April 18th is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  Seattle non-profit OUT for Sustainability (Facebook page) invites LGBTQ and Allies to celebrate the day with their second annual “EARTH GAY” event on Sunday April 18th.  Service projects take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m., and an after party for the whole community at Havana, on Capitol Hill, featuring DJ Lady Jane. The After party begins at 5:00 p.m., and is free for service project volunteers; or a $5.00 donation to get in.  An after party for the under 21 crowd and friends will be held across the street from Havana.  Those details forthcoming.

“Earth Gay is an opportunity to raise the visibility of the importance of environmentalism in the LGBT community,” said Gerod Rody, Executive Director of OUT for Sustainability. “Earth gay is also an opportunity for the environmental community to see the leadership and commitment to environmentalism that comes the LGBT community but often goes unrecognized. In future years we hope to expand Earth Gay statewide. We think the sites we have chosen help reflect the diversity of both the environmental and LGBT community. When we think of Earth Day and Earth Gay we must think of conservation of wilderness areas, fighting environmental racism, clean water, air, soil and homes and reducing the scarring of the  the earth and its resources so that future generations my enjoy it.”

April 18th Service Projects:

  • Urban Farming with Alley Cat Acres on Beacon Hill. “This collective takes unused land and grows food to donate to local charities. We’ll be helping them build a fence or whatever else they need on their first plot. Future partnership with Alley Cats is likely and this is a great chance to build relationships with them.”
  • Neighborhood Cleanup with ECOSS in South Park. “This human habitat restoration is co-presented by the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, the South Park Action Agenda and many more. This is a great chance to show that the LGBTQ community is engaged with all our neighbors in caring for our communities and our environment.”
  • Garden Planting with Kenyon House in Rainier Valley. “This LEED Platinum apartment home initiated by AIDS Housing of Washington is a vital part of our community.”
  • Habitat Restoration with the Nature Consortium in West Seattle. “The Pigeon Point Park will be the target of such activities as removing invasive species and potentially planting. Together we’ll take a big step forward at restoring Seattle’s largest urban forest, a vital part of our cities ecosystem.”

    I’ll be out there on the 18th too, and am thrilled to have a way to integrate my gay and environmentalist selves in a project where both of those identities are valued and recognized.  Seattle’s Mayor Mike McGinn said it well:

    I’m inspired that in Seattle, on this 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, we have a group of people working well beyond their own issues, forming lasting partnerships that strengthen our city, and stepping up to the challenge of being stewards of our shared environment.

    For folks not in Seattle or Washington, OUT for Sustainability wants to form chapters wherever interested parties are found.  In Seattle, OUT for Sustainability is partnering with numerous  local organizations and businesses committed to both the environment and diversity: Equal Rights Washington, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle and the Greater Seattle Business Association, Pride Foundation, Climate Solutions, The Boeing Company, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Fuge.org, GrowFood.org, and the South Park Action Agenda.  Contact OUT for Sustainability if you want to find out how to create similar partnerships in your area.  Full press release below the fold.

    NEWS RELEASE NEWS RELEASE NEWS RELEASE

    Green meets gay on Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Contact Gerod Rody, Executive Director

    206-295-4734

    gerod@outforsustainability.org

    SEATTLE (March 25, 2010) — Local non-profit OUT for Sustainability celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, with the organization’s second annual, “EARTH GAY” event on Sunday April 18th.

    In partnership with Equal Rights Washington (ERW), the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) and the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), OUT for Sustainability’s EARTH GAY includes an afternoon of service projects throughout the Seattle area, concluding with an evening celebration of the environment for the whole community, hosted by Havana.

    Partnership is at the core of EARTH GAY this year, as local organizations and businesses commit to both the environment and diversity. Sponsors include Seattle Works and the Pride Foundation. And in in addition to ERW, ECOSS and GSBA, other participants include Climate Solutions, The Boeing Company, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Fuge.org, GrowFood.org, and the South Park Action Agenda.

    EARTH GAY is Sunday, April 18, with service projects taking place from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m., and an after party for the whole community at Havana, on Capitol Hill, featuring DJ Lady Jane. The After party begins at 5:00 p.m., and is free for service project volunteers; or a $5.00 donation to get in.

    Refreshments will be provided to service project volunteers, including Organic donuts from Mighty-O, coffee from Café Vita and juice from PCC Natural Markets. A limited edition t-shirt with the slogan “Nature is so Gay” will be launched at the event by Choke Shirt Company, with $12 of each $22 shirt going to fund OUT for Sustainability.

    Service Projects:

    · Urban Farming with Alley Cat Acres on Beacon Hill.

    · Neighborhood Cleanup with ECOSS in South Park.

    · Garden Planting with Kenyon House in Rainier Valley.

    · Habitat Restoration with the Nature Consortium in West Seattle.

    For more information and to register for events visit outforsustainability.org

    “Earth Gay is an opportunity to raise the visibility of the importance of environmentalism in the LGBT community,” said Gerod Rody, Executive Director of OUT for Sustainability. “Earth gay is also an opportunity for the environmental community to see the leadership and commitment to environmentalism that comes the LGBT community but often goes unrecognized. In future years we hope to expand Earth Gay statewide. We think the sites we have chosen help reflect the diversity of both the environmental and LGBT community. When we think of Earth Day and Earth Gay we must think of conservation of wilderness areas, fighting environmental racism, clean water, air, soil and homes and reducing the scarring of the  the earth and its resources so that future generations my enjoy it.”  

    Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn had this to say.”Integrating environmental action and social justice is critical for Seattle’s future. OUT for Sustainability’s success with Earth Gay in engaging the gay community with the environmental movement exemplifies the much-needed cooperation between our city’s social and environmental groups. I’m inspired that in Seattle, on this 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, we have a group of people working well beyond their own issues, forming lasting partnerships that strengthen our city, and stepping up to the challenge of being stewards of our shared environment.”

    “I think Earth Gay is a beautiful concept,” said Josh Friedes, Executive Director of Equal Rights Washington. “The LGBT civil rights movement and the environmental movement have very different missions and yet underlying them are very similar values. Earth Gay gives us an opportunity for our missions to intersect. “In the final analysis,” said Friedes, “the LGBT community will not be able to secure full equality without the support of those who identify themselves as environmentalists and we will not have a healthy sustainable environment in Washington State unless the LGBT and other minority communities fully embrace environmentalism, conservation and sustainability.”

    Louise Chernin Executive Director of the GSBA said, “Many of the individuals and businesses that comprise the GSBA are dedicated to both LGBT civil rights and sustainability. Earth Gay is a wonderful opportunity for LGBT business people and businesses to show our values. In achieving both civil rights and sustainability professionals and the businesses that make up our membership have a great deal to contribute. We are talking to ERW and Out for Sustainability about how small business can help these two causes in a synergistic way.”

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    About OUT for Sustainability

    OUT for Sustainability has been engaging and mobilizing the LGBTQ community to advance social and environmental sustainability since January of 2009. OUT for Sustainability is the leading, and possibly only nonprofit in the country uniting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community with sustainability. Through events and education, OUT for Sustainability engages members of the LGBTQ community to become change-makers on social and environmental issues. Through various programs, consulting and advocacy, OUT for Sustainability moves the LGBTQ community to integrate social and environmental values into individual lives, local communities and our shared world. OUT for Sustainability believes that the LGBTQ community can become a leader in strengthening our human and natural ecosystem to thrive. For more information about OUT for Sustainability, go to outforsustainability.org or email info@outforsustainability.org