Freedom for All Americans Launches LGBT-U: First of Its Kind Apprenticeship Program to Win Non-Discrimination CampaignsBy Megan Clayton • September 29, 2015 • 5:38 pm
On Monday, the first cohort of LGBT-University (LGBT-U) apprentices met in Phoenix, Arizona to kick-off Day 1 of training. The goal of the weeklong apprenticeship, according to Freedom for All Americans Campaign Manager, Matt McTighe: “Winning non-discrimination protections for all Americans.”
All last week, the 16-person group received intensive sessions in skills training, including lobbying, public speaking, coalition building, transgender-specific work, fundraising and more skills that are critical to running successful campaigns.
This curriculum was just the beginning of a year-long program that will ultimately connect apprentices with regional campaigns working to win non-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals.
The program was designed by veterans of the nationwide campaign to win marriage equality with an aim of training the “next generation of movement leaders.” Katie Belanger, Freedom for All Americans’ LGBT-U Director and former president of Fair Wisconsin told the Huffington Post:
We’ve developed the kind of training that, as a former executive director of a state group, I wish I had gotten when starting this work.
Ultimately, one of the major hurdles to passing comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination laws is “combatting a misunderstanding” that these laws already exist.
Take a look at some tweets from the #LGBTU apprentices and team members from last week:
— Allison VanKuiken (@paigethomas1980) September 23, 2015
— Katie Belanger (@katiebelanger) September 24, 2015