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Est. April 5, 2002
June 08, 2017 - Issue 702

GLAD's Creating
"One Justice Movement"

"While it should come as no surprise that
Trump’s prescription to 'Make America Great Again'
precludes Mexicans, Muslims, people of color,
immigrants, women, the physical challenged,
to name a few, he’s waging a war against us, too.

Since Trump took office people -across the country as well as the world -have taken to the streets in protest. Social justice and pro-democracy organizations are now employing intersectional approaches to stem the deleterious and regressive laws of this Trump administration impacting various vulnerable and disenfranchised groups.

“Our fate is entwined with the fate of every person under attack,” Janson Wu, executive director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) wrote in his article “Resistance and Solidarity in the Era Trump” in this year’s 2017 Boston Pride Guide.

Since 1978 Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) has always been on the forefront of LGBTQ justice through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. In 2016 GLAD changed its name to GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, expanding its mission to work on economic and racial equity, and to expand its partnership to various demographic groups outside of its traditional base.

In bringing to the fore the now urgent need for a “one justice movement” that speaks to and for everyone Wu, brilliantly presents in his article a new and refreshing spin to the world renown quote - “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist…”- of Martin Niemoller, a Protestant pastor who was an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler. In his remake of the famous verse, Wu is speaking out against the normalization of hate and prejudice, like Niemoller, while letting us know who are today’s present-day targets:

“When they come for immigrants, they come for LGBTQ people. When they come for women, they come for LGBTQ people. When they come for Muslims, they come for LGBTQ people. And the inverse is true: when they come for LGBTQ people, they come for everyone.”

For this first year of Trump’s administration GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders chose an appropriate theme:

Rise up.



We’re GLAD to Fight for Justice

And, fight is what we all must do.

LGBTQ Americans, in this Trump Administration, have neither a prayer from his conservative evangelical Christian base that put him in office nor an acknowledgment from his White House of June as Pride Month. And while it should come as no surprise that Trump’s prescription to “Make America Great Again” precludes Mexicans, Muslims, people of color, immigrants, women, the physical challenged, to name a few, he’s waging a war against us, too. Case-in-point, Trump overturned landmark guidelines defending transgender students’ rights to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity.

While many Americans might feel fatigued from the daily dramas emerging from the White House and feel hopeless, too, in altering the dystopian pall Trump has cast, Wu optimistically tells us we must fight, nonetheless.

“It is easy- and understandable - to feel powerless right now. But we have the power, and we’re obliged to resist. We can rest and retire when we need to, but we cannot retreat.”

Never have so many Americans from various regional, demographic and affinity groups saw so swiftly their civil rights either diminished, threatened to be diminished or gone. And while this is unprecedented Americans have never been a unified people, even within the LGBTQ community. Fault lines of race, class, religion, political party affiliation, sexual orientation, to name a few, have always been enduring poxes preventing us from becoming a united country. But Wu suggests “our strength lies in our numbers and in our unity” in order to create a “one justice movement.”

Given the overwhelmingly white, moneyed and male dominance within the LGBTQ community the idea of a “one justice movement” have some folks, understandably, worried. These folks fret that this new civil rights movement model would create competing oppressions among various disenfranchised groups. Others worry that the model would simply prioritize if not ignore the many oppressions need addressing; hence, reinscribing the flawed model we now operate out of.

For Jonathan Revell, however, the idea of moving toward a “one justice movement” simply “is bringing diverse voices to the table with open hearts and minds, and understanding, building and maintaining trust with communities and constituencies beyond the white, gay, cisgender, and mostly affluent demographic” he wrote me.

Revell is the new Community Engagement Manager at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). As a Caribbean, queer, cisgender man of African descent Revell shared that community engagement is not merely a 9-to-5 gig but rather a way of life for him.

"In this role, I spearhead GLAD’s engagement with various constituencies within and outside the LGBTQ community across New England. Not only do I get to cultivate community partnerships, more excitingly, I can play a key role in realizing GLAD’s strategic priorities which include: integrating a racial and economic justice frame in our work for LGBTQ equality; expanding access to justice for LGBTQ people and people living with HIV, particularly in currently underserved communities; and strengthening state public policy advocacy.”

Revell articulated the essential stepping stones of an intersectional approach toward a “one justice movement.” I believe it can be done.

Moreover, if there’s any organization that can pull off the impossible GLAD is and has done it- with marriage equality in Massachusetts in 2004 and then throughout the country in 2015.

A “one justice movement” is unequivocally in GLAD’s wheelhouse.

Happy Pride! Editorial Board member and Columnist, The Reverend Monroe is an ordained minister, motivational speaker and she speaks for a sector of society that is frequently invisible. Rev. Monroe does a weekly Monday segment, “All Revved Up!” on WGBH (89.7 FM), on Boston Public Radio and a weekly Friday segment “The Take” on New England Channel NEWS (NECN). She’s a Huffington Post blogger and a syndicated religion columnist. Her columns appear in cities across the country and in the U.K, and Canada. Also she writes a  column in the Boston home LGBTQ newspaper Baywindows and Cambridge Chronicle. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Rev. Monroe graduated from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and served as a pastor at an African-American church in New Jersey before coming to Harvard Divinity School to do her doctorate. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times while being the head teaching fellow of the Rev. Peter Gomes, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard who is the author of the best seller, THE GOOD BOOK. She appears in the film For the Bible Tells Me So and was profiled in the Gay Pride episode of In the Life, an Emmy-nominated segment. Monroe’s  coming out story is  profiled in “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America" and in "Youth in Crisis." In 1997 Boston Magazine cited her as one of Boston's 50 Most Intriguing Women, and was profiled twice in the Boston Globe, In the Living Arts and The Spiritual Life sections for her LGBT activism. Her papers are at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College's research library on the history of women in America. Her website is  Contact the Rev. Monroe and BC. 




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David A. Love, JD
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