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Celebrating Pride Month: Honoring the Achievements of Our LGBTQ+ Partners

Pride may be one month, but their sacrifices and courage are year-round commitments.

June 18, 2024

As we celebrate Pride Month, we honor the incredible work of our partners dedicated to defending the rights and supporting the well-being of LGBTQ+ communities. This month, we highlight  three exceptional organizations: the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), Queer Svit, and Pink Haven Coalition. These organizations have made significant strides in advocating justice and providing essential support to LGBTQ+ individuals in challenging circumstances.

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)

Located in the heart of New York City, the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) assists immigrants in building lives outside of detention, breaking down barriers, and keeping queer families intact. Through their post-release support, detention center visitation, direct services, and community organizing, QDEP has made a tangible impact on the lives of many.

Key Achievements:

  • Leadership in the #FreeThemAll Campaign: QDEP has been at the forefront of the New York/New Jersey AbolishICE coalition, advocating for the release of all immigrants from detention centers and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the carceral state. Their leadership has empowered participants to gain skills in organizing rallies, campaigns, and workshops.
  • Leadership Development Program: QDEP’s Leadership Development Program for Transgender Women, Cis-gender Queer Women, and Gender Non-Conforming Immigrants provides monthly workshops on political education, policy reform, campaign strategies, direct action, and leadership development. Participants gain leadership skills by designing activities, managing groups, and planning events, empowering them to lead rallies, political actions, and campaigns.
  • Community Impact: With UUSC’s support since 2017, QDEP continues to be a crucial voice in the migration justice movement, advocating the humane treatment of trans and gender expansive migrants in detention and broadening the immigrant rights movement’s definition of “family.”

Queer Svit

Based in London, Queer Svit is a vital support system for LGBTQ+ individuals fleeing the devastating impacts of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the rise of authoritarianism in Russia and Belarus. Composed of dedicated volunteers, Queer Svit offers financial assistance, housing, transportation, and crucial connections to further resources for those in need.

Key Achievements:

  • Extensive Outreach: Queer Svit has helped over 1,030 individuals, including 150 ethnic minority people and 400 transgender and gender expansive individuals by providing essential services such as official document updates and legal support.
  • Lifesaving Interventions: The organization saved three individuals from deportation under Russia’s “LGBT propaganda” laws and supported the family of a Gabonese student killed in a racist attack.
  • Global Advocacy: Queer Svit has participated in various conferences, from African Pride in London to a European Parliament conference, and held events at institutions like Oxford University to raise awareness about the challenges faced by queer and non-white people in Ukraine.

Queer Svit’s efforts have had a profound impact on the lives of many, providing hope and a path to rebuilding for those facing persecution and displacement. Their work in navigating restrictive systems and supporting marginalized communities is a testament to their dedication and resilience.

Pink Haven Coalition

The Pink Haven Coalition emerged in response to the rising tide of anti-transgender legislation sweeping the United States. With 38 states currently enforcing such laws and hundreds of thousands of trans people displaced, Pink Haven provides crucial support for trans individuals and their families. This coalition, composed of trans activists, progressive faith organizations, and mutual aid groups, works tirelessly to create networks of safety and direct support.

Key Achievements:

  • Relocation Assistance: Pink Haven has helped numerous trans individuals relocate to safer states, ensuring they have access to essential healthcare and support services.
  • Advocacy and Awareness: By partnering with UUSC, Pink Haven has amplified the voices of trans and gender-expansive people, advocating for their rights and highlighting the injustices they face.
  • Community Building: The coalition fosters a sense of community and solidarity among trans individuals, providing a safe haven and support network for those affected by discriminatory legislation.

As we celebrate Pride Month, we are inspired by the resilience and achievements of QDEP, Queer Svit, and Pink Haven. Their unwavering dedication to justice and equality exemplifies the spirit of Pride. We are proud to be in solidarity with them and support their vital work in creating a more just and inclusive world for all.

Donating to UUSC’s Annual Fund helps the institution partner with and resource civil society organizations doing the critical work of protecting members of the LGBTQ+ community, and myriad other communities facing oppression. Consider donating today! 

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