BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — A nascent grassroots activism group based in Western North Carolina announced the official formation of their group today and released their strategy to oppose Amendment One, the anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment that will be put before voters on May 8, 2012.
Neighbors for Equality is one of several smaller initiatives begun statewide in the days following the amendment’s legislative approval on Sept. 13. Organizer Tyler McCall spoke to qnotes about the formation of the group for a feature on grassroots activism to be published alongside other Amendment One-related news coverage in the upcoming Oct. 1, 2011, print issue of the newspaper.
“When everything happened, we started thinking about ways we could be involved and started looking at places that were maybe a little lacking and what was being offered by other organizations,” McCall says in the upcoming issue. “The big thing we’re looking to accomplish is mobilizing our friends and neighbors.”
In their release today, McCall and co-organizer Collyn Warner say their group will focus on organizing groups of friends and neighbors to take action against the amendment. “Fighting silence with activism,” is the group’s mission statement.
“We are tired of being silenced,” Warner said in the release. “We are ready to be bold and make our voices heard.”
The initiative launches on Oct. 1 with a fully-functional website at neighborsforequality.org. McCall and Warner say the site will feature social media integration, an online community, resources, databases and an events calendar. The group plans to use the site to further their several goals: research of relevant issues, development of resources for activists, community event coordination and voter registration.
Statewide advocacy group Equality North Carolina will take the lead in organizing the chief campaign against Amendment One. Interim Executive Director Alex Miller told qnotes that his group is excited to work with grassroots organizers across the state.
“There is a lot of energy around this issue and there are a lot of people who feel strongly not only about the amendment but also about how important it is to stand up and oppose it in a public way,” Miller said. “We applaud the energy and motivation we’ve seen since the amendment was passed and we hope to continue to have good, open communication and good working relationships with all of our coalition partners across the state.”
Neighbors for Equality will hold a kick-off event and website launch party on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Joe’s Place, 209 S. Lafayette St., in Shelby, N.C. at 7:00 p.m.
more: Stay tuned to goqnotes.com and be sure to pick up this week’s Oct. 1, 2011, print issue for more news on Amendment One and efforts to organize against the amendment by groups like Neighbors for Equality and Equality North Carolina.