Post submitted by Hubert Tate, former HRC Press Secretary, Project One America
Today at a press conference in Birmingham, Alabama, HRC announced the results of the largest survey of its kind to date on the needs, experiences, and priorities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Alabamians. We were also proud to announce the state’s new director.
The survey’s results show that LGBT Alabamians are just like their friends and family members—living, working, volunteering, and going to church within their communities. However, the assessment also finds that LGBT people face daunting amounts of harassment and discrimination and enjoy no legal protections at either the local or state level. According to survey respondents, 41 percent of LGBT workers in Alabama are not open with everyone in the workplace due to fear they will not be considered for advancement or development opportunities; 40 percent have experienced harassment in public establishments; and half have experience harassment at school.
To address these disparities, earlier this year, HRC launched Project One America. With the goal of improving the lived experience of LGBT people, Project One America will work to change hearts and minds, advance enduring legal protections, and build more inclusive institutions for LGBT people from the church pew to the workplace.
At the same press conference, we announced Ashley Jackson will lead HRC Alabama. Jackson was born and raised in Mississippi and is the co-founder of the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition. She moved to Alabama and started work for the Southern Poverty Law Center as the LGBT liaison. She has written for and been featured in CNN’s Gay in America series. Jackson brings strong relationships with community groups across the South.