The work of Equality Arizona is based on a few simple ideas:
- Community Led – our work is only effective if it’s led by the needs and wisdom of LGBTQ Arizonans. There is no one universal LGBTQ experience, in Arizona or elsewhere. We take the time to ask the community what they needs, where they need help, and how they need help before setting our policy priorities.
- From Margin to Center – as understood through feminist methods for organizing, individual on the margins of power and acceptability in any community, are most capable of leading the way to an inclusive movement. The LGBTQ movement was started by people suffering from the worst forms of discrimination, from poverty, and from violence from both individuals and from the state. We still believe that the needs and challenges of these individuals should lead the LGBTQ movement today.
- Systems Change – the only way to build a society where LGBTQ are fully included in social, economic, and political life is through systems change work. We know that this work includes public policy and also includes cultural change. We work to create both through grassroots community organizing and power building.
- Intersectionality – the LGBTQ community is as diverse as all of human society – because of this we have to prioritize issues that deeply impact members of the LGBTQ community, even when they don’t have the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or trans in them. LGBTQ people suffer from unjust immigration practices, from economic inequality, from police violence, and more. Intersectional system change means that it is not enough to advocate for diversity or inclusion within a broken system, it means we must instead confront the systems that oppress all LGBTQ people including white supremacy, classism, patriarchy, and heteronormativity.