Native American Women Making an Impact
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Three Native American Women pictured that are making an impact

Harjo Lauded as First Native American Poet Laureate
Joy Harjo was appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to serve as the 23rd Poet Laureate in 2019. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position–she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation–and is the author of eight books of poetry, including “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings,” “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” and “In Mad Love and War.”

Joy Harjo, Native American Poet Laureate, pictured top left.

Source: nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

First Native American Delivers Invocation on the House Floor
Isleta Pueblo Chief Justice Verna Teller made history in Congress on November 13, 2019 by being the first Native American woman to deliver the opening prayer on the U.S. House floor. New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland invited Verna Teller to lead the prayer in honor of Native American Heritage Month. But Teller has been breaking barriers long before her historic delivery in the House. “She broke barriers when she was elected as the first woman Pueblo governor,” said Rep. Haaland in the moments before Teller led the prayer. “Because of the history of colonization, many Pueblos generally don’t allow woman to hold leadership positions.”

Chief Justice Verna Teller, pictured top right, on the left.

Source: haaland.house.gov

First Indigenous Woman-Owned Airline Debuts in Canada
Teara Fraser, is the CEO and creator of Canada’s first Indigenous woman-owned airline. The name was chosen as an act of reclamation of womanhood, matriarchal leadership, and language. Iskwew Air–which is a Cree word for “woman”–provides scheduled and charter service to remote communities across the province in an effort to boost accessibility and Indigenous tourism. “Iskwew Air is for everyone…we support, encourage and champion all women, all those identifying as women, but also all of those who are supporting women,” said Fraser, who was named one of Women’s Executive Network Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2019.

Teara Fraser, CEO and creator of Canada’s first Indigenous woman-owned airline, pictured at bottom.

As of 2019, Native American/Alaska Native women-owned businesses:
• Numbered 180,300 or 1.4% of all women-owned businesses.
• Have grown at an annual rate for the past year of 6% compared to 4.7% annual growth between 2014 and 2019.
• Earned average revenue per firm of $68,500 vs. $142,900 among all women-owned businesses.

While the number of women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, firms owned by Native American/Alaska Native women (26%) businesses grew more slowly than for women of color in general but faster than women-owned businesses and businesses overall.

Source: americanexpress.com

Despite the Census’ Sensitive Questions, Here’s Why LGBTQ+ People Should Still Fill it Out
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A person taking the census,holding thier smarphone with a painted pride flag drawn on their wrist

For many people in the LGBTQ+ community, the gender question, asked in every type of official form, can be an unpleasant experience. Those who identify as non-binary, genderfluid, or a gender that isn’t simply “male” or “female” can find this question daunting, as it forces them to identify themselves in a category in which they feel neither apply.

For the 2020 Census, the only options to choose from are “Male” and “Female,” with no write-in third option or even a box that says, “Other.” This has led many people in the LGBTQ+ community to not feel properly represented and discourages them from filling out the census altogether. For the next census, set to go out in 2030, the goal is to include the LGBTQ+ community in a much more effective way.

However, even though the gender question has been deemed as undesirable, it is still imperative that LGBTQ+ people fill out this year’s census, as it does more than just count the population.

The results of the Census determine how much money will go into federal funding for state programs. For every person who is not included in the Census, an estimated $2000 is lost to programs that exist to serve some of the biggest needs in the LGBTQ+ community. In 2015, $175 million in funding from the Census was distributed to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, while another $383 billion went to food stamps and Medicaid.

According to the Center for American Progress, people in the LGBTQ+ community were found to be more likely to depend on these programs, specifically food stamps, than those who did not identify as LGBTQ+.

Though many believe that the questions on the Census should be more inclusive to the lives of LGBTQ+ people and the advocacy for these issues is still going strong, filling out the Census information will contribute a little more money to the government programs that will be helping the community for the next decade.

See the Best Cities to Live In for LGBTQ+ People
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A girl jumping in the air in a field, holding a LGBT pride flag

Whether it’s time to start a new career opportunity, find a place to retire, or change up your current environment, finding the right place to move to can be difficult. For LGBTQ+ people, this can be especially difficult, as there are still many areas that are not as progressive and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community as others.

Many of the big cities that are known to embrace the community, such as San Francisco and New York City, are great options, but are not at the pace that all people are looking for when it comes to settling down. Here is a list some of the best progressive and LGBTQ+ cities to live in, which you may not have considered yet.

Portland, Oregon

Gaining recent popularity, Portland has fast become a place of diversity and culture. The city is known for its great weather, growing college community, hipster businesses and the delight of having no state income tax. But most importantly, Oregon was voted as one of the United States’ most LGBTQ+ friendly cities by the Human Rights Campaign, achieving low rates of hate crimes and discrimination and high rates of safety, acceptance and relationship recognition.

Orlando, Florida

Not only is Orlando the home to a tremendous amount of activities, mainly being a tourist town, but has become the home to many progressive neighborhoods and a well-established gay community. The town maintains the same level of “things to do” as bigger cities, but also has low taxes and has a lower cost of living, making it a more intriguing place to settle.

Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington is an especially unique city for the LGBTQ+ community. Being a more relaxed town, Bloomington has many recreational opportunities from exploring Brown County State Park in the beautiful Indiana weather to engaging with the cultural life created by the presence of Bloomington’s Indiana University. Best of all, Bloomington received a perfect score on Municipal Equality Index, meaning that they have some of the most inclusive policies and laws for LGBTQ+ people.

Yellow Springs, Ohio

Yellow Springs is another progressive, nature driven town, known for its progressive behavior since the 1960s. Although it is a small town, Yellow Springs has an intriguing downtown area where visitors can come enjoy an array of artistic galleries and publicly supportive of the LGBTQ+ shops. This is also the perfect destination for people who cold weather, as Ohio is known to get into low temperatures and receive quite a bit of snow.

Moab, Utah

Though small in size, Moab has served as one of the most supportive and engaging LGBTQ+ communities in recent years. Moab has its own Pride Parade, Visibility March, and Gay Adventure Week, all of which are quite popular among the town’s 5000-person population. The little town is more of an isolated destination about over 200 miles from Salt Lake City, but it is an outdoor lover’s paradise as it is close to the natural park and ideal for white water rafting.

See which City is Doing the Most to Stop Discrimination Against the LGBTQ+ Community
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A hand holding a rainbrow striped heart in front of the LGBT pride flag

In Early May, the Village of Gambier, in Knox County, Ohio, made history when they passed their county’s first ever LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation. The village’s council met the night of May 4 via a Zoom Call and passed the law unanimously.

The legislation was passed specifically with the LGBTQ+ community in mind, including people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities to be included in protections from workplace, housing, and public commodity discrimination. The law will be put into effect immediately, with the hopes of not only better protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community in the Village of Gambier but to also encourage the passing of the Ohio Fairness Act.

The Ohio Fairness Act is essentially a much wider spread version of what Gambier passed earlier this month. The Act is set to include the LGBTQ+ community in discrimination protection in the same areas. Though the Ohio Fairness Act has been widely supported by many local fronts, it has yet to pass through the House and the Senate.

In an effort to further push the bill into becoming a law, Gambier’s mayor, Leeman Kessler stated that he wished to join arms with other local communities working to protect LGBTQ+ communities. He believes that as more and more businesses stand together in protecting the LGBTQ+ community, the more it will encourage others to do the same, including those passing the Ohio Fairness Act.

“It puts these protections in place explicitly,” Kessler stated of the new local law, “so folks aren’t left in a legal gray area.”

LA Pride Festival Cancels In-Person Celebration, Will Go Digital
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LA-pride-2019

On its 50th anniversary, the iconic Los Angeles Pride Festival and Parade, which normally draw hundreds of thousands of people to West Hollywood in June, will be going digital because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers recently announced that the festival will instead be held virtually on several digital platforms over a period of months and spanning into 2021.

Back in mid-March, Christopher Street West – the nonprofit group in charge of putting on the festival, announced that it would be postponed. However, it was confirmed that the festival has been canceled the in-person celebrations, and will instead return in 2021.

“Due to the evolving effects surrounding COVID-19, CSW has made the responsible decision to forgo in-person LA Pride celebrations for the remainder of the year,” the group said in a statement. “The organization will instead re-imagine how it will celebrate its 50th anniversary through new and exciting initiatives hosted on its digital platforms, with the hope of returning to a physical celebration in 2021. More details will be announced soon on how Los Angeles will celebrate its 50th Anniversary through exciting digital initiatives.”

The three-day festival is one of the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the nation.

CSW said it would roll out its digital initiatives in the coming months.

Continue on to CBS Los Angeles to read the complete article.

HNM BLM

 
*Please be sure to check event websites for latest updates on postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions.