The Agenda

Victory alums make waves from Penn. to N.C.

Daye Pope begins work as trans-rights organizer at Equality PA
Daye Pope has been busy since her Victory Congressional Internship in the Office of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in the spring of 2014.
As someone who grew up in a working-class family in small town Iowa, “interning in the nation’s capital never seemed like a possibility,” says Pope.
Following her congressional internship, Pope built on her experiences to make waves as an organizer outside of Washington. She has organized in various formal and informal roles for several years, most recently as a field organizer with the Iowa Democratic Party during the 2014 midterm election cycle.
“I love working with others to find solutions to common problems, and there’s no better way to do that than through grassroots organizing,” says Pope. This year, when she heard that Equality Pennsylvania was starting a transgender organizing program, she “jumped at the chance” to bring her energy to the position.
Although Pope is just beginning her work as Equality Pennsylvania’s transgender rights organizer, she has already developed a statewide Transgender Listening Tour, where she will travel across the state to discuss what issues are most affecting transgender Pennsylvanians.
“I think it is so important for the often marginalized voices of the transgender community to be heard and for change to be lead by the perspectives of everyday transgender people,” says Pope.
This week, Pope spoke to Philadelphia Gay News about the wide range of issues she is hoping to tackle as the new transgender rights organizer at Equality Pennsylvania. In the article, Pope named some of the pressing issues that have been highlighted by transgender Pennsylvanians on her statewide listening tour—they include employment discrimination, the need for a comprehensive safe schools law, and access to competent and inclusive healthcare.
“It was an amazing opportunity, to work with my own community and apply my political organizing skills to a really important struggle here in Pennsylvania,” Pope told Philadelphia Gay News.
Allison Turner begins Campus Pride fellowship
Allison Turner, a former Victory Congressional Intern, has taken on an exciting new role as she continues her work organizing for LGBTQ rights. In May, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s of Arts in both Journalism and Mass Communication and Women’s and Gender Studies.
Following her graduation, Turner began a fellowship at Campus Pride, the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. Allison joins fall 2014 VCI Romeo Jackson, who serves on Campus Pride’s Board of Directors.
Last summer, Turner’s press internship in Office of Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA) coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, and Turner was able to attend with her office, in addition to drafting statements on her representative’s behalf for these events.
“I was honored to write statements on the representative’s behalf on these events, which allowed me to reflect on the social justice work that has been done over the past 50 years, and the important need to continue this work,” says Turner.
The civil rights commemoration in Congress connected with one of Victory’s program enrichment seminars, which taught the summer’s Congressional Interns about LGBTQ activists, including Bayard Rustin, the black gay organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
“Being able to make these connections continued my journey of becoming more and more intersectional,” says Turner. She has continued her work to build an inclusive LGBTQ movement through her work as a fellow with Campus Pride. “Working with Campus Pride has been an amazing experience,” says Turner.
This past week, she was busy at her fellowship organizing Campus Pride’s Camp Pride, a week-long camp in Charlotte, North Carolina that gives campus student and faculty leaders the tools they need to continue making their campuses more LGBTQ-friendly. “I was so excited to use both the press and leadership development skills I learned through VCI to assist in making this year’s camp great!” says Turner.