Courage Campaign to host Camp Courage on eve of National Equality March in Washington, D.C.

Human rights activist Cleve Jones to help lead Camp Courage training event for more than 350 grassroots activists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Courage Campaign, a California-based organization with more than 700,000 members, announced today that it will host a special Camp Courage training event on Saturday, October 10, in Washington, D.C., before the National Equality March. The March is expected to draw thousands of people from around the country in support of equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.

Camp Courage Washington D.C., the sixth in this popular and highly-regarded series of grassroots trainings, will provide more than 350 march participants with the tools they need to make full equality a reality across America. The training event will help National Equality March organizers lay the foundation for a nationwide network of activists in 435 congressional districts, who will use their personal stories and life experiences to change hearts and minds, and laws, in all 50 states.

Camp Courage Washington D.C. will take place from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, October 10 at Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th Street NW.

Cleve Jones, lead organizer of the National Equality March and the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, will help lead Camp Courage. “I’ve marched, I’ve protested, I’ve done pretty much everything an activist can,” said Jones. “Finally, I feel like the LGBT community is on the cusp of true equality. And Camp Courage is going to help make it real. We’re not just training activists — we’re activating real people to share their stories and use the incredible power of the personal to break down bigotry.”

Born in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, Camp Courage draws on techniques honed for decades by progressive social movements, and teaches empowerment, team building, leadership development, and grassroots organizing skills. Modeled after the “Camp Obama” trainings that powered neighbor-to-neighbor organizing across America in 2008, these intensive two-day programs have trained more than 1,000 activists in Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego, Oakland and East Los Angeles.

Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, called Camp Courage Washington D.C. “an incredible opportunity to turn activism into real change. This Camp Courage will capture the momentum and energy of the National Equality March and turn it toward taking concrete actions,” said Jacobs,. “It’s going to help hundreds of committed activists work for marriage equality in Maine before the November 3 election and for full equality in all 50 states — and it’s going to give them the tools they need to make it happen.”

Camp Courage was developed by Torie Osborn, Mike Bonin, and Lisa Powell. Osborn is a senior advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the United Way, and former executive director of the Liberty Hill Foundation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Bonin is a former regional field organizer for Obama for America, a veteran campaign staffer, and a community activist. Powell is an attorney, longtime trainer, community leader, and co-founder of United Lesbians of African Heritage.
 
More than 700,000 members strong, the Courage Campaign empowers grassroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. Currently the Courage Campaign is focused on a progressive agenda that includes repealing Proposition 8, pushing for a public option in health care reform, and fixing California’s broken budget process.

To learn more about the Courage Campaign, visit our website at:

http://www.couragecampaign.org

To learn more about Camp Courage, including videos and slideshows of previous Camp Courage events, visit:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/CampCourage

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The Courage Campaign is an online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.

Rick Jacobs is the founder and chair of the Courage Campaign. He chaired Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in California. He is also the co-founder of Brave New Films and a featured contributor to Arianna Huffington’s Huffingtonpost.com. Rick has an extensive background as an international investor and senior executive.