09 November 2010

Honor Servicewomen This Veterans Day: Stand with SWAN

This coming Thursday (Nov. 11th) is Veterans Day, and if you're in New York, Ms. Foundation grantee Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) is sponsoring a number of events you may want to attend.
  • On Thursday morning, representatives from SWAN will be marching for the first time in the New York City Veterans Parade -- and they're encouraging women veterans and their supporters to march with them. They'll be marching to honor the contributions of all servicewomen, but particularly those who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma -- including PFC LaVena Johnson, who was raped, brutally beaten and murdered while deployed in Iraq.

    The group also hopes that their presence will help bring further attention to the plight of LGBT servicemembers and the discrimination they continue to experience as a result of policies like Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

    To learn more about how you can stand with SWAN in this year's Veterans Day Parade, please call 212.683-0015, ext. 324 or email kalima@servicewomen.org.

  • On Thursday evening, SWAN will serve as the co-sponsor of an important discussion about the military's treatment of LGBT servicemembers.

    “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Where Are We, And How Did We Get Here?”
    will feature commentary from Richard Socarides, former White House Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to President Bill Clinton, who will be joined in conversation with columnist Jonathan Capehart, author Nathaniel Frank and Winnie Stachelberg, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress.

    The event begins at 7pm on November 11th, and will take place at the LGBT Center: 208 West 13th Street, NYC. Limited seating is available; register now if you'd like to attend.

    This event is also sponsored by The LGBT Center’s Young Leaders Council, Knights Out, and The Service Member’s Legal Defense Fund.

  • Did you know that Don't Ask, Don't Tell disproportionately impacts women and people of color in the military? "In 2009," according to SWAN, "women made up only 15% of the armed forces, but comprised 39% of total discharges under DADT. In 2008, non-white servicemembers represented 29% of the military, but accounted for 45% of DADT discharges."

    On Monday, November 15th at 6:30pm, SWAN will be providing an opportunity for military veterans of color to share their stories and opinions about DADT and how the policy has impacted their lives. The panel will be moderated by Anu Bhagwati, former US Marine Corps Captain and Executive Director of SWAN, and will take place at the LGBT Center in NYC: 208 West 13th Street, NYC.

    For more information about this unique event that seeks to uplift the voices of those too often silenced, please visit SWAN online.
And for those of you who are photography buffs, renowned photographer Jo Ann Santangelo will be exhibiting her multi-media touring show “Proud to Serve" at The Center, as well. The show -- which runs through January 30, 2011 -- features images of LGBT servicemembers who served their country in silence or were discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Don't miss it!

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