Equal Action is an anti-racist, multigenerational organization that mobilizes the LGBTQ community to join the fight for social justice. Equal Action was created in 2008 when its founders recognized that, although youth and people of color were active in the anti-Prop 8 actions of the time, they were not in positions of leadership nor were their concerns being prioritized within a largely well-to-do, white, cisgendered, male-dominated, adult-centered gay rights movement. In March of 2009, Equal Action held LA’s first queer high school youth march, named “Youth Today: Walking for Equality” by its team of 15 youth organizers, most of whom identified as queer and/or of color. 350 youth, adult allies, and community partners marched through the streets of Chinatown and ended with a rally at LA City Hall, calling for an end to bullying, homophobia, homelessness, and suicide.
After these historical events occurred, Equal Action branched out to engage LGBTQ youth in other types of projects. Launched in July 2009, OUTspoken Sessions is a bimonthly open mic event that continues to provide a safe space for LGBTQ youth and adult allies to creatively express themselves and dialogue about social issues. In 2011, Equal Action conducted Insight to Fight, a political empowerment program that trained approximately 12 queer youth on community organizing and helped them develop a queer political identity. Equal Action has also supported CLEAN Carwash Campaign’s boycotts against abusive employers with its Pride on the Picketlines, May Day marches for immigrant and worker rights, and numerous actions for the rights of queer youth, queer people of color, and mothers.
Equal Action has since shifted its focus to advancing our oppressed communities’ rights to economic and environmental justice. We are steadily working towards the creation of a cooperative space in which queer folks, people of color, and youth can become worker-owners and contribute to a system of mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit. There, we hope to develop a network of cooperative projects with the infrastructure and support to realize collectivist business ideas that creatively meet the needs and enhance the well-being of our communities. We are very excited to get our test business, the Los Angeles Worm Farm Collective, off the ground. Please stay tuned as we embark on our new journey.