This is a joint blog post by DPLAFest attendees Benjamin Armintor and Christina Harlow, and DPLA staff members Mark Matienzo and Tom Johnson.
After the passage of SEA 101 (the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act), many scheduled attendees of DPLAFest were conflicted about its location in Indianapolis. Emily Gore, DPLA Director for Content, captured both this conflict and the opportunity the location provides when she wrote:
We should want to support our hosts and the businesses in Indianapolis who are standing up against this law… At DPLAfest, we will also have visible ways to show that we are against this kind of discrimination, including enshrining our values in our Code of Conduct. We encourage you to use this as an opportunity to let your voice and your dollars speak.
As DPLAFest attendees, patronizing businesses identifying themselves with Open for Service is an important start, but some of us wanted to do more. During our visit to Indianapolis, we are donating money to local charities supporting the communities and values that SEA 101 threatens.
One such local charity is the Indiana Youth Group (IYG). The IYG “provides safe places and confidential environments where self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth are empowered through programs, support services, social and leadership opportunities and community service. IYG advocates on their behalf in schools, in the community and through family support services.” IYG was written up as a direct-action donation option in the New Civil Rights Movement, and they provide services and support in parts of the state with a more hostile legal environment than Indianapolis.
This kind of local, direct action effort needs our support in Indiana right now. If you can, please consider donating to the Indiana Youth Group while in Indiana for DPLAFest. There is an existing GoFundMe campaign that IYG recommended linked below. If you choose to donate via GoFundMe, please consider tagging your donation with #DPLAFest so that we can communicate the goodwill of DPLAFest attendees as a group to the charity. The GoFundMe campaign sends money directly to IYG regardless of fundraising goals.
GoFundMe for Indiana Youth Group: http://www.gofundme.com/qpkabg
You can also donate via PayPal through IYG's website. If you choose to donate through PayPal, please consider mentioning DPLAFest in the related forms on IYG site. IYG has offered to collate those responses with donations to again communicate the positive support DPLAFest attendees give to the charity and to LGBTQ youth in the state of Indiana.
Thank you for considering joining us and other DPLAFest attendees in supporting LGBTQ communities in Indiana. We look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis.