Posts tagged with "civil rights"

Al Sharpton at Chicago International Film Festival via 360 MAGAZINE.

Sharpton @ChiFilmFest

How did the iconic civil rights advocate who became famous for his outspoken rhetoric become one of the nation’s most prominent leaders of the movement? Loudmouth cuts through the clichés and assumptions surrounding the track-suit-wearing crusader to investigate the roots of his political engagement and his transformation into a media-savvy activist. Playing into the tabloid journalism of the Jerry Springers and Phil Donahues of his heyday, Sharpton effectively raised awareness about the systemic injustice, racism, and white supremacy that has persisted in America. As he once famously declared, “Critics would say that all Al Sharpton wants is publicity. Well, that’s exactly what I want.”

Chicago Screening of Loudmouth

Monday, October 17,  2022 | 5:45pm CT   

AMC River East 21 Theatre

322 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611

Join Reverend Sharpton at Chicago International Film Festival

LOUDMOUTH, the documentary that focuses on Reverend Al Sharpton’s activism, will premier at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival on Monday, October 17, 2022. The film chronicles Reverend Sharpton’s activism across the years.

Reverend Sharpton will be in attendance and will be joined by local political, business and religious leaders. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, there is still time for you to purchase your ticket here.

Standing With Black Contractors

Earlier this week, Reverend Sharpton joined Black contractors in Cleveland who have been locked in a two-year battle with Sherwin-Williams over the development of the company’s global headquarters. The group of contractors are protesting the paint company’s promise that it would have a Black-owned contracting firm in place as a key partner in the project. That has not happened.  Reverend Sharpton has called on Cleveland’s mayor, Justin Bibb, to get involved in the dispute.

“I think that they to make sure that anytime taxpayers’ dollars are used that they listen to all segments of the community and make sure people are genuinely the businesses are given part of the general contract,” Reverend Sharpton said.

Justin Osborne is a SCAD grad and design contributor for 360 MAGAZINE

JUSTIN OSBORNE

Born and bred in Atlanta, Justin Osborne had an immediate gift of fashion. After years of tinkering in his parents’ duds, he acquired an eye for style. He soon rearranged the furniture in the bedrooms of his two siblings. He clearly had a keen eye for symmetry and placement. His fascination with art won him admission and a SCAD diploma. His passion became a career upon being enlisted by his grandfather Dr. Joseph Lowery to renovate his outdated condominium. Justin’s use of tribal motifs and eclectic lighting caught the attention of several members of his family, including his mother, Cheryl Lowery. She tasked him with upgrading her suburban house. That’s when his cousin Vaughn Lowery (360 president) noticed his acute sense of design. They began to convert modest living spaces into immersive shrines.

Justin finds inspiration in his immediate surroundings, while Vaughn is driven by his adventurous international travels. With a unique blend of African mod and Hollywood glamor, they have begun to build a buzzworthy blueprint.

Specialties: Floating shelves, fixtures, backs plashes and floor installs.

Aspiring to be more carbon neutral, he has begun fabricating furniture out of salvageable materials like glass, maple and marbel.

Hire Justin.

360 MAGAZINE Swarovski encrusted bottle designed by Vaughn Lowery for NFT-VIP and minted on Solana

NFT-VIP

NFT-VIP is hosting its inaugural conference in the tech space to network their businesses, advance knowledge and engage intimately. In the recent past, similar NFT meetups have been held in multiple cities across America: Miami, New York City and Los Angeles. This year, NFT-VIP will be holding its series at Margaritaville Resort Time Square, June 19 – 22. 360 MAGAZINE serves as the official media sponsor of the episode.

As a rapidly growing digital industry, NFT-VIP has become a popular way for people to trade outside the conventional financial system. It continues to stimulate the development of a virtual economy based on digital strengths in various forms: music, art and fashion.

“The idea of using cryptocurrencies is not only a form of currency. Along with a deliverable channel, knowing that entities could be built on them and using them is mind-blowing,” states Julie Lamb, CEO of NFT-VIP. This is the first major 360 MAG Podcast promotion that will serve as the official launch. Interviewee Jefferson Noel is scheduled to speak on the NFT-VIP agenda. Other notable guests: Andrew Yang, Young Paris, Alex Alpert, Vaughn Lowery, Chris Carter, Genesis Johnson, postVerrone, Fanzo, Sal DiGuardia and FoodMasku.

Helen Indelicato, Julie Lamb, Sal Di Guardia, Vaughn Lowery are speakers at the NFT-VIP conference in nyc via 360 Magazine
Helen Indelicato, Julie Lamb, Sal Di Guardia, Vaughn Lowery will be on the NFT-VIP stage via ‘press panel’ Sun., June 19 at 2:30pm EST (click image for full agenda).

The NFT-VIP festival was fabricated with the unique digital identifier enthusiast in mind, providing a golden opportunity to intensify transmissions and interrelations. The number of leading brands and celebrities involved in this field is increasing exponentially with the world’s first and largest crypto collectibles market—OpenSea. With that, 360 MAGAZINE has minted and released a loveable Animal set.

360 MAGAZINE Animal Series NFT character, Lucky Lenox, coming soon under the direction of Vaughn Lowery
(Minting Lucky Lenox on OpenSea)

As a media partner, 360 MAGAZINE aims to liaise between NFT-VIP participants and disadvantaged business enterprises. 360 is determined to spread the word on NFT-VIP to countless cohorts: the elderly, women, racialized groups and the queer community. “We now coexist in a multi-generational society with multi-racial people who have multi-educational backgrounds and who possess multi-hyphen lifestyles. Our purpose here is to create an environment of inclusiveness and to further facilitate sustainable relationships beyond the metaverse,” Lowery shares.

During the engagement, 360’s Swarovski encrusted bottle, made in collaboration with Integrity Bottles and Good Vibe Gliders, will be forged on Solana with partial proceeds donated to a charity. 360, freshly announced pet NFT, apace with Reebok’s Looney Tunes footwear, will go to a handful of lucky guests with Best Tech Style. Additionally, in real time, the publication will interview the speakers in their ecletic enclosure with bean bags and a bejeweled e-bike.

NFT-VIP RECAP HERE.

About 360 MAGAZINE

360, an internationally acclaimed LA-based magazine, represents the celebration of societal change through racial and sexual ambiguity as a youthful popular culture and design journal. As a certified National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) business, it progressively supports various under-represented communities: women, POC and queer. Just last month, 360 was crowned Business of the Month.

Previous celebs on the cover: Saweetie, Demi Lovato, David Guetta, Sebastián Yatra, Will.i.am, Steve Aoki and Tyga. Infographics on the journal can be downloaded HERE.

Twitter | LinkedIn | TikTok

About Vaughn Lowery

Vaughn Lowery, the founder and president of the NGLCC certified, 360 MAGAZINE, has always strived for positive social change. Lowery is the executive producer of 360 MAG Podcast on AudibleApple and Spotify as well as a new NFT Animal Series on OpenSea. His self-help marketing memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart. He’s a graduate of Cornell University’s ILR School and grandson of the late Dr. Joseph Lowery–a leader of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King as well as the minister at Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.

Twitter|LinkedIn|TikTok

About NFT

According to Wikipedia, non-fungible token is a financial security consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain, a form of distributed ledger. The ownership of an NFT is recorded in the blockchain, and can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded.

NFT-VIP Agenda HERE.

Listen to NFT-VIP Speakers on 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

Reebok Best Style Tech Winners BELOW.

NFT VIP tech series in nyc media sponsored by 360 MAGAZINE
Sal DiGuardia, CEO of Crypto Radio Network at NFT-VIP in NYC via 360 MAGAZINE
Actum LLC announces Ruben Diaz Jr. as Co-Chair via 360 MAGAZINE

ACTUM PUBLIC STRATEGY

Actum LLC, the fastest growing public strategy firm in the United States, today announces Ruben Diaz Jr. has joined the company as Co-Chair.

The former Bronx Borough President and New York State Assemblymember brings unprecedented experience and a deep network to Actum’s leadership team and valuable guidance on the inner workings of government for clients.

As Co-Chair, Diaz Jr. adds to Actum’s formidable capabilities in government, communications and activation of communities of color and will offer key insight into the political landscape of New York and across the country.

“Actum is building an extraordinary platform that drives outcomes for clients while elevating the voices of communities of color. In less than a year, it has established itself as a global powerhouse, a direct result of its strong core values and quality people leading each client engagement. I am honored to join this team and help the company grow,” said Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Ruben was a transformational Borough President who united diverse communities to usher in a new era for the Bronx. Thanks to that work, the borough is today a booming global destination. His leadership, vision, and bridge-building skills will be an asset to Actum, which has quickly established itself as one of the leading coalition builders in Black and Brown communities. We are happy to welcome Ruben to our team,” said Rachel Noerdlinger, Partner at Actum.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Ruben to our team and know he will make an immediate impact on our company and clients. Actum’s strategists have served in the highest levels of government, media and business and translate that high level experience to outcomes for clients. Ruben’s addition to our team is further evidence that we are building something different at Actum,” said Michael McKeon, Partner at Actum.

“I am happy to congratulate Ruben on this incredible opportunity. He is already a force in the Black and Brown community and my brother will continue to build opportunities for us in his role as Chairman at Actum,” said Fat Joe, hip hop legend, Bronx community advocate and longtime friend of the Borough President.

“Ruben is a tremendous addition to the Actum team. He is an icon in the Bronx and a respected statesman in national politics. The same innovation and creativity he brought to the Borough President’s office will bring real value to Actum and its clients,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, Co-Chair at Actum and former Mayor of Los Angeles.

“Actum’s national Black and Brown public affairs team, led by Rachel Noerdlinger and supported by Fabian Nunez, Antonio Villaraigosa and a cadre of young, talented professionals, just got even stronger with Ruben’s addition,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who earlier this year tapped Diaz as a board member for the National Action Network. “Whether it is standing up for the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico who endured generational damage from Navy bombing exercises, fighting for justice for the family of Amadou Diallo, or moving the Bronx forward as a City and State elected official, Ruben makes a difference in whatever endeavor he undertakes. His hiring solidifies Actum’s position as the go-to team for public affairs.”

About Actum

Actum is not a public affairs company, or a PR firm, or a lobbying shop. Actum is a global consulting firm, built to deliver highly meaningful and measurable outcomes for our clients around the world. Our capabilities in strategy, management, execution, communications, government relations, storytelling and narrative development, digital and social media, advocacy mobilization, special groups, political consulting, public opinion research and data, are all best in class, because our people are best in class. For our clients, we provide seasoned and experienced advisors and partners, from the highest levels of government, media, business, advocacy, politics, technology and special groups, who will lead teams of subject matter experts to deliver exceptional, measurable value and outcomes.

MARVEL × ASIAN PACIFIC/AMERICAN

Shang-Chi, Kamala Khan, Wong, Mantis, and Jimmy Woo headline MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1 2022. The second Marvel’s Voices anthology honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month will showcase brand new stories crafted by both emerging and established Asian and AAPI talent. Arriving on May 25, MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1 2022 will feature four action-packed and heartfelt adventures set throughout the Marvel Universe plus an introduction by Isabel Hsu, Senior Manager of Creative Development at Marvel Games and exclusive interview with longtime comic book letterer and industry pioneer, Janice Chiang. Right now, fans can get their first look at all four covers and preview each of the featured stories, including:

·       Writer Pornsak Pichetshote and artist Creees Lee take Shang-Chi and Jimmy Woo on a vital mission with some unexpected surprises

·       Writer Sabir Pirzada and artist Eric Koda teams up Ms. Marvel with Shang-Chi in a story that explore these two heroes’ differences and similarities

·       Writer Jeremy Holt and artist Kei Zama spotlight the Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mantis, diving into the iconic character’s fascinating past and gearing her up for a bright future

·       Writer Emily Kim and artist Rickie Yagawa showcase the power and expertise of master of the mystic arts, Wong, in an exciting solo adventure

MARVEL’S VOICES: IDENTITY #1 2022 continues the tradition of inspiring and uplifting storytelling that truly reflects “the world outside your window.” These stories celebrate Marvel’s ongoing, ever-expanding pantheon of heroes and the vastness of all Asian, Asian American and Pacific Island cultures and identities. Check out all four covers now and visit Marvel.com to see an exclusive sneak peek and hear from the creators themselves! For more information, visit Marvel.com.

To find a comic shop near you, go HERE.

Rainbow Washing + Slacktivism During Pride Month for use by 360 Magazine

NGLCC TAPS POP CULTURE PUBLICATION

‘The NGLCC has long been a global network for the LGBT business community, creating opportunities for hard-to-hear voices. While 360 MAGAZINE, an award-winning international publication, has created a refuge for youth stories and under-represented artists to celebrate their uniqueness while promoting their efforts. It was therefore inevitable that the two entities would join forces to foster a just ecosystem.‘ – Vaughn Lowery – a newly inducted nglccNY member as well as 360’s President and founder.

360 received their accreditation from the NGLCC on February 3, hereby declaring 360 as an NGLCC accredited business and an official LGBT business, guaranteeing diversity and inclusion within the organization. This commission affirms the continued commitment of the magazine to serve the LGBT community through all efforts.

A certified LGBT business organization, in accordance with NGLCC directives, is any company that meets the preceding criteria:

• Business is at least 51% owned, operated, managed and controlled by a LGBT person or persons who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents 

• Work independently from any non-LGBT business corporation

• Headquarters based in the US and are a legal entity in the US

The NGLCC operates as a key advocate for the LGBT community in all business endeavors. The organization aims to grow available opportunities for LGBT persons in corporate settings and conditions. Co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell began NGLCC in 2002 after they failed to see equal opportunities for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, etc. They both observed that although the members of this community contribute a massive $1.7 trillion to the economy through being business owners, employers and taxpayers, these contributions had been historically overlooked. 

Co-founder and President Justin Nelson stated, “Back in 2002 we realized that too few government leaders and corporate executives had considered the economic equality of LGBT people or the impact economics could have on the future of the equality movement. So with a few forward-thinking corporate partners and a small network of LGBT business owners willing to tell their story, NGLCC was born.

Co-founder and CEO Chance Mitchell, too, sounds in on the beginnings of the organization, stating, “Word began to spread about NGLCC very quickly, thanks to outlets like the Washington Blade and Out magazine recognizing the previously underreported strength and promise of the LGBT business community. That proved what we, and our NGLCC corporate partners, always believed: economic and social visibility go hand-in-hand as we march toward equality and opportunity for all.

Both Nelson and Mitchell saw that LGBT people were an integral piece of American business, and they built NGLCC to strengthen the community to its fullest potential. 

NGLCC works to grow their list of Certified LGBTBE businesses to develop more employment possibilities for all LGBT people. Apart of their mission involves partnership with other companies that support the strengthening of the LGBT business community.  Some of their top founding corporate partners include Wells Fargo, American Airlines, Travelport and Intel.

NGLCC certificate via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 MAGAZINE
NGLCC certification letter via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 MAGAZINE
NGLCC Certification
Colin Kaepernick created by Rumnik Ghuman at 360 Magazine use by 360 Magazine

Colin in Black & White – Limited Netflix Series

By: Rumnik K Ghuman

Colin in Black & White is a new limited Netflix series recently released in October. This series is following Colin Kaepernick through his journey in high school as he had to face multiple issues as a black child who had white parents. During high school, Colin was a straight-A student who also played football, basketball, and baseball all year round. This 6 episode series attacked multiple issues a black child sees, but it was even harder since his parents didn’t understand how to explain to Colin why he was treated differently or had to work twice as hard to prove himself to the world. 360 Magazine is pleased to write something regarding this series as this is only available for a certain time period and is accessible only in a few states. 

To begin with some history why is this series so special to watch. It’s about ex-football player, Colin Kaepernick, who had kneeled in protest to police brutality and racial inequality during the national anthem back in 2016. Since then Kaepernick was not drafted by any team which quickly ended his career. This series truly shows what a black child goes through in a huge population of white superiority. Kaepernick played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns. It’s crazy to even think that a kneel would affect a football player’s entire career, but he wasn’t the only one to do it. The reason why he got so much hate was that he was the first. 

Each episode had an individual topic or issue brought up and focused on. Some topics were about appearances, as the braids were a big symbol of being a Thug apparently, which if you looked up what a thug actually means it’s defined as a violent person, especially a criminal. This includes no definition of how a thug looks like. This is the black culture that was given a label to place black people into a box of judgment. The next episode was the introduction of discrimination that made Colin realize he was going to be treated very differently compared to his peers. As a scene of him going out of town to witness how he was being watched as he was the only black person in the hotel for a baseball game. This kept going into how the world viewed black people in general. Colin was always told to take the easy way out, never really challenge himself. He had a great arm in baseball, but something about being rejected for football made him want to do it more than anything. This idea of rejection and always being the second choice came for him since day one from his birth parents. Colin was given up for adoption as a 5-week baby, and for his adoptive parents, he wasn’t the first choice either. Some other topics brought up were the standard of beauty and how black beauty was looked down upon compared to white people. There were certain acts that were very questionable of Colin’s parents that you can see in the show. Some more topics were of acceptance and perseverance to be the greatest. 

One aspect that really stood apart from this series was that it was not just a biopic. It was narrated by Colin Kaepernick and he would compare some situations that happened to him to the history of black people or even black athletics. One thing brought up was the idea of being perfect as black people. This goes back to slavery when slaves were bought based on how perfect they were body-wise to achieve good work and worth in a buyer’s eye. Colin compared this to how black athletics were examed so deeply to make sure they are in good shape and perfect. Multiple other athletics came up and what they had to go through in order to bring to light that this isn’t the first time something had happened. Allen Iverson, a Basketball player for the NBA, was attacked for his braids and the way he dressed. Romare Bearden, a baseball player for the National League, was told to play like a white man and had to fit in.  Ava DuVernay, Director of Colin in Black & White, brought a big aspect of history for children to understand what racism is about. This show was so simple and lighthearted that all kids of any age will understand and learn something much better than what they are taught in schools. 

This show has gotten a mixed reaction as most supporters of Kaepernick’s have been on his side from the moment he had kneeled. This series does attack multiple parts of the government and certain names and photos have been shown of the previous United States President, Donald Trump. It was interesting to hear that this was a limited series and only available to watch in a certain number of states. In the history of streaming services, no movie or series has been limited for no reason. This is a very controversial topic as it includes Colin Kaepernick’s entire story and he had received a huge amount of hate. Many still think that the racists in America got a platform to become more vocal of their opinion was because of President Donald Trump which led to the end of Kaepernick’s football career. The amount of risk that went into this series is huge, but the love and support of the audience had this show rated in the top 10 on Netflix. 

To end off this article, some phrases that Colin Kaepernick used to express what this world uses against black people were for example, “groomed in a system……always the second choice…..intensional built this way…..a white man’s stamp of approval.” You can see how much of government, history, and judgment goes into the way people don’t change their perspective about black people. After being an athlete all his life, Colin Kaepernick finally found what he was truly born for to be a civil rights activist

Mel Quagrainie for use by 360 Magazine

Justice For Ahmaud Arbery

On November 24, 2021, three white men were found guilty of murdering 25-year-old unarmed Black man Ahmaud Arbery. The murder was committed by the three white men after unfounded suspicions that Mr. Arbery had been committing break-ins in their neighborhood in South Georgia.

The three defendants were Travis McMichael, 35, his father, Gregory McMicheal, 65, and William Bryan, 52, their neighbor.

Mr. Arbery lived outside of the small town of Brunswick, Georgia with his mother. He enjoyed staying in good shape and was a jogger who was often seen running in and around his neighborhood. Mr. Arbery was shot dead in a suburban neighborhood known as Satilla Shores through which he was jogging.

On Sunday, February 23, 2020, Arbery was murdered after being provoked by a white man and his son. Gregory McMichael saw Mr. Arbery running in Satilla Shores from his front porch and believed Mr. Arbery looked like a suspected man involved in numerous break-ins in the area. He then called to his son, Travis McMichael.

The police reports state that “the men grabbed a .357 Magnum handgun and shotgun, got into a pickup truck and chased Mr. Arbery, trying unsuccessfully to cut him off. A third man was also [William Bryan] involved in the pursuit.” In a recording of a 911 call that was made before the chase began, a neighbor reported a Black man was inside a house still under construction.

A video shot by William Bryan shows a struggle that preceded three shotgun blasts. The video is about a half-minute long and shows Mr. Arbery running along the two-laned suburban road when he comes upon a white truck. Travis opens the driver’s side door with a shotgun, and Greg, his father, is in the bed of the pickup truck with a handgun.

Mr. Arbery then runs out of frame, and muffled shouting is heard before Mr. Arbery appears back in the video’s view. Mr. Arbery and Travis enter view of the camera recording, fighting outside of the truck as three shotgun shots echo.

Mr. Arbery then tries to run but stumbles and falls after a few steps.

There was another video published that depicted a man walking into a house that was under construction in the same neighborhood, with him eventually running out. S. Lee Merritt, one of Mr. Arbery’s family’s lawyers, released a statement that the video does not reveal anything that was not already understood evidence. Merritt continues by explaining that Mr. Arbery was not engaging in illegal activity and did not take anything from the site.

Gregory McMichael is a former Glynn County police officer and past investigator with the local district attorney’s office.

Two months passed after the shooting, and still, no one had been arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The prosecutor for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, Jackie Johnson, recused herself from the case because of a potential conflict of interest. Gregory, one of the men involved in the shooting, had previously worked in her office.

The case was sent to George E. Barnhill, the district attorney in Waycross, Georgia, who also later recused himself from the case. This came following Mr. Arbery’s mother arguing the point that Barnhill had a point of conflict as well because his son also worked for the Brunswick district attorney. Before he was released from the case, Mr. Barnhill did write a letter to the Glynn County Police Department arguing there was not adequate probable cause to arrest the pursuers of Ahmaud Arbery.

In December, the Atlanta news station WSB attained police body camera footage from when officers arrived on February 23, including the conversations that took place immediately following the shooting. These recorded conversations show that the officers on the scene knew of Gregory’s background.

Ms. Johnson, who was voted out of her job as chief prosecutor for the area, was indicted with a charge of violating her oath. This came about from her demonstration of “favor and affection” to Gregory. There was also a charge of obstruction due to her instructions to two police officers on February 23 to not arrest Travis.

During the eventual lead prosecutor in the case, Linda Dunikoski’s, closing statement, she argued that the defendants began a pursuit after and an attack on Mr. Arbery, “because he was a Black man running down the street.” This raised her question of whether race was a leading issue in the attack. The prosecution continued to argue to the jury that Mr. Arbery posed no imminent threat to the men and that they had no reason to believe he had caused such suspected crimes, a tactic that proved effectual due to the guilty verdict by the jury.

The case and trial have been carefully followed in the United States since the earlier April conviction of white officer Derek Chauvin for the second-degree murder of George Floyd. Video from the scene depicted Chauvin kneeling on the neck of unarmed Black man George Floyd for nearly nine minutes. This video generated an international uproar, placing an emphasis on questions about the unfair treatment that minorities endure at the hands of the police in America.

The three defendants face sentences of up to life in prison for the state crimes that were committed. They had each separately been indicted on federal charges that include hate crimes and attempted kidnapping. They are expected to stand trial for those charges in February.

Shoes Illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Tenth Annual Municipal Equality Index Released

In tenth edition of Municipal Equality Index, a record-setting number of 100 point scores and the highest-ever national average show that localities continue to lead the way on LGBTQ+ inclusion

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The Equality Federation, released its 10th annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ+ equality regarding municipal policies, laws and services. This year, a record-breaking 110 cities earned the highest score of 100, which is up from 11 in 2012, the MEI’s inaugural year, illustrating the striking advancements municipalities have made over the past 10 years.

In North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem are setting a true example for equality and inclusion by earning one of HRC’s MEI “All-Star” designations. MEI All-Stars earned over 85 points despite hailing from a state without statewide non-discrimination statutes that explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity. The average score for cities in North Carolina is 71 out of 100 points, which falls 4 above the national average of 67.

“LGBTQ+ people are everywhere—in every city, county and ZIP code. These All-Star cities are blazing the path forward for equality and fighting back against extreme unrelenting attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.” said JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “This year, state-wide lawmakers have zeroed in on attacking transgender and non-binary children—for no clear reason other than bigotry and hate. Adopting the policies outlined in the MEI have not only fostered safer and more inclusive communities, but it has also spurred economic growth by showcasing to residents, visitors and outside investors that their city is open to everyone.”

“In reflecting on the Municipal Equality Index’s 10-year history, it feels as though these past few years have been the most challenging, and yet the most critical, to advancing LGBTQ+ equality. Despite the increasing attacks we are seeing on transgender youth in state legislatures, the important work to advance protections for LGBTQ+ people continues at the local level,” said Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute. “As we face the upcoming attacks by opponents of equality, we know the state-based movement is stronger than ever and ready to fight for the millions of LGBTQ+ Americans who need us in the towns and cities across this country.”

The report also contains an issue brief for policymakers that covers how municipalities can support transgender and non-binary individuals, as well as the types of challenges they face, ways that a city can support them, and guidance on forming an anti-transgender and non-binary violence prevention task force. Additionally, the report includes HRC’s Pledge for Local Elected Leaders to End Violence Against Black and Brown Transgender Women.

“For 10 incredible years, the MEI has helped guide, shape and inspire more inclusive laws and policies in cities of all sizes in all parts of the country,” said Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director & Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign and Founding Author of the Municipal Equality Index. “This program is one of the key ways HRC is able to impact the daily lives of our members, supporters and allies. Being able to personally witness these communities continue to push themselves to better serve their LGBTQ+ communities over the years has been one of my greatest joys. I am incredibly proud of this project and of the MEI team who have made this report a vehicle of enduring change and of our partners in communities around the country who have enthusiastically embraced its possibilities.” 

Other significant findings from the 2021 MEI include:

  • This year, 181 cities have transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits for municipal employees—up from 179 in 2020, despite more rigorous standards this year, and only five at the start of the MEI.
  • The national city score average jumped to an all-time high of 67 points, up from 64 last year and 59 in 2012, marking both the fourth consecutive year of national average increases as well as the highest year-over-year national average growth ever.
    • As a marker of the change that ten editions of the MEI have brought, cities rated by the MEI in 2012 averaged 59 points then; in 2021, those cities averaged 85 points. 
    • 11 cities scored 100 points in the 2012 MEI; ten times that number did so in 2021, the tenth edition.
  • Cities around the country saw progress, with every region of the country seeing a higher average score than last year.
  • 43 municipalities have anti-conversion therapy ordinances in states with no state-level protections, up from 38 last year.
  • The tenth edition of the MEI tells a story of sustained, transformational growth in cities of every size in every region of the country.  While state legislatures attacked LGBTQ+ people in a historically difficult legislative session, cities focused on solving actual problems.

Even though local leaders continue to pave the way forward on equality, there remains an unacceptable patchwork of laws for LGBTQ+ people across the country. This reinforces the need for the federal Equality Act that would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

The MEI rated 506 cities including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, the 75 municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 49 criteria covering citywide non-discrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.

CarrboroNorth Carolina84
CaryNorth Carolina12
Chapel HillNorth Carolina100
CharlotteNorth Carolina86
DurhamNorth Carolina100
FayettevilleNorth Carolina39
GreensboroNorth Carolina100
RaleighNorth Carolina69
WilmingtonNorth Carolina36
Winston-SalemNorth Carolina87

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online here.

ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.