Equality Springfield seeking new members

A local social advocacy group will be mixing things up in more ways than one this new year.

Equality Springfield, a non-profit group that promotes the fair treatment of local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members, is kicking off 2022 with a New Member Mixer from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, at the Springfield Museum of Art.

“The upcoming event is an active recruiting event,” says Kyle Scott, an active member of the organization. “It will be a nice mixer. Your first cocktail will be on us, we’ll have light bites, and free admission to the galleries.”

The event is open to anyone in the local LGBTQIA+ community and allies, Scott says.

While the group hopes the mixer serves as a springboard to garner new members who are interested in volunteering to support events throughout the year, Scott says there’s no commitment for attendees.

“It is a very safe space. People can come and learn about the organization and what we do,” he says. “We are looking to gain members and volunteers, but there’s absolutely zero commitment by coming to the event. It will also be a really great opportunity for networking.”

Equality Springfield was organized about 12 years ago, Scott says.

“I think we were integral in getting the non-discrimination orders passed within the city,” he says. “And being about to put on event like this to bring people together – I think it’s really important for smaller communities to have these kinds of outlets. It’s great that there are LGBTQIA groups in larger cities like Columbus and Dayton, but it’s really important to provide this kind of support system within our own towns, too.”

Throughout the year, Equality Springfield hosts a variety of annual events, including their largest event of the year, Pride, and a Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“It’s a vigil to honor those we’ve lost to anti-trans violence throughout the year,” Scott says.

For 2022, he says the organization will be ramping up efforts for education and outreach and will be looking to partner with other groups and organizations to provide even more connections and opportunities here in Springfield.

“We really want to look at developing more programs that are beneficial to our members,” he says.

For more information about the organization and events, visit the Equality Springfield Facebook page.

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.