Equality North Carolina Foundation is the oldest statewide organization in the country dedicated to fighting for LGBTQ rights. Beyond legal rights and justice, we fight for “lived equality” for marginalized North Carolinians, including safety and acceptance in the community at large. Our mission is to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) North Carolinians. We accomplish our mission through the core strategies of Advocacy, Training and Education, Leadership Development, and Base-building.
Our advocacy efforts include creating cross-sector alliances with business and public leaders. Through these alliances, we convene pro-LGBTQ equality leaders, offer training and education on the issues affecting our people, propose key policy implementation, and develop knowledgeable equity advocates for LGBTQ people. ENCF sees itself as a resource to the community at large, mainstreaming LGBTQ issues in schools, hospitals, businesses and government agencies. Our training ranges from teaching juvenile justice staff and teachers and school administrators about LGBTQ youth to deepening cultural competency for guardians ad litem to aiding healthcare professionals in developing safe and affirming practices in hospitals and healthcare settings. We provide training and education to individuals, institutions, businesses, and the government on how to provide diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments, as well as to mobilize our communities and partners to advocate and take action against discriminatory practices.
What began as a defense fund in 1979 has now matured into a social justice organization working for legal rights, justice, and “lived equality." We see our role as a convener, trainer, and resource within North Carolina to lift up our more marginalized communities. Our focus is to work efficiently at both the grassroots and the grass-tops levels to ensure equitable treatment of all LGBTQ North Carolinians regardless of their immigration status, socioeconomic level, gender or gender identity, race, and standing with the justice system.
Equality NC Foundation is currently navigating a political climate fraught with proverbial social, political, and racial landmines. At this precise moment, we're experiencing a revival of extremism in our country that is targeting our most vulnerable communities based on race, class, gender, and immigration status. The most succinct word to describe the current landscape in NC is a “battleground.” Within NC, transgender people - especially trans women of color - people of color, rural communities, and undocumented immigrants have become the targets of systematic oppression, overt discrimination, and human rights abuses.
The combination of the current political landscape of North Carolina, a global pandemic, and the murders of black Americans at the hands of police require us to be more outspoken about racism, the policing of black people, immigration, and the violence faced by transgender and gender-nonconforming people, especially people of color. As a result, we have integrated racial justice in our work by committing the organization to develop a rigorous analysis of racial hierarchies, white supremacy, and interlocking forms of oppression.
Your support is more important than ever. We must deepen our engagement with black, brown, LGBTQ and resource-poor communities to work on issues that directly and indirectly impact Black communities, such as bail reform, immigration, reproductive justice, and decriminalization and economic justice. We have and will continue speaking up on the importance of keeping families and communities together, joining other social justice movements like Black Lives Matter, and advocating for policies to hold legislators and law enforcement accountable.
This is a crucial moment in our movement -- please, join us this month in coming together as a community, raising our voices and celebrating our resilience and accomplishments in the weeks ahead.