Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

EQUALITY NORTH CAROLINA FOUNDATION

Building a State of Equality

aka Equality NC

Raleigh, NC

Mission

The vision of Equality NC Foundation is that beyond legal rights and justice, we win “lived equality” including safety and acceptance in the community at large for all LGBTQ North Carolinians. Our mission is to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) North Carolinians. To accomplish these goals we tirelessly educate North Carolinians on LGBTQ news, stories and content, and mobilize our communities on issues of parental rights, inclusive anti-bullying policies, employment discrimination, hate violence, privacy rights, sexuality education, adoption, domestic partnerships, and HIV/AIDS through the core strategies of Advocacy, Training and Education, and Leadership Development.

Ruling Year

1980

Executive Director

Kendra Johnson

Main Address

PO Box 28768

Raleigh, NC 27611 USA

Keywords

LGBTQ, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, civil rights, education, engagement, Advocacy

EIN

58-1374041

 Number

5871555582

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

Citizen Participation (W24)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The vision of ENCF is that beyond legal rights and justice, we win “lived equality” including safety and acceptance in the community at large for all LGBTQ North Carolinians. Our mission is to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) North Carolinians. To accomplish our mission we advocate, broadcast LGBTQ news, stories and content, and mobilize our communities on issues that matter most to North Carolinians: parental rights, inclusive anti-bullying policies, employment discrimination, hate violence, privacy rights, sexuality education, adoption, youth homelessness, criminalization and HIV/AIDS. ENC opened its doors in 1979 with four basic beliefs that LGBTQ people have the right to: equal consideration under the law; protection from harassment by the public, the police, and in the courts; just laws that do not discriminate against us; and legal equality in seeking employment, housing, and credit.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Rural Youth Empowerment Fellowship

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The long-term goal of Equality NC Foundation is to enact statewide nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity & expression in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, insurance, and education without exemptions that treat LGBTQ people differently from other protected groups. Our immediate goals are: To champion an intersectional LGBTQ identity that encompasses race, gender, class, immigration status and ethnicity that uplifts the voices of queer and trans people of color, young and resource-poor people, people most likely to be arrested and harassed, HIV+ people, and rural people. In order to advocate for a broader and more inclusive LGBTQ identity our work will include the census, voter education and registration, and an amplification of our listening campaign. Over the next year ENCF will continue to work in partnership with the NC Census Task Force to engage and mobilize LGBTQ North Carolinians to get out the count on Census Day 2020. Create cross-sector alliances with business and public leaders through Equality Works, Out Electeds & Electeds for Equality programs by advocating for workplace protections in the private sector and leveraging the voice of the business community as an important ally and driver of the local economy. Out Electeds & Electeds for Equality is a bipartisan peer network of elected officials representing communities from across North Carolina, and in every level of state and local government, who are supportive of LGBTQ rights and justice. We will expand the number of advocates in government through training on intersecting oppressions, briefings on national trends of pro/anti-LGBTQ legislation, consultation on policies/legislation, and increased constituent access to elected/appointed officials. Sustain and scale the Rural Youth Empowerment Fellowship to benefit generations of rural LGBTQ youth throughout the state of North Carolina. Deliver hard skills training quarterly with Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a Greensboro-based global authority on evidence-based leadership programs. Over the next two years we will continue to train and support more rural youths to transfer life-saving resources to rural areas and allow queer youth to feel safe, experience inclusion in their hometowns outside urban centers, and tackle the most pressing issues they have identified in their respective communities. Develop the RYE Fellowship to become the flagship youth program of Equality NC Foundation serving thousands of LGBTQ youth.

ENCF utilizes the core strategies of Advocacy, Training and Education, and Leadership Development to accomplish organizational goals. We are creating cross-sector alliances with business and public leaders through our Equality Works and Out Electeds and Electeds for Equality programs. Through these alliances, we convene pro-LGBTQ equality leaders, offer training and education on the issues affecting our people, propose key policy implementation, and develop knowledgeable equity advocates for LGBTQ people. We are expanding the number of advocates in government levels through training on intersecting oppressions, briefings on national trends of pro/anti-LGBTQ legislation, consultation on policies/legislation, increased constituent access to elected/appointed officials, and a rapid response dissemination channel on anti-LGBTQ measures. We are training them on the intersecting oppressions impacting LGBTQ people across race, class, immigrant status, and gender and sexual orientation. We are expanding the base of LGBTQ POC, women, young adults, immigrants and resource-poor people engaged and empowered in the political process throughout North Carolina. Over the next two years we plan to coordinate massive statewide voter education, mobilization and registration drives focused on young adults, people of color and women to increase voter registration numbers. Equality NC Foundation is a resource to the community at large, mainstreaming LGBTQ issues in schools, hospitals, and businesses and government agencies. Our training ranges from teaching juvenile justice staff and teachers and school administrators about LGBTQ youth to deepening cultural competency for guardians ad litem and aiding healthcare professionals in developing safe and affirming practices in hospitals and healthcare settings. Our plan is to scale community impact through statewide collaboration in our rural areas via the Rural Youth Empowerment (RYE) Fellowship, a one-year leadership program designed to equip LGBTQ individuals (ages 18-28) from rural North Carolina to create change in their local communities via self-designed projects. We work with young people to directly address issues such as inequitable access to healthcare, lack of Spanish-language resources, election and voting rights education, and inclusive policies and laws. Through RYE we are supporting young activists as they develop valuable resources in rural areas for our populations with the greatest needs, including people of color, trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) folks, youth, and people who are undocumented and/or living with HIV. Over the next two years we will train and support 25 new Rural Youth Empowerment Fellows to transfer more life-saving resources to rural areas and allow queer youth to feel safe, experience inclusion in their hometowns outside urban centers, and tackle the most-pressing issues they have identified in their respective communities.

To promote LGBTQ health, wellbeing, and equity we must address not only gaps in understanding the needs of the entire LGBTQ community but also the dramatic gaps in understanding between the LGBTQ community and the policymakers who take actions that shape the settings and impact the futures of LGBTQ young people, POC, and rural communities. ENCF is poised to meet these challenges by developing cross-cutting strategies and treating youth as experts and agents of change, not as problems. This approach to social justice transformation will require a pipeline of trained LGBTQ leaders and allies with enough cultural competencies across healthcare, socioeconomics, and politics and who understand the needs of our most vulnerable communities. Equality NC Foundation has created an integrated development/communications/organizing model that creates a culture of philanthropy, taps into the power of empathy, and amplifies our impact across the state of North Carolina. Our model relies on being audacious in how we engage with our donors and funders, authentic in our storytelling, and having true intentions when we have a call to action to our supporters. We have streamlined our vision and mission to speak to all of our marginalized groups. We have set internal tripwires to ensure we remain nimble as we navigate the social justice space and unexpected changes in funding. We have diversified our funding streams and seized new opportunities to minimize risk and make room for growth. Above all else we work collaboratively internally and externally to leverage our strengths, mitigate our weaknesses, and attract private support. Lastly our staff and board have quarterly working sessions to dig into our strategies to discover what works, what doesn’t, what should we measure, analyze, and assess in order to successfully execute our mission and serve our communities at the highest level. In addition to our dedicated staff and board, ENCF has over 80,000 members as our additional eyes, ears, and boots on the ground to help keep the organization abreast of pertinent issues, initiatives, and collaborations. We host monthly gatherings called Equality Connections throughout the state of North Carolina, which serve as opportunities for our members to interact with staff, board members, and other volunteers as well as learn about current campaigns, events, and engagement opportunities. ENCF has reinvented our approach to the LGBTQ community through radical collaboration of community organizers, social justice warriors, corporate partners, and political leaders to promote and advocate for our populations with the greatest needs. By having a greater representation of marginalized groups in government at the municipal and state levels we will be able to drive innovation and impact while advocating for policy change throughout the state, and most importantly within our rural areas.

We will know we have been successful in advocating for a broader and more inclusive LGBTQ identity when the NCGA has enacted statewide non-discrimination legislation that allows for LGBTQ people from all walks of life to have “true lived equality” at school, at work, at places of worship, and in their communities. Some specific wins we want to achieve are: ending cash bail so that people in poverty are not incarcerated because they cannot pay bail or court fees and fines; revising of Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Public Safety guidelines on housing trans and gender nonconforming incarcerated people; and seeing the NCGA cleanly repeal HB142. We will know we are making progress in creating a true cross sector alliance when we have 100 of the over 200 companies who have signed a pledge to fight discrimination in the workplace during HB2 commit to participating in Equality Works. Positive change will include an increase in the number of Out Electeds and the incorporation of leadership development for pro-LGBTQ or LGBTQ candidates in the 2020 election cycle and beyond. Success for ENC will be a joint conference with the Raleigh Business Professional Network (the Raleigh LGBT chamber of commerce) to serve as a statewide business summit. We will know we are making an impact in our rural communities when our yearly RYE cohort class numbers reach 10-12 and after 2020 we have 25-35 Fellows who are planning and/or executing projects to solve issues such as health disparities, poverty, and inequitable access to education and resources in our rural areas. Success for the RYE Fellowship will be a widening of our geographic impact to include the regions of Eastern North Carolina (Nash and Rocky Mount), Western North Carolina (Appalachia), and the Piedmont (Winston-Salem and High Point). A long-term success metric for the RYE Fellowship would be for it to become an endowed fellowship that allows the gift of impact and investment in our rural areas to last indefinitely.

Through our work and that of our partners we saw the North Carolina DMV make it easier to change the gender marker on state issued ID documents. In partnership with Campaign for Southern Equality, we launched Protect Our Youth NC to end the horrific practice of Conversion Therapy. This initiative that led Governor Roy Cooper to issue an executive order making North Carolina the first Southern state to take statewide action to protect LGBTQ young people from conversion therapy, by banning the use of state funds for this discredited practice. Through the advocacy of ENC, the NC High School Athletic Association create a new policy allowing transgender high school students to play on the teams that match their gender identity. The Rural Youth Empowerment Fellowship has become the flagship youth program of Equality NC. The first cohort of six RYE Fellows began in October 2018 and concluded their projects in October 2019. These projects ran the gamut from educating people on the intersection of healthcare and transgender identity to Spanish language tools and resources to the needs of LGBTQ youth and those living with HIV. 
They also spent time in Washington, DC speaking directly with legislators on the importance of expanding federal nondiscrimination protections. This first cohort of RYE Fellows concluded their fellowship year via a project showcase in the fall of 2019, which illustrated their scalability and sustainability throughout North Carolina. The second cohort was selected in November 2019. ENC launched Equality Works, our corporate program whose mission is to work collaboratively, leverage individual corporate experience, information, and resources to enhance the effectiveness of our individual diversity and inclusion programs, and provide professional development opportunities for our partners. The main objectives of Equality Works are to: • Discuss the broader issues impacting diversity and inclusion in the workplace • Share ideas on community programs, issues, and resources • Collaborate on sponsorship of programs and projects • Network and share best practices Equality Works will serve as the North Carolina-focused voice of the pro-LGBTQ business community. ENC hosts quarterly meetings in April 2019 that will allow pro-LGBTQ elected officials to learn more about issues related to LGBTQ rights as they arise at various levels of state government. • These issues include how certain policies affect the lives of LGBTQ North Carolinians in areas such as education, employment, public accommodations, healthcare, and public safety. • These quarterly meetings include networking and mentorship opportunities, message training on LGBTQ issues, briefings ahead of legislative sessions, and regular updates on national trends in anti-LGBTQ legislation.

External Reviews

Financials

EQUALITY NORTH CAROLINA FOUNDATION

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable