Fair Wisconsin and Equality Wisconsin announce merger

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Fair Wisconsin, the LGBT advocacy organization headquartered in Madison, and Equality Wisconsin, the LGBT advocacy group in Milwaukee, have announced their merger.

In recent months, the two organizations have been participating jointly in projects and events with great success. The ability to leverage resources more efficiently and increase effectiveness by working together on strategy led to the merger decision.

Below is a message from Fair Wisconsin Inc. board chair Jason Rae and Fair Wisconsin Education Fund board chair Shannon Anderson announcing the merger:

Exciting things are happening for fairness and equality in Wisconsin!

We are writing to you about an exciting development with Fair Wisconsin and Equality Wisconsin, our statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) education and advocacy organizations.

In our efforts to ensure that we are effectively serving the LGBT community, over the past several months our two organizations have participated in a facilitated conversation about how best to collaborate and unify our education and advocacy programs.

We have held joint events in the community and worked hand in hand on both new and established programs, from bringing Lt. Dan Choi to Wisconsin to our participation in Milwaukee PrideFest to advancing domestic partner benefits in communities across the state. Because, together we are stronger.

Through this process, our Boards have concluded that formally merging our organizations is the best path toward creating a more unified, stable and successful LGBT equality movement. That is why just today we elected seven members of the Equality Wisconsin Boards to the Fair Wisconsin Boards of Directors, formally recognizing our merged and unified organizations.

Your engagement in this process is critical. On July 10, Equality Wisconsin and Fair Wisconsin will hold a joint community briefing on the importance of this merger, presenting the new structure and leadership and to highlight our unified programs to organizational members, stakeholders, donors and community leaders.

The joint briefing on July 10 will be held at 6pm at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, located at 1110 N. Market Street, #2, Milwaukee, WI.

The board, leadership and staff of Fair Wisconsin and Equality Wisconsin are extremely supportive and enthusiastic about our collaboration. This merger was born through careful and thoughtful consideration of how best to continue serving the LGBT community in Wisconsin through education and advocacy, in order to advance, achieve and protect LGBT equality for all.

As we move forward, we will begin using a new logo that represents the unification of our organizations, which you can see below.

Read Fair Wisconsin Inc.’s updated vision, issues and values statement and check out our newly elected board leadership.

Fair Wisconsin Executive Director Katie Belanger will be continuing her service as the President & CEO of the new, merged Fair Wisconsin. Equality Wisconsin Executive Director Jason Burns will be leaving our organizations to take a position with Congressman Mark Pocan’s political office beginning July 1, and we would like to thank him for his 18 months of dedicated service at Equality Wisconsin.

Additionally, we want to thank you, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and our allies in Wisconsin. It is your support, as donors and volunteers, which have made this all possible. We hope and trust you will continue to be active members of our new merged organization for many years to come.

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