Look out, Waxahachie, here come the Equality Riders! Soulforce’s annual gay rights bus tour to conservative college campuses is a go. Read the update from Katie Higgins, co-director of this year’s Equality Ride, after the jump.
We Made It — The Equality Ride Will Roll Out
Your Ongoing Support Will Be Crucial as 18 Riders
Travel to 15 Schools Over The Course of 7 Weeks
Today Soulforce came together and lifted the Equality Ride up like never before. As one of the many people who has been working on this Equality Ride day and night, I cannot tell you how scary it was to wake up one morning and realize that it may all be gone by day’s end. But YOU stood up and did not let this inspiring chance to empower young adults slip away.
I am 26 years old and can say that these are the most uncertain times that I have ever lived through. I don’t use the word “scary” because I have been in scarier places. I was in a scary place while sitting in a jail cell during last year’s Equality Ride after being told by Mississippi College and the City of Clinton that our “special needs” were not of their concern. And I find myself in an even scarier place every time I step onto a campus where students have to hide behind emails and anonymous phone calls just to let us know that they are there and watching us. We may not talk to every LGBT student out there, but every single one of them sees us and in turn sees you, our supporters.
You have entrusted the 2008 Equality Riders with an awesome responsibility that we do not take lightly. The frustrating part of it all is that the overwhelming support that you shared today will carry us far — but not the entire way.
We are at a time where many folks of the justice seeking community are choosing to focus their energy on political progress. Soulforce, however, is still committed to changing hearts and minds, even within communities of faith. We know this is vital for our survival and future.
As we head to the South, I am returning home and am proud to do it with dignity and determination. We promise to keep in touch with you as the Equality Ride moves forward and we hope you continue to follow and support our journey.