The Mahogany Project & The T.R.U.T.H Project

Verniss McFarland and Crystal Townsend of The Mahogany Project, and Kevin Anderson and Jayla Sylvester of The T.R.U.T.H. participated in LEARN Advocacy. LEARN Advocacy is a collaborative learning opportunity of the SUSTAIN Wellbeing COMPASS Coordinating Center at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, in partnership with The Black Futurists Group. Trauma-informed advocacy considers and centers individual, community and historical experiences shaped by trauma within advocacy efforts, and promotes and develops public policy grounded in healing, redemption, and restoration. As a part of their LEARN Advocacy projects, the two organizations collaboratively developed I Am My Sibling’s Keeper (IAMSK), centering trauma-informed advocacy.

The Mahogany Project

According to a new study from LGBT researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, 125,350 adults in Texas (0.66% of the state population) identify as transgender (https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Impact-LGBT-Discrimination-TX-Apr-2017.pdf). As transgender issues have gained increased attention in Texas, trans and non-binary people of color continue to be among the most marginalized groups amongst LGBTQ+ communities. The Mahogany Project and The T.R.U.T.H. Project both recognize the importance of making continued strides to raise awareness of this community and the importance of change by understanding voter suppression, name change, and the census.

The Mahogany Project aims to reduce social isolation, stigma, and acts of injustice in TQLGB+ Communities of Color. The T.R.U.T.H. Project educates and mobilizes LGBTQ+ communities of color and their allies through social arts that promote mental, emotional, and sexual health. Both organizations have created a collaborative titled “I Am My Sibling’s Keeper (IAMSK)” in order to engage with community based organizations and human rights groups to reduce voter suppression targeting transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people by providing focused social media education and discussion. By utilizing Instagram and Facebook, IAMSK launched a seven-week campaign in June, providing informational cards asking the question, “Did You Know?”.

The T.R.U.T.H Project

This campaign is posted weekly on Tuesday and Thursday and provides global reach to both organization’s networks. Averaging over 150 views per post, IAMSK hopes to reach 2000+ by the closing of this campaign. Also, IAMSK will conduct an online virtual experience moderated by Trans/Non-binary individuals to engage those through their lived experiences, storytelling, continued information sharing, and art on July 30, 2020 through both organization’s social media platforms.

We recognize that change can be a challenge, so creating space to raise awareness and affect policy and law begins with knowledge and action. We hope to continue the dialogue and hold the community accountable by placing all in a great awareness position.

To learn more about The T.R.U.T.H. Project visit www.truthprojecthtx.org
To learn more about The Mahogany Project visit www.mymahoganyproject.org

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