Announcement!The LGBT Asylum Support Task Force is pleased to announce that we have hired an interim executive director to assist the Board with creating a strategic plan, research new funding opportunities, and do outreach on behalf of the Task Force. Polly Laurelchild-Hertig came recommended by Pastor Molly Baskette of First Church Somerville (UCC) where Polly sits on their Mission & Justice committee. A lifelong activist for social justice including LGBT issues, Polly has a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. She was director of program resources (aka fundraising) for Cultural Survival, worked in international marketing and PR for Lotus Development, and has consulted for clients including Harvard University, Fidelity Investments, the American Repertory Theater, and the Boston Fisheries Foundation. Polly would love to hear from you - email her here.
LGBT Asylum seekers need our help!
DonateLearn more by coming to our next monthly volunteer meeting,second Mondays, 6:00pm
at Hadwen Park Church, 6 Clover St., Worcester.
Contact, Pastor Judy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Did You Know...There are laws against homosexuality in
In 72 countries, you could be imprisoned if you are part of the LGBT community?
In 7 of those countries, the punishment is the death penalty?
In some of those countries "corrective rape" is common and sometimes committed by government officials?
Fortunately, There is Help
The LGBT Asylum Support Task Force is a group of dedicated volunteers in Central Massachusetts who provide support those who are seeking political asylum in the U.S. based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. As of October 2014, the Task Force has helped more than 80 individuals.
Asylum seekers are vulnerable and traumatized individuals who have fled to the U.S. in fear of being killed or harmed in their countries of origin due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The violence resulting from homophobia and anti-homosexuality laws in many countries in the world is rampant.
Because most asylum seekers are not permitted to work during their legal process, they do not have the means to support themselves. They often arrive in the U.S. with nothing but the clothes on their backs having used all of their resources getting here. Moreover, they remain particularly isolated because frequently they cannot turn to people from their own country in the U.S. for assistance or support as it is their fellow countrymen from whom they are fleeing.
The volunteers of LGBT Asylum Support Task Force contribute to the financial, housing, social, and spiritual needs of asylum seekers in many ways:
recruiting volunteers to host asylum seekers to live in their homes,
donating clothing, toiletries, and household items,
driving them to appointments, and
providing a safe and supportive social environment.
This is often the first time they have been able to publicly express their sexual orientation and it is incredibly empowering. For many, this is the first time they have been able to witness same sex couples and families living normal everyday lives and it gives them great hope for their futures.
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