This afternoon, Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition staff signed a lease to move into the first floor of the property that will eventually become the Bayard Rustin House: Pennsylvania’s Youth Action Center. The house is located on Walnut Street directly across the street from the State Capitol.
PSEC launched the Time to Rise Campaign on May 29th with an initial goal to raise $30,000 by June 30th. During the month of June, youth leaders reached out to family and friends for financial support. Staff also scheduled an information session for the Pennsylvania LGBT Equality Caucus and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus for June 26th to brief legislators on the groundbreaking project. Unfortunately, the session was postponed due to last minute scheduling of caucus meetings during the hectic budget season.
PSEC Executive Director Jason Landau Goodman commented on the continuing fundraising efforts, “we are fully optimistic that our relationships with community stakeholders will allow us to secure the goal to open the center.”
This headquarters for the Pennsylvania LGBTQ advocacy community will provide a centralized home for young activists to design and advance policies that promote a more affirming commonwealth. Specifically, The Bayard Rustin House will increase our capacity to win on issues regarding non-discrimination, hate crimes, transgender rights, homeless youth, and foster care by allowing young advocates direct access to lawmakers and community stakeholders.
The date of the official opening for the Bayard Rustin House has yet to be determined, however, PSEC Coordinating Committee Convener, Turner Stulting, speculates that there will be a formal launching event to coincide with the new legislative session in January 2015.
In the mean time, the house will be used as a central location for Time to Rise fundraising campaign work and internal leadership planning. Fundraising is projected to extend the length of the 2014 year as leaders work to secure enough funds to buy the three-story property.
From the Time to Rise campaign website: The Bayard Rustin House will be specifically used as the central location to plan regional and state campaigns, hold statewide leadership meetings, facilitate advanced advocacy trainings, host community programs, and be the overall bustling headquarters of the Pennsylvania LGBTQ youth justice movement.