As we look back on the accomplishments, we have so much to be proud of in 2022. I wanted to highlight the incredible work that each of our Committees are doing to jump start the fight for equal rights in Loudoun County as well as provide an overview on the health of the organization.
Education: We have provided over a dozen personalized training sessions to integral partners whose focus includes adoption, foster care, mental health, substance abuse, and more. We have developed a library of training that will be expanding in 2023 to reach new and important partners in the fight for prevention and equal treatment in services. And we are working to create important open-access training that will fight disinformation and generate personal knowledge.
Defense: We are building a network of legal service partners, Fair Housing knowledge, and legislative tracking partners to consolidate information that can be brought to the defense of individuals fighting discriminatory practices. We are working to apply for grants that will fund initiatives like the Community Center and others. This year we helped re-house another abandoned teen using our prototype for the newly launched Short-Term Crisis Support Program. We’ve worked with key defense-oriented organizations like the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center- even joining lawsuits that protect queer individuals.
Advocacy: We have expanded our most important network, the Equality Allies, to ensure our community has adequate access to medical providers, non-profit organizations, community groups, mental health professionals, places to worship, and businesses that operate in an affirming and accepting manner. We’ve worked with groups like Moms Demand Action, Loudoun Hunger Relief, Loudoun PFLAG, and Mobile Hope to fight for important issues like safety, food insecurity, poverty, social support, and homelessness that are intersectional to the LGBTQ+ community.
Community: We have launched a number of important programs to foster belonging, from our Book Club to the Loudoun Pride Festival. We table and attend important community events, to bring awareness and promote inclusion, like those held at OneLoudoun, the Heritage Farm, the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Spirits, and more. Each event is aimed to generate a sense of belonging, establish relationships, have fun, and fundraise to further our ability to help people.
Important highlights from 2022:
Solidified partnership with 6 outstanding regional networks that focus on trauma-informed care, child abuse prevention, business growth, and more.
Worked with partners on special projects like the MWCOG Regional Fair Housing Committee focus groups, the Loudoun County LGBTQ+ Art Gallery, the CASA Brumar Symposium, and more.
Represented queer issues in countless media interviews, community events, and stakeholder meetings. These efforts will result in better outcomes as our region continues changing, helping to create the impacts that result in safety, equity, and diversity.
Raised nearly $100,000 dollars to support the mission of Equality that has gone to hosting events, helping homeless individuals, providing food and school supplies, providing scholarships and educational mini-grants, growing our presence, and more.
We hosted the first Loudoun Pride Festival, which brought together over 1,500 people, 100 businesses, and over 100 volunteers to create the most inclusive event in LoCo.
We’ve reached thousands of people as we work to bring awareness to queer issues, meeting new people and making new friends every day.
Expanded our focus and reach to accommodate over a dozen program areas that focus on issues like training, housing, social media, allyship, and more.
We're going to grow the Equality Allies until we have a truly representative sampling of what our County has to offer.
We are going to promote our training options until we have provided LGBTQ+ education to most of our local services organizations and agencies.
We are going to build bigger, better, and more inclusive events until almost everyone has a place they feel they belong.
We are finalizing our website migration in February to create an all-in-one information portal for people to access much-needed resources and opportunities.