What is Equality Ride?
Our mission is simple. We aim to visit the hundreds of schools in the United States that openly discriminate against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer individuals and their Allies (LGBTQA) through their policies and practices. On these campuses LGBTQA students and faculty are forced to suffer in silence. If they come out they are subject to expulsion and can even be forced into harmful “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy programs.Since its inception, the Equality Ride has catalyzed conversations and dialogue at these otherwise silent institutions. We have witnessed real change in practices and policies. Riders have worked to establish and strengthen Queer/Straight alliances all across the country. People have been provided with safe spaces in which to address the suffering they often feel at the hands of their schools and/or faith communities. We strive to begin conversations at the institutions we visit. We go into these communities at the request and in collaboration with the very folks who are suffering in silence. We approach these communities with a relentless form of non-violent resistance.Each year we bring in new riders who are given the best training in the non-violence method as well as training on how to organize to end the political and spiritual oppression felt by those in the LGBTQA community. In addition to this training – riders are taught to approach oppression from an intersectional lens – learning to fight racism, ableism, misogyny, classism, homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, and other oppressive systems.
Best of all, our young adult riders are provided this life changing experience at no cost to them, ensuring that there is never a dollar amount required to be an activist fighting for social justice. All of our rider’s travel, accommodations, food, equipment, and training is provided by the generosity of our supporters.