Takeaways from North Shore Pride Community Forum: Speak Up, Speak Out

This past Thursday, North Shore Pride hosted its September Forum called Speak Up, Speak Out: Protesting, Voting, and Allyship 101. The 7 panelists discussed the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Protesting, Allyship, and Voting.

Panelists included:

The Takeaways

Voting 101

During this segment of the forum, we learned:

You can vote via Mail, On-Line or at the Polls (see links below!): Early Voting is October 17th to 30th, so make sure to get your vote in. It’s also important to mention that there won’t be any voting on College Campuses this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, so make sure to check your polling location.

100 million Americans did not vote at the last election: That’s almost a third of the population! But according to J. Cottle, apathy, poll taxes, and the Electoral College are often deterrents to voting.

J. Cottle from MassVOTE also offered up these useful links:

Register to Vote
Request Mail in Ballot – Deadline October 21!
Track Your Mail in Ballot
Complete the Census – Very important!

Protesting 101

During this segment of the forum, we learned:

What is Protesting?: Protesting is a public expression of disapproval or dissent. When you protest, it’s important to state your position and let your voices be known and heard.

Everyone has a role in the movement: It’s important to create space, meet people where they are at, and give everyone the chance to participate in their own way. It also important to remember that power, privilege and oppression has an impact on what role any individual can play, so learning about people’s back story can help you become better organized.

Effective Protests are Organized: Movements are more effective if you’re working together, there is more impact in numbers. When planning a protest, plot out a clear outcome with action items that are concise and account for physical demands. In this way, you can account for your own safety and the safety of those you are processing with.

Also, if anyone tells you that you need a permit to protest, they’re wrong.

Allyship 101

During this segment of the forum, we learned:

Allyship is active not passive. It’s important to create, build, and maintain safe spaces for LGBTQ+ and marginalized community members. Without the support and solidarity of allies, it’s harder for these spaces to stay safe over time.

Use Your Privilege. Allies have the unique ability to speak up and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community because of their privilege. Click here to read the recent post – Action Items for Allies: See Something, Say Something.

Educate yourself, educate others. There is often an undue burden on LGBTQ+ community members to educate allies and people outside of the community. Allies can help lift the burden by educating themselves and helping to educate others. To learn about self education, read the recent post – Action Items for Allies: Check Your Biases

We’ll hope you’ll join us in October for the next community forum: It’s Ok to Not Be Ok, where we will be discussing how to get to healthier place for our LGBTQ+ community.


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