Lesbian News: Astraea Holds International Retreat

Astraea is the world’’s only lesbian-led, feminist foundation focused on both U.S. and international LGBTI human rights.

Women will come from all over the world to meet in Dallas, Texas November 2nd through the 5th, 2006 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel and share ideas and strategies for funding social causes and programs. Astraea is the world’’s only lesbian-led, feminist foundation focused on both U.S. and international LGBTI human rights.

 

Human Rights Forum Features Joo-Hyun Kang

Why Can’t America Have Human Rights: A Public Forum to strengthen connections andbuild a human rights movement in the United States

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

is proud to be a co-sponsor of

Why Can’t America Have Human Rights:

A Public Forum to strengthen connections and
build a human rights movement in the United States

Thursday September 14, 2006 6:30PM
The Nave at The Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive, New York

Presented by Breakthrough and Mission and Social Justice of the Riverside Church, the event will feature social justice leaders, performers, comedians and musicians including the following:

Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes Jr.
La Bruja
DJ Spooky
Nasry Malak
Roger Bonair—Agard
Blackout Arts Collective
Afsheen Shamsi—CAIR NY
Mallika Dutt—Breakthrough
Larry Cox—Amnesty International USA
Aarti Shahani—Families for Freedom
Mary Beth Maxwell—American Rights at Work
Kent Lebstock—American Indian Law Alliance
Joo-Hyun Kang—Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Silvia Henriquez—National Latina Institute for
Reproductive Health
Ajamu Baraka—The United States Human Rights Network
The Riverside Inspirational Choir

For more information, visit: www.breakthrough.tv

Astraea Pride Celebration!

Sharing our passion and pride in the movement for social, racial and economic justice for lesbian and allied communities around the world.

The Staff of

Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice

Invites You To
Our Annual Benefit Garden Party

Astraea Pride Celebration!

Sharing our passion and pride in the movement for social, racial and economic justice for lesbian and allied communities around the world.

•

Thursday, June 29, 2006
6:00pm – 9:00pm Rain or Shine

At the lovely home of Katherine Acey,
Astraea’s Executive Director

Food and refreshments provided.

Suggested contribution: $50
(more if you can, less if you can’t)

Please RSVP to Candace,
Astraea’s event coordinator at 212.529.8021 x14.

GO Magazine Names Astraea Communications Director Jennifer Einhorn and Board Member Stephanie Blackwood in their 2006 Women We Love

“There are lesbians living in the homophobic Bible Belt who, thanks to the Appalachian Women’s Alliance, have found support and renewed self worth. There are lesbians who’ve been denied formal education in Namibia who, thanks to the Rainbow Project’s job training program, have learned new skills and found employment. Because, together, there is so much more we can do.”

Click here to view the article on gomag.com.

Astraea’s Pride Celebration in Brooklyn, June 29!

Sharing our passion and pride in the movement for social, racial and economic justice for lesbian and allied communities around the world.

Left to Right: Lorraine Ramirez, Dulce Reyes, Melissa Hoskins, Candace Hewitt, Katherine Acey, Shaya Mercer, Audrey Rivers, Kerry-Ann Dacres, Colleen Meyers, Jazmine Irizarry, Joo-Hyun Kang, & Namita Chad.

Not Shown: Jennifer Einhorn, Ivory Farley, Fred Humphrey,
& Wendy Sealey


The Staff of

Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice

Invites You To
Our Annual Benefit Garden Party

Astraea Pride Celebration!

Sharing our passion and pride in the movement for social, racial and economic justice for lesbian and allied communities around the world.

•

Thursday, June 29, 2006
6:00pm – 9:00pm Rain or Shine

At the lovely home of Katherine Acey,
Astraea’s Executive Director

Food and refreshments provided.

Suggested contribution: $50
(more if you can, less if you can’t)

Please RSVP to Candace,
Astraea’s event coordinator at 212.529.8021 x14.

Open Letter in the Advocate

In an “open letter” to The Advocate and to LGBT people everywhere, more than four dozen prominent activists of color take issue with Jasmyne Cannick’s commentary calling for LGBT equality to take priority over rights for illegal immigrants. Quoting Audre Lorde, they remind us, “There is no hierarchy of oppression.”

We 55 respectfully disagree

By 55 LGBT activists

An Open Letter to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community:

We are a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color who work in the LGBT movement. We are writing to you in response to Jasmyne Cannick’s article “Gays First, Then Illegals,” in which she, a black lesbian, argues that she cannot support the current battle for immigrant rights because LGBT people have not yet won the right to marry. We are writing to express our profound disagreement with her and to offer alternative LGBT perspectives to the current immigration battles happening across the country.

To begin with, Cannick fails to realize an obvious fact that the LGBT community and the immigrant community are not mutually exclusive. There are thousands of LGBT immigrants in this country. There are thousands of black immigrants. And there are thousands of black LGBT immigrants. To put forward an argument that says “we should get ours first” makes us question who exactly is the “we” in that analysis. In addition, we recognize the historically interconnected nature of the immigrant and LGBT struggles–such as the ban on “homosexual immigrants” that extended into the 1990s and the present HIV ban, which disproportionately impacts LGBT people–and we believe that only by understanding these connections and building coalitions can we ensure real social change for all.

And we ask those who share the destructive views of this article to remember the immortal words of Audre Lorde when she said that “there is no hierarchy of oppression.” We reject any attempts to pit the struggle of multiple communities against each other and firmly believe that rights are not in limited supply. We condemn the “scarcity of rights” perspective espoused by Cannick and other members of the LGBT movement and are surprised to see members of our community trafficking in such ugliness. But then one reason why it has always been so hard to shift power in this country is because the ruling class has successfully made us believe that there are only a few deserving groups to whom rights can be given. This strategy has always been used to divide oppressed groups from coming together to work in coalition.

We are painfully aware that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities still lack many basic protections under the law in this country, including the right to care for and support all of our families in the various ways in which we construct family and kinship. Nevertheless, supporting immigrant rights, while we continue to work for LGBT liberation, does nothing to hurt our cause. In fact, we believe the opposite to be true and want to work towards building powerful coalitions between immigrant and LGBT movements to work together for social justice.

We are also aware that many immigrant rights advocates have (intentionally or not) used antiblack rhetoric to move their agenda forward. Arguments such as “Don’t treat us like criminal” or “We are doing work that other Americans won’t do” have the effect of positioning immigrant narratives as subtly juxtaposed with American stereotypes of nonimmigrant black communities. They leave native-born black Americans as among the only people who do not have access to the immigrant narrative and so are in a permanent position of subordination, as the state consistently negotiates and redefines citizenship and “American-ness” for almost everyone but blacks.

Nevertheless, the solution to this problem is not to abandon support for the struggle of immigrant communities. Rather, we call on immigrant movements and (nonimmigrant) black organizations to work together for real racial and economic justice in this country. Together these movements can work to end the exploitation and targeting of both communities and to ensure that black folks and immigrants do not end up having to choose between competing for low-paying jobs, or being targeted for detainment or imprisonment.

As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of color, we support the current immigrant rights marches and rallies happening across the country this month, and we march too.

We march because immigrants are among the most politically vulnerable, underpaid, and exploited communities in the country and are asking for basic human rights, including the right to live free from torture and exploitation, and the right to work.

We march because we recognize the connections between the state attacks on immigrant and LGBT communities, and that LGBT immigrants in particular are disproportionately affected by much anti-immigrant legislation.

We march because we oppose the heightened policing and criminalization of immigrant communities, including the increased militarization of the border, as mandated by HR 4437 and Senate bills.

We march because we oppose indefinite and mandatory detention of noncitizens–as well as the mass incarceration of people-of-color communities in the U.S. more broadly–and envision a society that ensures the safety and self-determination of all people, regardless of national origin, race, class, gender, or sexuality.

We march because we oppose the guest worker proposals, which would continue the exploitation of many low-wage workers. We march because we demand the repeal of the HIV ban.

We march because our sexualities have been historically criminalized by this country, and we understand that law and justice are not the same thing.

It is our understanding that Jasmyne Cannick was writing as an individual and not as a representative of either the National Black Justice Coalition (on whose board of directors she serves) or the Stonewall Democrats (for whose Black Caucus she serves as cochair). As LGBT people of color, we call upon both of those organizations to publicly clarify their own positions in this ongoing civil rights discussion.

We also call upon our community to imagine how much more progress we could make if we all stopped thinking of social justice as a zero-sum game.

Sincerely,
[signed as individuals; titles and affiliations provided for identification purposes only]

Katherine Acey
Executive Director, Astraea Lesbian Action Fund

Faisal Alam
Founder & Former Director, Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTIQ Muslims

Samiya Bashir
Board member, National Black Justice Coalition
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
Board member, Fire & Ink

Noemi Calonje
Immigration Project Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

Noran J. Camp
Office Administrator, Freedom to Marry

Chris Chen
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, immigrant from Taiwan in 1997

Cristy Chung and Lancy Woo
Lead plaintiffs in the Woo v. Lockyer marriage rights case

Alain Dang
Policy Analyst, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Debanuj Dasgupta
Board of Directors, Queer Immigrant Rights Project

Carlos Ulises Decena, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Joseph N. DeFilippis
Executive Director, Queers for Economic Justice

Marta Donayre
Cofounder, Love Sees No Borders

Andres Duque
Coordinator, Mano A Mano

Monroe France
Educational Training Manager, Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Glen Francis
Associate Executive Director, GRIOT Circle

Eddie Gutierrez
Representative for Christine Chavez, granddaughter of labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez

Priscilla A. Hale, LMSW
Executive Director, ALLGO

Teresa Haynes
Creating Change Associate, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano
Director of Arts and Community Building, ALLGO

Kemi Ilesanmi

Joo-Hyun Kang
Director of Programs, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Former Executive Director, Audre Lorde Project

Surina Khan
Interim Vice President of Programs, The Women’s Foundation of California
Former Executive Director, International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Jane Kim
President, San Francisco People’s Organization

ManChui Leung
HIV Program Director, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Lee Che Leong
Director of Teen Health Initiative, New York Civil Liberties Union

Yoseñio Vicente Lewis
Board member, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Latino and transgender social justice activist, first-generation U.S. Citizen

Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Glenn Magpantay
Steering committee member, Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York

Rickke Mananzala
Campaign Coordinator, FIERCE!

Andy Marra
President of the Board, National Center for Transgender Equality

Gloria Nieto
National Latino Justice Coalition

Doyin Ola
Welfare Organizer, Queers for Economic Justice

Jesús Ortega-Weffe
Director of Community Organizing, ALLGO

Emiko Otsubo
Former board member, Queers for Economic Justice

Clarence Patton
Executive Director, NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project

Donna Payne
Senior Diversity Organizer, Human Rights Campaign

Earl L. Plante
Development Director, National Minority AIDS Council
President-Elect, Board of Directors, National Black Justice Coalition

Achebe Powell
Betty Powell Associates

Lorraine Ramirez
Public Policy Committee, Queers for Economic Justice

Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera
Convener, the National Latino Coalition for Justice

Ignacio Gilberto Rivera
Founder, Poly Patao Productions
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Elias Rojas
e-Philanthropy and Community Campaigns Manager, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Russell D. Roybal
Director of Movement Building, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Rebecca Sawyer
Chair for Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Questioning Issues, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, DC-Chapter

Shay Sellars
Major Gifts and Events Administrator, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Pedro Julio Serrano
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry
President, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s

Regina Shavers
Executive Director, GRIOT Circle

Nicholas Shigeru Sakurai
Program Coordinator, GLBTA Resource Center at American University

Sarah Sohn
New Voices Legal Fellow, Immigration Equality
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Mónica Taher
Directora de Medios de Comunicación, Alianza Gay y Lésbica Contra la Difamación (GLAAD)

Lisa Thomas-Adeyemo
Cocoordinator, National People of Color Organizing Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Director of Counseling, San Francisco Women Against Rape

Carmen Vazquez
Deputy Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda

Robert Vazquez-Pacheco
Former Program Manager, Funders for Gay and Lesbian Issues

Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz
Capacity Building Project Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Andy Shie Kee Wong
Coalition Manager, Asian Equality

Miriam Yeung
Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, the LGBT Community Center

Marga Gomez and Astraea Foundation invite you to a night of hilarious theater, engaging dialogue, and social change!

Astraea has additional tickets for Los Big Names available for sale!

If you enjoyed the show as much as we did, please tell a friend to purchase their tickets from Astraea today! We have unsold tickets available, and we’re happy to announce that these tickets can be redeemed for any night of the show through the remainder of the run.


These tickets are $45. The show closes May 14th. These tickets can be purchased through Astraea by calling our office at 212-529-8021 any time during business hours 10am-6pm. These tickets will not be offered through our website. Email events@astraeafoundation.org for more info.


Special Thanks to Theater-goers!

Sincere thanks for your support for Astraea’s benefit night with Marga Gomez’ Los Big Names on Monday April, 24th! The entire evening proved to be as fun and entertaining as we know Marga to be! We had a great time during the reception meeting and chatting with you and Marga (up close and personal) on such a warm and lovely night in the Theater district! What a great, casual way to boost our spirits on a Monday!

Again, thank you for joining us, and please let someone know about the show and Astraea’s tickets.

Best regards,
Candace Hewitt


Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
Is proud to present one night of Marga Gomez’
new one-woman show

Los Big Names

A special benefit performance and reception
with dynamo Marga Gomez!

Monday, April 24, 2006 — 8pm
At The 47th Street Theater, 304 West 47th Street

For one night only, proceeds raised from ticket sales will benefit Astraea’s grantmaking programs that help lesbians and allied communities challenge oppression and claim their human rights.

Tickets are $60.
Receive special rate with group purchase
of 4 or more tickets for $50 each!

You must purchase tickets in advance
directly through Astraea’s website or call

Candace at 212-529-8021 x14
before Sunday April 23, 2006.

Download flier

As America’s most versatile Lesbian playwright and performer, Marga Gomez, stars in Los Big Names; an autobiographical tale that showcases her signature blend of humorous storytelling, spirited physicality, and emotional muscle. Los Big Names is set in two eras: the New York Latin show business world of the ’60s and Hollywood of the ’90s. It follows the lives of an unconventional Latino family of three pursuing their dreams of fame and fortune. For 90 minutes, Ms. Gomez portrays her mom, dad, the bodega busybody, Queen Latifah, Kathleen Turner and all of the vivid characters in this wild but true tale interweaving a moving family saga with an all-out skewering of celebrity.

Survivors Organizing for Liberation (SOL)

Survivors Organizing for Liberation (SOL) and Buried Seedz of Resistance envisions a Colorado where Transgender, Gender non-conforming, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit and Queer people have the power to determine the conditions of their lives, are valued for who they are, take responsibility for each other’s safety, and live their lives free from violence.

Survivors Organizing for Liberation (SOL) and Buried Seedz of Resistance envisions a Colorado where Transgender, Gender non-conforming, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit and Queer people have the power to determine the conditions of their lives, are valued for who they are, take responsibility for each other’s safety, and live their lives free from violence. SOL|BSeedz operates a 24-hour statewide hotline for community members who have experienced or witnessed violence as a strategy to empower callers to join the “healing collective” and become active members of bringing safety and wellness into our communities. SOL|BSeedz has been actively responding to the murder of Jessie Hernandez, a young queer Latina murdered by the Denver Police Department, and works with community members to respond to ongoing police violence.

Astraea in San Francisco!

Astraea Launches New Justice Social Series!

On September 25, 2005, Astraea will kick off a new series of intimate gatherings—. Justice Socials— in San Francisco with a brunch hosted by Anne & Simone Dorman and Jewelle Gomez & Diane Sabin.

Hosted in key cities around the U.S., Justice Socials are a wonderful opportunity for Astraea staff and board to engage with Leadership Gift Circle members and introduce Astraea to others interested in supporting social justice philanthropy and grantmaking.

Justice Social schedule:
San Francisco – —September 25
New York City – —October 19
Boston— – November, TBD

For more information, please contact Shaya Mercer, Philanthropic Partnership Officer,
shaya@astraeafoundation.org
or 212.529.8021.

A Winetasting Party benefiting Astraea

Join Astraea’s Executive Director Katherine Acey, and learn more about Astraea’s latest accomplishments and groundbreaking funding strategies. Discuss how lesbian philanthropy is helping to enact social change in your area-and around the world.

Albuquerque—–September 18, 2005

Congratulations to Host Committee & Sponsors for this outstanding House Party in support the Astraea Foundation!

If you missed this party, check our website for the next Astraea event in your area.

Interested in hosting a House Party for Astraea? Email events@astraeafoundation.org to request a House Party introductory brochure.


Albuquerque House Party!


Jami Porter Lara & Kathy Brown

Host Chairs

And Host Committee
Elissa Brietbard & Christina Treviño
Mary Ellen Capek & Susan Hallgarth
Eileen Cohen
Jennifer Dryfoos
Joan Watts

Invite you to

A Winetasting Party benefiting

Astraea Lesbian Foundation
For Justice

Join Astraea’s Executive Director Katherine Acey, and learn more about Astraea’s latest accomplishments and groundbreaking funding strategies. Discuss how lesbian philanthropy is helping to enact social change in your area—and around the world.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 4:00 p.m.
Albuquerque, NM

Explore wines from women vintners in a casual tasting seminar with Tiffany Ross, and enjoy a special performance by singer-songwriter, Linda Johnson!

Please RSVP.
Suggested contribution: $50
(more if you can, less if you can’t)
For more information, call Astraea’s event coordinator
at 212.529.8021 x14