sustainable growth and have greater impact in their communities.
Equality Federation Institute’s HIV Advocacy Program is designed to leverage the resources of the LGBTQ movement to advance HIV advocacy on the most pressing issues in the states, following the leadership of HIV organizations and people living with HIV. In our three pilot states, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio – we’ve brought our LGBTQ state partners to the table and forged new coalitions or significantly boosted the momentum of nascent coalitions working on HIV policy, by facilitating statewide convenings and coaching both LGBTQ and HIV advocates on their work. In all three states, there is significantly more momentum and capacity behind HIV advocacy work than there was previously. And over the past year in training state leaders on HIV policy at our regional summits and national Leadership Conference, we’ve inspired state organizations like Equality Florida to center HIV as part of their work.
Lastly, our leadership development programs continue to be a hallmark of the Federation – from our Executive Director Bootcamps, to our programming at the Leadership Conference, our Southern Leadership Summit and West by Midwest Leadership Summit, to the newly launched Field Flight School.
And like I said, we have a mission of building strong leadership at the state level – all of our programming underscores just that and allows us to build a strong LGBTQ movement. Definitely check out our website for more updates – equalityfederation.org!
What are some of the ways you are participating in Pride Month? What are you most excited about?
We believe that Pride is a time to celebrate the progress we’ve made, come together joyfully as a community, and prepare for the work we still have to do. We’re participating in Pride with a series of awareness raising events across the country and we are partnering with different companies that want to celebrate and support the LGBTQ community.
We are especially excited about an event we are holding at the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, CA and a partnership with PUBLIC bikes it will definitely be a joyful celebration! We are so proud to be co-branding a special pride bike with them and are happy to be able to offer it as a special prize to a lucky attendee!
What do you love about the bike EFI co-designed with PUBLIC?
We’re thrilled to have been a part of helping to design this beautiful bike and are proud to have our logo on it! PUBLIC is a company we are thrilled to be partnered with, they embody the philanthropic ideals we look for.