Our Communities

This Wednesday, Action Wisconsin intern Moisès Price-Neuman, Deon, and I will be holding a discussion session for community members and leaders of color in Madison. This discussion will be the first of many events, discussions, focus groups, and outreach projects to be coordinated by the “No on the Amendment” campaign within people of color communities around the state in the next nine months.

For over a year, Moisès, Deon, and I, have all worked on different projects to ensure that our campaign is inclusive of how this amendment affects people of color. We have worked to gain endorsements from major organizations like the Urban League, LUChA, and the NAACP, created committees to discuss outreach strategies with different areas of Milwaukee, developed literature pieces that target Spanish speakers and Milwaukee’s north side, as well as made sure to emphasize the importance of an inclusive campaign that understands the complications this issue raises when talking within our communities.

To defeat the amendment in Wisconsin, we are going to have to talk with a diversity of people (diversity in terms of regions, class, race, and smaller social circles) about an issue that many just don’t talk about. Within communities of color, many believe that the barriers we face have to do with there being more homophobia in our communities. Though many people of color have varied opinions on this, I strongly believe that this is a myth.

The problem we face, is that this issue and issues around LGBTQ folks have for so long been discussed in the “white” middle class context, therefore, for many, linking homosexuality with white dominance. In order to hurdle these barriers and show how this amendment is an issue for all of our communities, we will have to talk with many people about the issue. We will have to see Wisconsinites as people with families and histories, Wisconsinites as people who want a reason to vote, find non-gay allies to be messengers who are willing to talk to their families and neighbors, as well as have the right message.

We will have to make use of the studies that have been done nationally by NGLTF and Asian American Federation that show that this amendment will, in most cases, have more detrimental consequences for Latino, African-American, Asian, and low-income families than white middle class folks. As a campaign, we will have to challenge ourselves on how we work within communities of color and organize the campaign.

If you are interested in generally working on outreaching to people of color communities, please contact me. Also be on the look out for a blog post from Deon later this week, on how the discussion turns out.

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