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Rachel Powell, 2006 Soulforce Equality Rider, makes headlines through her participation and support of Occupy Raleigh in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. As reported by Frances Ellis (TechnicianOnline.com), Powell is among three of the people present at the November 6, 2011 protest as part of the Occupy Raleigh movement which intends to increase awareness in Raleigh of economic inequality and apathy toward those with fewer resources.
by Kimmy Devries
Today I was thinking about the profound affect Soulforce has had on my life. What if the Equality Ride hadn’t come to Calvin College in 2007? The impact of the 33 Riders who came to my school is so much bigger then this article I found in the Chimes would lead anyone to believe. In some ways, I think I’m an incredibly different person because of this. I found my voice. I started speaking up about queer issues. I was inspired by the Riders boldness and courage to do what I had always been afraid to do. Then I met a seven Calvin students who wanted to make things better at Calvin. Somewhere between the Riders and my new friends at Calvin I finally made sense of myself. I realized I am queer. It turns out, straight women do not find women attractive (as in date worthy) in addition to finding men attractive. I started getting involved with activism and there was an interesting switch in the straight to queer friend ratio. I now have some of my best friends in the world because of the Equality Ride coming to Calvin. The summer after my final year at Calvin, I was accepted into Q Camp with Soulforce. I learned a ton about intersectional social justice, it changed my frame work for doing justice. I also met my amazing woman at Q Camp and now we’re dating and I’m in love and ended up here in Kansas City. Aside from Yantezia, I’m also grateful for the other Q Campers who are amazing activist that I can go to for friendship and activism advice.
by Guest Author
This post is by Equality U director Dave O’Brien. You can connect with Dave on Twitter at @dave_obrien
In March, 2006, equality hit the road and I got to be there with a camera. At over 200 colleges in the US, students face disciplinary action or even be kicked out simply for being gay. At these mostly private Christian colleges, policy states that because homosexuality goes against church teachings, any student who engages in homosexual behavior, who identifies as gay and in some cases who simply advocates a view of LGBT people that is different from what that school teaches, can be expelled from school. As director of the documentary EQUALITY U about the first ever Soulforce Equality Ride, I got to see what goes on at these schools first-hand, and what happens when a bus-load of young, mostly LGBT activists show up for a visit.