Raines Feldman LLP is committed to diversity and inclusion. Among other initiatives, each month the Firm spotlights an organization that focuses on diversity to encourage everyone to become more involved in organizations that are meaningful to the members of the team. Matthew Pate, an associate with the Labor & Employment practice, recently spotlighted Equality California.
Equality California brings the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating, and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve.
Equality California works to achieve their goals by advocating for pro-equality legislation, helping to elect pro-equality leaders, advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights through impact litigation and providing services to the LGBTQ+ community across the state of California — including educational programs, leadership training, and efforts to boost civic engagement. In just the past year, Equality California championed bills protecting intersex children, protecting incarcerated transgender people, and providing easier access to the judicial system for transgender individuals desiring to amend their name on government-issued documents. In Washington, DC, they’re working to pass the Equality Act, advance racial justice, and advance women’s rights.
Why I Support Equality California (Matthew Pate)
Californians probably believe there isn’t much more to do for the LGBTQ+ community in our state, but Equality California demonstrates year-after-year that the progress we’ve made falls short of the equity LGBTQ+ individuals deserve — especially in parts of the state like the Central Valley where there is less support for the community. While marriage equality and nondiscrimination protections are critical, Equality California consistently shines a light on the oft overlooked struggles of BIPOC members of the LGBTQ+ community, transgender individuals, and disadvantaged youth. Equality California’s motto is, aptly, “Until the work is done,” recognizing that so many members of the LGBTQ+ community are less concerned about who they can marry than where they will live (homeless youth), how they can find healthcare (trans-affirming care), or even just walk down the street without being a target of murderous harassment (murders of trans women of color). They take an intersectional approach to their work, recognizing that to achieve full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people, we must also achieve full, lived equality for women, communities of color, immigrants and people with disabilities. I support Equality California because their work is just as critical now as ever and we need their brand of bold, effective leadership that advocates for necessary (but at times uncomfortable) change, while building the power of the LGBTQ+ community across California and the nation.
How to Get Involved
You can get involved with Equality California through volunteering, fundraising, hosting events, and advocacy. Equality California hosts a number of community events throughout the state, and with California reopening, they are always in need of volunteer support. If you have particular expertise, Equality California hosts a number of webinars and informational events for LGBTQ+ folks to learn about housing, healthcare, legal advocacy, and numerous other topics.
Links to Organization
Equality California Home Page: https://eqca.org
Equality California Donation Page (501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) options):
Equality California Volunteering Page: https://www.eqca.org/take-action/