Leaders of several South Florida organizations, along with Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Dean Trantalis, have formed a task force to plan The Equality Rally For Unity & Pride – Fort Lauderdale in solidarity with the national “Equality March for Unity & Pride” taking place in Washington, DC. It will include a remembrance of the June 12th 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre and the victims killed there. The South Florida event will take place on Sunday, June 11th from 4 until 6 pm at Huizenga Plaza, One East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Organizers of The Equality Rally for Unity & Pride initially convened to plan a memorial event for the one-year mark of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando last year, but it grew to include the themes of inclusivity, diversity, pride and equality. Organizers stress that this is a non-partisan event, focusing not on what we oppose, but standing up for the values we share.
“The purpose is to have a peaceful and effective way for people to unite, express and celebrate the different intertwining causes and cultures here in South Florida,” said Anthony Cedeño, a member of the task force.
Community organizers and activists representing social justice and cultural organizations, including LGBTQ issues have come together from throughout Broward County to produce the rally. Keeping the sentiment of the rally, the task force is inviting representatives from organizations, agencies, unions and individuals to widen the scope of communities gathered at the Equality Rally for Unity and Pride.
The Equality Rally for Unity and Pride will include remarks by community leaders, as well as musical performances. The following are confirmed to participate: US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; State Rep. Bobby DuBose; Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis; Transgender Rights Advocate Jeanette Jennings, mother of Jazz Jennings; Pulse survivor Isaiah Henderson; American Muslim activist, Ghazala Salam; and a representative from ACLU – Florida.
Michaela Paige from The Voice and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida and DJ Alex Ferbeyre are donating their time and talents to ensure a varied and enjoyable event.
“People are energized and becoming more involved than ever before,” said Row Iliescu, South Florida development director for Equality Florida, “but often working in isolation from other groups. We expect that by bringing the community together, people will see the extent to which we are allied, learn how much work is being done to promote our common values, and learn how to become even more engaged,” she added.
In order to defray costs, and ensure a safe and fun event, a GoFundMe page has been set up and donations are welcomed at https://www.gofundme.com/EqualityRallyFTL. Additional information and updates on the next community meeting are available on the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/116491132221022/