Meet The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force works to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. They have a long history of fighting for their cause which dates back to the 1970’s, with a focus on: aging, anti-gay industry, bisexuality, campus, elections and politics, health, faith, marriage/partner recognition, nondiscrimination, parenting and family, racial and economic justice, transgender, youth, and hate crimes. The Task Force Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, the Task Force works to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all.
How The Task Force Does Good
The Task Force strives to achieve their goals through five main programs: The Task Force Academy for Leadership and Action, Organizing and Training, Movement Building, Public Policy and Government Affairs and the Policy Institute. Through these vehicles, they train activists, equip state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and build the organizational capacity of their movement. Resources such as Action Alerts keep the community informed and aware of issues and movements that are currently affecting the LGBT community. Not only does the Task Force increase awareness, they also offer advice on how to get involved. Supporters make a difference through volunteer recruitment, canvassing, fundraising, and more.
The Task Force is well known for organizing the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their allies. This 5 day conference attracts more than 2,500 people from all over the country every year and features over 250 workshops and training sessions, four plenary sessions, and tons of networking opportunities. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations. This event is part of The Task Forces’ “Academy for Leadership and Action” program, which uses signature projects to build the capacities and capabilities of organizations and community leaders at the grassroots of their social justice movement. The overarching goal is to increase enduring political power through gatherings that bring communities and movements together to strategize and network, along with a variety of trainings and leadership development that increases the diversity of the movement and builds LGBT communities.
Another of the Task Force’s most exciting new programs is the New Beginning Initiative, composed of a variety of organizations which are organized by the Task Force. The coalition has been working with the Obama Administration to make concrete changes that benefit the entire LGBT community.
The Task Force’s Impact
Through their mission and programs, The Task Force has generated a lot of impact for their constituents, enacting legislation and policy but most importantly of all, building a powerful movement. In 2010 the Task Force achieved impacts across a variety of their focus areas:
- Provided critical technical assistance, training and capacity building support to advance pro-LGBT equality and defeat anti-LGBT measures over the long-term in more than 20 States including California, Iowa, Ohio and Oregon.
- Beat back two referendums in Bowling Green, Ohio that would have stripped away anti-discrimination policies for LGBT people.
- Trained thousands of LGBT community leaders across the country, including intensive trainings provided through the academy for Leadership and Action, and nearly 2,500 individuals who attended the 2010 National Conference on LGBT Equality; Creating Change in Dallas, Texas.
- Advanced tangible and positive policy change for LGBT equality on the national level, including “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”.
- Continued to convene the New Beginning Initiative resulting in more than 10 Federal policy changes benefitting LGBT people.
- Completed, with the National Center on Transgender Equality, Injustice at Every Turn, the largest-ever study of experiences of discrimination by transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S.
- Significantly increased the visibility of the breadth of issues facing LGBT people and their families. Throughout 2010, the Task Force was one of the most quoted LGBT organizations in the country, and has one of the largest and most-followed social media efforts in the community.
- Task Force senior staff testified before Congress on numerous issues of importance to the LGBT community, including calling on legislators to amend the Fair Housing Act to ban housing discrimination against LGBT people.
- The Task Force continued to work with LGBT and non-LGBT progressive organizations to build greater strength and understanding about how issues such as comprehensive immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act uniquely affect LGBT people and their families.
- Through the Queer the Census Campaign, the Task Force distributed over 140,000 stickers that people placed on their census envelopes demanding that LGBT individuals be counted in the census.
- Held the Believe Out Loud Power Summit with 250 pro-LGBT christian leaders for worship, networking, and advanced skills-building training to strengthen pro-LGBT christians’ ability to win secular, church and denominational policies that promote full inclusion and equality for LGBT individuals.
Catchafire’s Pro Bono Impact with The Task Force
The Task Force will soon be seeking their first pro bono professionals! Stay tuned for how you can get involved!
Please favorite The Task Force on Catchafire. (You need to be logged in to do this.) We’ll alert you as other opportunities to get involved with The Task Force become available. If you want to learn more about this great opportunity, email firstname.lastname@example.org.