Category Archives: Social Justice

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Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community Video

Recently the Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) launched a new roll-call training video, “Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community,” that models best practices for police interactions with transgender individuals.   Even though this video was developed for law enforcement it has a lot of good information for anyone interested in basic information about transgender folks.

Here is the video:



PFLAG National was part of the coalition which helped put this video together.   For more transgender information including how to be an ally for transgender folks, go to:


~ Marcie


Social Justice Meet and Greet

Here is an event I thought worth sharing with everyone –

This Saturday, September 10th, the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights is hosting a  “Social Justice Meet and Greet” from 9:30 am. to noon at the Eagle’s Nest at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, 1195 NW Fairgrounds Road, Bremerton.

Social justice organizations from throughout Kitsap County will join in conversations with the community about the work they do, upcoming events and resources available. The event is free and open to the public.



Remember Orlando

Since I woke up last Sunday to the news of 49 people killed in an Orlando gay nightclub (the Pulse) I have gone through a gamut of emotions, but mostly I’ve just felt sad.


Forty-nine people like me were killed for being themselves; in a place they felt safe and should have been safe.

The reason this event hits so close to my heart is one of the reasons hate crimes are considered more egregious than others – because they affect a whole sub-group of our population in profound ways. And, just like many many other LGBT folks, I am feeling profoundly affected.


The responses from all over the world that I have seen are overwhelming and there is no way to adequately mention it all here. I am including a small smattering of examples.

President Obama made a statement about the shooting and here is an excerpt:

“For so many people here who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, the Pulse Nightclub has always been a safe haven, a place to sing and dance, and most importantly, to be who you truly are — including for so many people whose families are originally from Puerto Rico. Sunday morning, that sanctuary was violated in the worst way imaginable. So whatever the motivations of the killer, whatever influences led him down the path of violence and terror, whatever propaganda he was consuming from ISIL and al Qaeda, this was an act of terrorism but it was also an act of hate. This was an attack on the LGBT community. Americans were targeted because we’re a country that has learned to welcome everyone, no matter who you are or who you love. And hatred towards people because of sexual orientation, regardless of where it comes from, is a betrayal of what’s best in us.”
(More about the statements and reactions from President Obama)

In a statement Seattle’s Mayor Edward Murray said:

“Words cannot adequately encompass the feelings of grief I am feeling for the loss of so many of our LGBTQ and allied brothers and sisters in Orlando during the largest single act of violence against LGBTQ people in United States history. For too long, our community has been the target of violence throughout the world. It will never make sense to me that love is met with such hate.”
(Mayor Murray’s complete statement)

On Monday June 13th, several Kitsap organizations, Kitsap leaders and about 300 Kitsap folks joined together for a vigil to honor the victims and their families.


During the vigil many of us  signed a banner that read “Kitsap Stands With Orlando” and the next day Bremerton’s Mayor Patty Lent mailed the banner to Orlando’s mayor.
Kitsap Sun article on vigil



In addition to the vigil, those lost in the Orlando shooting will be remembered at all of the LGBTQ Pride events in Kitsap County leading up to the 20th Kitsap Pride on July 16th.

I found several web pages with the names of those that died, with some information about each. Here are two:

These are the names to remember!
Many were so young! Senseless and tragic!



Some of the resources in Kitsap County:
Kitsap Pride Network
Kitsap PFLAG
The Q Center


Obama also said: “So if there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now is the time.”




~ Marcie




Local Human Rights/Diversity Happenings


December 4th was a milestone in the history of human rights in Kitsap County – It was the 25th Annual Kitsap Human Rights Conference with the theme: “Where we were…Where we are going…”


The conference is planned each year by the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights, and for the last few years has been at the Kitsap County Conference Center on the Bremerton Harborside.

This year’s conference included Keynote speakers Leonard Forsman (Suquamish Tribal Council Chair) and Cheryl Nunez (Olympic College’s first vice president for diversity and equity).

The varied and insightful breakout sessions included topics on racism, youth violence and suicide, addressing local sexual exploitation, and making communities safe for transgender and gender nonconforming people.


Save the date – on June 23 and 23th, 2016 Olympic College will hold their 3rd annual diversity conference “Inspire Instill Ignite”


~ Marcie

Women’s Equality Day – Remembering and Moving Forward

Women’s Equality Day is  August 26th

Women’s Equality Day was designated as August 26th via a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1971.   August 26th was chosen to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, in 1920

According to the National Women’s History Project, “The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.”

This year’s Presidential Proclamation sums up the importance of the day well:
“On August 26, 1920, after years of agitating to break down the barriers that stood between them and the ballot box, American women won the right to vote. On the front lines of pickets and protests, champions from every corner of our country banded together to expand this fundamental freedom to women and forge a path toward fairer representation and greater opportunity. As we celebrate 95 years since the certification of the 19th Amendment, let us demonstrate our commitment to the belief that we are all entitled to equal treatment by supporting policies that help women succeed and thrive.”
Click here to read the entire proclamation.

Find a way to commemorate the day – It is important for all of us to remember what women before us sacrificed, and to keep moving forwards towards full equality for women.

~ Marcie


Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Some Consequences

I am not sure Gov. Mike Pence and the state of Indiana expected quite the outcGayjusticery when they passed and signed into law a controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In fact, the Governor is already saying he plans to introduce a clarification of the law and that if the law was about discrimination he wouldn’t have signed it. He is not saying yet what that clarification would include. According to Lambda Legal:

If he and Indiana’s elected leadership want to be taken seriously and to fix public perception of their state, they can  — and must — take two simple steps:

  1. Pass a law to include gay and transgender people within Indiana’s existing statewide nondiscrimination rules.
  2. Add this language to the new religion law: “This chapter does not establish or eliminate a defense to a claim under any federal, state or local law protecting civil rights or preventing discrimination.

Backlash to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. has included:

Thousands of people gathering in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday to protest the passage of the law.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray prohibiting municipal employees from traveling to Indiana on city funds. Murray said Indiana’s new law “doesn’t reflect the values” of Seattle.

Angie’s List announcing it is canceling a $40 million headquarters expansion. According to co-founder and chief executive officer Bill Oesterle the decision is a direct result of passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none, and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents.” Oesterle said.

Indiana’s law is not the end of the issue either.  According to the Advocate Magazine: “It’s too late to stop Indiana’s new “turn-away-the-gays” legislation. Governor Mike Pence has signed it into law. But nearly half of the states are considering similar bills, some of which go even further.”   There are already many states that have some sort of religious freedom or religious liberty legislation.  There is a difference, though, because many of these other states, including Washington, have anti-discrimination laws that include lesbian, gay, and bisexual folks (and some include transgender folks).


~  Marcie

Presidential Proclamation and Video for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015

President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation and posted a video, about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015.  The proclamation is worth sharing, so I have posted it below.  You can  also find it at the link above.

Here is a link to the video:

Presidential Proclamation -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, 2015 | The White House


~  Marcie

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is commemorated on November 20th each year as a day to remember the transgender folks who have been killed as a result of transphobia and hate.  There are way too many of them, and many of the murders remain unsolved.



According to Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the founder of TDOR, “The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

Olympic College’s Regional Diversity Conference

Olympic College is having their first diversity conference on June 26-27, 2014.

The theme is “Are Your Roots Showing: Exploring Diversity in the Puget Sound Region”

OCdiversityconf2014outlinedFrom the Olympic College Diversity Advisory Council Web Site, the day and a half of conference “will offer participants the opportunity to enhance their understanding and skills in the areas of diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice.”



The conference schedule includes two speakers, Dr. Joy DeGruy and Yoshiko Harden.

Here is a little bit about them:

Dr. Joy DeGruy

From Dr. Joy DeGruy’s website:

Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. With over twenty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she gives practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.

Dr. Joy DeGruy  is the keynote speaker during the conference opening morning.


Yoshiko Harden, Vice President for Diversity at Bellevue College

From the Bellevue College website:

Harden, with over a decade of experience as a student affairs practitioner, comes to us from Highline Community College, in Des Moines, where she has held several positions, including director of multicultural services and student development.

“One of my primary goals is to increase access and success for all students, but particularly for historically marginalized groups,” she says.

Yoshiko Harden  is speaking during dinner on the first day of the conference.















~ Marcie