Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership
On October 25,2008, nine Central Virginia agencies and groups formed the Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership, a new collaborative organization with the goal of tying together the region's efforts to end discrimination against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Intersex residents. The nine founding members are Equality Virginia Education Fund, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, the Gay Community Center of Richmond, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, the Rainbow Minute, ROSMY and Richmond Transformers.
At a day-long strategy meeting the founding members crafted a vision statement which reads: "We believe we have a role in ending discrimination in the United States for every GLBTQI person, and a primary role to play in achieving this vision in Virginia, and, particularly in Central Virginia."
The vision statement was complemented by a mission statement that dedicates the group to "work as a unified GLBTQI movement collaborating in services, programs, and advocacy to make Central Virginia communities just, safe, inclusive and welcoming."
Jay Squires, Executive Director of the Gay Community Center of Richmond said that this new collaborative effort is the first of its kind in Central Virginia, and is critical to each member organization's efforts to create a society free from discrimination. Squires continued, "In a time of scarce resources and determined efforts from those who promote discrimination against us, the groups that serve the GLBTQI community must work together to be effective. The Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership has the potential to achieve important results, such as the October 4 forum for Richmond Mayoral candidates where each candidate pledged to support our work advancing equality."
Initially the Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership will concentrate on the development of a centralized web-based information resource through which each member organization can inform the community about news, important events, programming and services. John Dougherty, Executive Director of ROSMY noted that "today it's difficult for members of our community and our supporters to find information about the many programs and services available to them. It's also difficult to notify people when it's time to take action - as in March, when a Vigil for Peace and Unity was organized to condemn the murder of California teen Lawrence King, who was killed because he was Gay. This new central web portal will make information easily available for those we serve and those who support us."
The partnership has already expanded and a formal structure has been established. In November, a steering committee was formed and John Dougherty was named moderator for the group. The partnership is actively recruiting new members from the many other agencies and groups which serve the GLBTQI community. Dougherty said, "We share a common goal and each partner organization contributes to our community's advancement. We realize we can be much more effective working together."
- Equality Virginia Education Fund
- Fan Free Clinic
- First Unitarian Universalist Church-Richmond
- Gay Community Center of Richmond
- Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network - Richmond Chapter
- Gay Pride Virginia
- Join the Impact
- People of Faith for Equality
- Prime Timers
- The Rainbow Minute
- RQL/AIDSWalk Richmond
- Richmond Lesbian Feminists (RLF)
- Richmond Transformers
- Richmond Triangle Players
- St. Marks Episcopal Church
- Three Dollar Bills
- VA Anti-Violence Project
- Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
- Wm. Byrd Community House
To find out more about the partner organizations, go to GayRichmond.com