Who We Are
Equality Virginia (EV) is a 501(c)(3) organization that understands that LGBTQ Virginians, from youth to seniors, continue to experience violence, discrimination, and disparities, particularly transgender people and people of color. A gift to EV funds programs to change the hearts and minds of everyday Virginians on LGBTQ issues. A gift to EV is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
EV Advocates (EVA) is a 501(c)(4) organization that works with Equality Virginia (EV) to advance equal rights for LGBTQ Virginians through public policy and advocacy. A gift to EVA funds direct lobbying and legislative efforts in the General Assembly and is not a tax deductible gift.
Founded in 1989 as Virginians for Justice, Equality Virginia (EV) is the leading advocacy organization in Virginia seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people.
EV is building a fully inclusive Commonwealth by educating, empowering, and mobilizing Virginians to ensure all LGBTQ people are free to live, love, learn, and work.
Our Values and Guiding Principles
- Community: We foster a supportive and welcoming environment that builds connections and strengthens relationships.
- Inclusion: We celebrate the diverse and unique identities of all LGBTQ Virginians.
- Equity: We work to eliminate the disproportionate discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people of color.
- Perseverance: We respond with determination and grit to overcome obstacles and we are resolute in our commitment to fulfill our mission.
- Empowerment: We inspire and develop LGBTQ and allied Virginians to tell their stories and become strong advocates for equality and justice.
- Integrity: We operate with trust and transparency to build collaborative partnerships.
- Impact: We strive for excellence in all that we do to deliver intentional, relevant, and effective results that lead to significant, long-term change.
Our Commitment to Racial Justice
The uprisings in defense of Black lives during the summer of 2020, spurred our staff and board to reflect upon our mission and work, and how we as an LGBTQ advocacy organization must be committed to anti-racism. Over the past few months, we have been challenged to confront our organizational privilege and address the ways we have been complicit in upholding white supremacy. Through intentional conversations that have demanded our growth, we have begun to identify how our organization needs to change in order to build anti-racism into the foundation of what we do and how we work together, starting with our statement on racial justice.
Our Organizational Strategies
- We empower people to tell their stories and advocate for themselves and others.
- We convene and connect LGBTQ leaders and organizations across the state.
- We invest in deep relationships to educate elected officials on both sides of the aisle.
- We foster inclusive communities by changing hearts and minds.
- We build power to sustain long-term efforts to win change.
- We develop and share expertise through training and public education.
- We respond to the needs of our community, particularly those experiencing multiple forms of oppression.
- We center racial and gender equity in our work.
- We mobilize Virginians to participate in government and build opportunities for increased civic engagement.
We envision a future where...
- LGBTQ people are celebrated members of their communities.
- LGBTQ young people are affirmed in their schools and homes.
- LGBTQ community organizations across the state are connected and collaborating.
- LGBTQ people are safe from violence in their communities.
- Legal protections are being successfully implemented and improving the lives of LGBTQ people
- LGBTQ people have access to informed, affirming health care.
- LGBTQ people are well-represented in elected office and appointed positions.
- LGBTQ elders have access to affirming care and resources.
- LGBTQ-affirming faith leaders demonstrate support and engage in interfaith equality efforts.
- LGBTQ people do not face disparities in health, safety, education, and economic outcomes, including those experiencing multiple forms of oppression.