An Amazing Gay Rights Leader Puts Florida at the Forefront With Nadine Smith


nadine with obabaAn amazing woman puts Florida at the forefront of the Gay Rights Movement.

Nadine Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida the state’s largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A former award-winning journalist turned organizer, Nadine was one of four national co-chairs of the 1993 March on Washington. She was part of the historic oval office meeting between then-President Clinton -the first such meeting between a sitting President and gay community leaders. She served on the founding board of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization which celebrates 30 years in 2014. She is s a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee and is a board member for Green Florida and served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee.   In 2013, she was named one of the state’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women” by the Florida Diversity Council. She was also given the League of Women Voter’s Woman of Distinction 

Food for Thought & Conversation

  • Nadine shared her chocolate pudding with the girl she fell in love with in elementary school. What is your childhood love story?
  • Nadine comments on the childhood “injury done around race and gender by the people close to you who love you in all sorts of ways but for them this is a blind spot.” Please share your thoughts and/or any similar experience you may have had.
  • In Berlin, when youth were justifiably angry that members of their group had been beaten up for being gay, Nadine tells of her “aha” moment that by hiding or being passive, she was “doing the work of the bigots for them”. Please share your reaction and any experience you may have had related to standing up to bigots.
  • Please share your thoughts about the Gay Rights Movement’s success being in large part due to the fact that members of the LGBT community have come “out” privately and publicly.
  • Telling stories of pain due to discrimination has been more effective for the Gay Rights Movement than quoting statistics according to Nadine.  Please share your thoughts.

Actions

  • Does your school district have an anti-bullying policy that specifically mentions gay and transgendered students?  If not, what can you do to help make that happen?
  • Please share you knowledge and stories of what is happening in your community and state to protect and expand the rights of members of the LBGT community. If you think, more can be done, how can you help make that happen? Equality Florida 
  • Invite friends, colleagues, or community members to view this video with you and host a conversation.

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