Samiksha Jaiswal

Equality Florida

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Location  Tampa, Florida
Employees  25
Area served  Florida
Equality Florida
Motto  "Securing Equality & Justice for Florida's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community"
Type  LGBT political advocacy
Key people  Nadine Smith, Executive Director Stratton Pollitzer, Deputy Director Brian Winfield, Managing Director, David Costa, Operations Director, Michael Farmer, Deputy Development Director, Mallory Wells, Public Policy Director Carlos Guillermo Smith, Government Affairs Manager

Equality Florida is both a political advocacy group which advocates for civil rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents of the U.S. state of Florida as well as a non-profit arm, "Equality Florida Institute." It was established in 1997 and has been headed since its inception by executive director Nadine Smith. The organization has chapters throughout Florida. Every year, Equality Florida fights against bills it views as discriminatory toward LGBT Floridians and launches pro-LGBT legislation. Equality Florida played a critical role in ending Florida’s 33-year anti-gay adoption ban, as well as assisting in the passage of the 2008 Jeffrey Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act, an anti-bullying law that has resulted in protections from anti-LGBT bullying and harassment for students across the entire state.

Chapters

Equality Florida has chapters in Gainesville, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, Pinellas, Jacksonville and Sarasota. Each chapter hosts its own annual gala to raise funds for the organization's advocacy actions. The Institute arm also presents awards to local individuals who have contributed to advancing equality in the local or state areas. The records of the Tampa Chapter of Equality Florida are held by the University of South Florida Special Collections Department and are available with unrestricted access for students and community users.

The Tampa Chapter of Equality Florida has focused their work in several different areas since inception. They have been involved constantly in pushing pro-LGBT laws and legislation and defeating anti-LGBT initiatives. A selection of their activities follows:

  1. Adopt-A-Legislator
  2. Bay Area Youth Roundtables
  3. Citizens for a Fair Tampa
  4. Dignity for All Students Campaign (which later became the Jeffrey Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act)
  5. Tampa Bay Human Rights Ordinance
  6. St. Petersburg Human Rights Ordinance
  7. Equal Partners in Faith
  8. Florida Safe Schools Summit
  9. Unity Leadership Tampa Bay

References

Equality Florida Wikipedia


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