CHICAGO - Equality Illinois, the state's largest organization advocating for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals ("LGBT"), has announced the launch of a comprehensive Spanish-language outreach program focusing on the Latino community.
This comprehensive program will begin with a first-ever Civil Union Community Forum in Spanish, being held TONIGHT at 6pm at the Humboldt Park Public Library. The forum will educate Spanish-speaking community members on the new rights, protections, and responsibilities which will become available when the Illinois civil unions law goes into effect on June 1. Association of Latino Men in Action (ALMA) and Amigas Latinas are joining Equality Illinois in tonight's community forum. "Our community has had a lot of successes over the past 12 months, and we need to make sure that all members of the community are empowered to know their new rights and protections, no matter what language they speak," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. "Mainstream LGBT equality organizations have not always done a great job in reaching out to or building partnerships with the Latino community. Equality Illinois is committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners and allies."
Equality Illinois' broad outreach efforts to the Latino community will include community forums in Spanish on a number of issues facing the LGBT community, issue-specific educational materials, voter engagement efforts, and coalition building within the Latino community. The organization is preparing to roll out web resources in Spanish in the coming weeks and months. Recently, Equality Illinois joined the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, becoming the only LGBT organization to be part of the coalition. Immediately, upon EQIL's joining ICIRR, both organizations established a working group on educating their constituencies on issues affecting the LGBT and immigrant communities. The organizations are currently working on developing further LGBT-specific resources for immigrant families.
More information is available at www.EqualityIllinois.org.
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