I know not everyone is in this geographic area, but I wanted to post an announcement about this event that's happening at Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia on Thursday, April 12. The event is part of the Soulforce Equality Ride, in which students and young adults visit religious schools around the country to challenge their policies banning queer and queer-friendly students and organizations.
WE ARE ORGANIZING RIDES FROM NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC AND AROUND VA. If you are in one of those areas and want to go, we can help get you there.
If you're not from that part of the country and you want to see if the Equality Ride is coming near you, you can check the East Coast Route and the West Coast Route (both routes have stops in the Midwest and Rockies). There's also a regularly updated blog.
If you're on Facebook, check out this event, which is listed on there: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=22
Soulforce Equality Ride: Queer Activism at Patrick Henry College in N. VA
Date: Thursday, April 12, 2007
Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location: Patrick Henry College
Street: One Patrick Henry Circle
City/Town: Purcellville, VA
Contact: 610.324.3086 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Equality Ride is two months of sustained activism inspired by the Freedom Rides of the civil rights era. It is a journey by bus to initiate discussion about faith and sexuality in communities where it is most controversial.
An unfortunate number of Christian colleges and universities blatantly condemn certain aspects of human diversity. In fact, in many schools, identifying as or affirming a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person is a violation of policy. Fifty queer and straight-ally participants in the Equality Ride share a message of hope and healing with students suffering under such doctrinal prejudice.
PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE, which had originally invited Soulforce riders to dialogue with their students, is now preventing Soulforce from entering the campus.
This is our chance to stand against the religious-based oppression and support the Soulforce Equality Riders. We will show Patrick Henry our community is strong, loving, and will not continue to be silenced.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME TO VIRGINIA FOR THE ACTION ON THURSDAY, APRIL 12. We are raising money and coordinating rides (some will arrive late Wednesday night and others will travel early Thursday morning to arrive by 10am) to prevent money or lack of transportation to keep people from participating.
SO FAR ON THE 2007 SOULFORCE EQUALITY RIDE
DEFACEMENT: The East Bus was defaced on the first day on the road with homophobic graffiti. See
DENIAL: Brigham Young University and Oklahoma Baptist University -- two schools who allowed 2006 riders on campus -- are now completely denying access.
HARASSMENT: Threats from police in Mississippi necessitated an intervention from the ACLU. Once arriving, riders were intimidated by police multiple times and told to "get out of town." Watch a video of the demonstration.
ARRESTS: After chalking a sidewalk in Texas, 5 riders and 1 student faced the night in jail and bail set at $2,000 per person.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT THIS EVENT AND SOULFORCE
1. If you're on Facebook, please visit the event page and invite others you know!
2. Visit the national Soulforce Equality Ride 2007 website
3. Visit the Soulforce Equality Ride blogs to read about the latest from the road.
4. Check out the routes of the East Bus and the West Bus and tell those you know about stops near them. Community involvement is critical!
5. Donate to the Soulforce Equality Ride
"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! ... If this be treason, make the most of it." --Patrick Henry, 1775