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Apr 22, 2014

Equality NC Launches Regional Affiliates

RALEIGH, N.C. – Raleigh-based Equality NC, North Carolina’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization today launched the group’s regional affiliates in Hickory and Wilmington.

Equality NC’s first-ever regional affiliates, Cape Fear Equality (Wilmington) and Equality Foothills (Hickory) will spearhead important local cultural work and civic engagement in the organization’s overall efforts to improve the lives of LGBT communities in eastern and western North Carolina.

“From the mountains to the coast, the citizens of North Carolina consistently prove that they are ready, willing and able to work for the equality for all citizens, including the state’s gay and transgender populations,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC. “Equality NC’s leadership is therefore excited to provide essential training, resources and organizational support to these fast-growing LGBT and allied networks throughout our state as part of community-led affiliates focused on voter engagement, LGBT issue education, and pro-equality work within all regions of North Carolina.”

Equality Foothills Co-Chairs Michelle Mathis and Karen Lowe expressed their enthusiasm for leading the next phase of hyper-local, pro-equality activism from their home base in Hickory, North Carolina.

“I am privileged to be a part of the equality movement in Western NC, promoting education, advocacy, community service and legislative action. My desire is that one day, across our great state, and across our nation, LGBTQ individuals will be viewed not as marginalized , but equal members of our society, enjoying the same rights and privileges as everyone else," said Michelle Mathis. "Until that day, the Foothills Affiliate of Equality NC will be an ever-present voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and a support for those who can.”

Karen Lowe added, “Now again is the time for action, the time to be heard. We cannot, we will not stop until equality for all is a reality. History won’t allow us to be silent.”

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Ryan Lee Burris, Chair of Cape Fear Equality echoed the excitement of the Equality Foothills team, as his own affiliate prepares for important work ahead for the pro-equality community in southeastern North Carolina.

"I'm very excited to be a part of such and enthusiastic group of folks in promoting diversity and advocating for equality for the LGBTQIAA community here in the Cape Fear Region," said Burris. "Through education, political awareness and community service in our area, it is our mission to continue the fight for Equality for all North Carolinians, including geographic communities and marginalized voices often underrepresented in the Tar Heel state."

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Both the Hickory and Wilmington affiliates will be formally introduced to their communities and media on June 6, 2014, preceding local community service projects.

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