Forty years ago, the world looked remarkably different for LGBTQ people. Our community was on the brink of the AIDS crisis -- an epidemic that would wipe out a generation of leaders, creators, thinkers and innovators, many of them in the prime of their lives. Rights and protections for LGBTQ folks were nonexistent. People of color had barely achieved equal legal recognition under the eyes of the law.
In 1979, seven individuals with varying backgrounds came together to form the North Carolina Human Rights Fund with the goal of creating a more just and equitable world for folks facing threats to life and safety from their government and communities. The organization’s primary focus was to offer legal services to LGBTQ folks being prosecuted under the Crimes Against Nature Law.
It was a remarkably bold and brave move and today’s world looks radically different for many members of the LGBTQ community, at least in part due to the work of these seven founders. The group also worked to foster local organizations across the state, and help fund the first NC Pride marches. In the late eighties, the focus shifted to providing education on lesbian and gay issues. The North Carolina Human Rights Fund went on to become today what we call Equality NC Foundation.
Separately, in 1990 a group of folks founded the NC Pride PAC in the wake of LGBTQ mobilization surrounding the 1990 Jesse Helms-Harvey Gantt Race for U.S. Senate. This Political Action Committee sought to use that energy to affect change at the state level. Since then, the group has been active in state legislative races and other races of statewide importance.
In 2002, the Board agreed that it was time to form a parent organization to link the PAC and the Foundation, and to manage the group's growing lobbying and advocacy work. This organization is Equality North Carolina as you know it today, and we couldn’t be prouder of the work of countless activists, organizers and community leaders over the years who brought this incarnation of ENC into fruition.
WHO WE ARE
Committed to Making a Difference
At YBLA, we identify, educate and develop young black leaders to have a positive impact in their community and beyond. We focus on helping our young people become leaders that are college and career ready. Our young leaders are trained to reach back and mentor elementary, middle and high school students as they achieve. We achieve this through Leadership, Service and Education.
Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
At YBLA, we strive to create a workplace that reflects the communities we serve and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. We value our people and the differences they bring in diversity of thought, culture, age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability and experience. We are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace where everyone, from any background, can do their best work.
Leadership Today and Tomorrow
Many people say that young people are our future leaders. We believe that we cannot afford to wait for them to be future leaders but we must develop them to be leaders Today and Tomorrow. Our unique hands-on Leadership Development programs help young people and their parents:
Engage in transformational experiences
Broaden the mind through experience based, interactive learning
Reach back to help others reach their potential
Become college and career ready
Become part of a community of like-minded, success-focused individuals
We Build Leaders through Education, Experience and Exposure.
A Story of Compassion and Stewardship in North Carolina
“Basic human kindness and decency—that is something we all deserve.” For Stacey Buckner, the idea of helping our homeless Veterans is one she feels passionately about.
Bikes for Kids Foundation’s program begins with 3rd grade Title 1 children (living in families with incomes below the poverty level) – our most at-risk children. Third and fourth grade are pivotal years in school. Children are beginning to think and reason on their own. Some will embrace opportunity and hope, breaking through the cycle of poverty; others will unconsciously conclude that poverty is their destiny. These are our most vulnerable children for being left behind in society and alarmingly encompass over 58% of children in America.
Through a bike reward program, a partnership with the school system and 2 years of classroom study, we inspire third and fourth grade Title 1 students to plan now for post high school education. Utilizing 3 character-building books and required essays, we deliver hope for BIG dreams that build clarity, confidence, responsibility, kindness and determination. It is our goal to overcome poverty and entitlement with the lesson, “Nothing is given, everything is earned.”
Bikes for Kids Fo