Thank You’s and a Financial Breakdown from the December 10 Benefit

Hello Friends and Supporters,

I would like to thank the Pyramid Scheme and its owners, management, and staff for allowing us to generate nearly $1,100 (and more with final silent auction items closing) to go towards TEAM’s operations and programs.  The event was massively successful with over 200 people from the community in attendance.

I would like to thank A Little Black Booth of Ada, MI for its stellar photography services for our event that were generously donated.  I would like to thank Bearcat, BangCrush, Ty Beat, Dalylah Desmond, Ariez Iman, Karina Passion, Kaurora Fox, and DJ Mister Squid for entertaining the crowd through donating your time and entertainment.

I would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting TEAM and its work on human rights.  This meant so much to me, and will help us continue our great work throughout West Michigan.

In addition, I would like to thank the following Silent Auction donors:

1. Pyramid Scheme
2. Meanwhile Bar
3. Hopcat
4. Viceroy
5. Stella’s
6. McFadden’s
7. Wolfgang’s
8. J. Nicolle Salon, Boutique, and Spa
9. Moxie Beauty and Hair Parlor
10. Schnitz Delicatessen
11. Edge Salon
12. Kostume Room
13. Bartertown Diner
14. Katherine Thelen Photography
15. The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand
16. Splurge Salon and Spa
17. Mos Eisley’s Tattoos
18. Capelli Salon
19. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

I would like to thank any and everyone that had a part in making this event a success.  It means so much to us.  Everyone had a blast and it was just a great evening overall.

Here is a breakdown of funds generated:

$615 from the event cover/minimum donation

$250 from the Silent Auction (a few items left to disburse)

$172.07 in cash donations

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$1037.07 in total funds raised.

How the Funds Will Be Used:

$40 one-mile range megaphone to allow TEAM to organize protests and demonstrations

$53 8ft by 2.5ft TEAM banner to be used to market TEAM at every public appearance

$50 for 2,000 business cards

$200 directed towards Charitable Gaming (additional fundraising)

$15 towards raffle license fee covering raffles

$390 in reimbursements (covering expenses since July 2011, including ink/paper/printing, transportation stipends, decorations, 501(c)(3) contribution from the Board.  Most of the expense costs were covered by Chris Surfus, so $300 is awarded to him.  $30 transportation and assistance stipends are each awarded to Brianna Schmidt, Rey Garza, and Scott Burkman.)

$300-500 approximately put towards events for the community.

$150-200 in Accounts Receivable from the Silent Auction after items are picked up.

TEAM strives to be financially transparent in everything it does, and encourages all nonprofit organizations to be this transparent.

 

Thank you all so much for your support!  We will make sure to live up to our promises to you.  If you have any questions, please contact info@humanrightsTEAM.org.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Christopher R. Surfus

Founder/President

The Tolerance, Equality, and Awareness Movement (TEAM)

616-528-TEAM

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The Pyramid Scheme to Host a Massive Dance Party Benefiting TEAM

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, The Pyramid Scheme is working with The Tolerance, Equality, and Awareness Movement (TEAM), a 501(c)(3) federally tax-exempt human rights organization, to host a massive dance party at its music venue located at 68 Commerce Street SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503.  The Pyramid Scheme is a very popular music venue that features different entertainment acts weekly.  The dance party is called “TEAMwork: A Night of Dance and Drag for Diversity.”

The purpose of the dance party is a fundraiser for TEAM’s Diversity and Inclusion Program, which debuted its Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series in November 2011.  TEAM is rolling out its full-scale Diversity and Inclusion Program starting in 2012, which will bridge opportunities to education and workplace advancement for racial minorities and marginalized LGBT populations.

The dance party with feature performances by bands Bearcat, BangCrush, and Ty Beat, DJ Mister Squid, a full hour-long Drag Show with performances by Britney Storm, Dalylah Desmond, Ariez Iman, Karina Passion, and Kaurora Fox, a photo booth generously donated by A Little Black Booth of Ada, MI, and a full Silent Auction comprising of items, gift cards, and services donated by nearly 20 businesses in the local Grand Rapids area.  Doors open at 8pm, and the Show starts at 9pm.  Ages 18 and older are welcomed to attend and bring friends with them.  There is a $5 minimum donation, with proceeds benefiting TEAM.

Silent Auction donors include:

1. Pyramid Scheme
2. Meanwhile Bar
3. Hopcat
4. Viceroy
5. Stella’s
6. McFadden’s
7. Wolfgang’s
8. J. Nicolle Salon, Boutique, and Spa
9. Moxie Beauty and Hair Parlor
10. Schnitz Delicatessen
11. Edge Salon
12. Kostume Room
13. Bartertown Diner
14. Katherine Thelen Photography
15. The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand
16. Splurge Salon and Spa
17. Mos Eisley’s Tattoos
18. Capelli Salon

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TEAM has developed broad support in the community through its successful Speak Up! Panel Project Series, its advocacy for all-inclusive anti-bullying policies, its work on Holland, MI’s proposed nondiscrimination ordinance expansion to include sexual orientation and gender identity, organizing a 1000+ attendee Candlelight Vigil for the July 2011 victims and families of the Rodrick Dantzler mass murders at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids, and its nationally recognized human peace chain counter-protest against the Westboro Baptist Church’s planned picketing of the First Lady Betty Ford funeral.  This broad support has transcended different races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

The Facebook Event Invite is Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/259423007439827/

TEAMwork: A Night of Dance and Drag for Diversity

For More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/259423007439827/

Tickets:
http://www.ticketweb.com/fb/4098465

Price:
$5.00

Additional Info:
Doors at 8, Show at 9

Fundraiser with Silent Auction and an amazing musical line up, including Bearcat, BangCrush, and Ty Beat! Drag Show performances by Britney Storm (the hostess), Dalylah Desmond, Ariez Iman, Kaurora Fox, and Others!

Suggested $5 donation at the door to benefit T.E.A.M.

TEAM is a tax-exempt non-profit human rights organization that seeks to eradicate discrimination against those of different races or sexual orientations. TEAM’s mission is that a 21st century human rights agenda begins with the creation of environments of diversity, inclusion, and acceptance.

TEAM’s Slogan: Where EVERYONE is Welcome!

 

View the full The Rapidian article: http://therapidian.org/teamwork-night-dance-and-drag-diversity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- The Cornerstone Story: Anti-LGBT Policies and Inclusion in Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Tolerance, Equality, and Awareness Movement (TEAM)

Contact: Chris Surfus, President

Business: 616-528-TEAM

Cell: 616-238-2011

www.humanrightsTEAM.org

info@humanrightsTEAM.org

THE CORNERSTONE STORY: ANTI-LGBT POLICIES AND INCLUSION IN EDUCATION

TEAM Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series

The Tolerance, Equality, and Awareness Movement (TEAM), a 501(c)(3) human rights organization in Grand Rapids, MI, is launching its Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series.  TEAM has organized a variety of events on human rights, including a discussion panel series, a counter-protest against Westboro Baptist Church, and the July 2011 Candlelight Vigil at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids.

The first lecture, hosted by TEAM and facilitated by TEAM President Chris Surfus, will be taking place at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation venue, located at 185 Oakes Street SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503.  The first lecture and discussion, The Cornerstone Story, will focus on Cornerstone University’s known exclusionary policies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  These policies include a “don’t ask, don’t tell” type of policy, which LGBT students can’t be “Out.”  Cornerstone University denied the national LGBT Christian group, SoulForce, to come onto its campus years ago.

TEAM will focus on this policy, as well as policies at other private educational institutions that diminish the visibility of the LGBT community.  The lecture will compare Cornerstone’s policies to that of other, more tolerant, faith-based educational institutions.  TEAM believes there should be dialogue on LGBT issues in faith-based educational communities, not silencing of students’ 1st Amendment Rights.

The Cornerstone Story will be from 2:00-4:00pm on November 16, 2011, and it’s hosted by TEAM at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Chris Surfus directly at 616-238-2011 or at chris.surfus@humanrightsTEAM.org

***Disclaimer: The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is a venue for TEAM’s event. TEAM’s event is not reflective of a partnership or collaboration with Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and the foundation simply is providing a meeting space for our organization’s event. ***

TEAM Outreach Survey: We Need Your Input!

Hello TEAM Members,

The TEAM Outreach Survey is up at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7DBDLN3

We need approximately 40-50 Respondents by November 11, 2011.  If you use our website, our Facebook Like page, our Facebook Group page, follow us on Twitter, or have read about us and our work, we need to hear from you.  We need responses from EVERYONE.  Even if you just come on the website to read some articles, or cite our website in a source, we really need your input.  It will help as we continue to grow as an organization.  We have come so far as an organization.  The most difficult days may be behind us, but we have much work to do moving forward.  We need your help to get where we NEED to be.

Again, our survey link is here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7DBDLN3

 

Our Facebook Like page is HERE.  Our Facebook Group Page is HERE.  Our new video “Know Your Human Rights” is HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEAM Video: “Know Your Human Rights”

Want to know what your human rights are? Go under the “Educational Information” tab and click on United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There are 30 human rights defined by the Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, and this document is one of the most widely respected and translated documents in the world.

Clergy call on Village Voice to shut down sex trafficking site – The Religion World – Orlando Sentinel

Clergy call on Village Voice to shut down sex trafficking site – The Religion World – Orlando Sentinel.

 Thirty-six prominent clergy took out a full-page New York Times advertisement Tuesday demanding that Village Voice Media discontinue a Web site used for the sex trafficking of girls and boys.

The ad featured a letter calling on the Village Voice company to immediately shut down the Adult section of its Web site where this activity is taking place. The clergy also launched a nationwide petitionin partnership with Change.org’s more than one million members.

“Village Voice Media CEO Jim Larkin and his Board of Directors need to stop Backpage.com from serving as a platform for the sex trafficking of girls and boys immediately. For over a year, advocates have demanded action, but the responses they have been given are half-measures and delays. We are tired of Village Voice’s delay tactics,” said Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, president of Auburn Seminary. “The only way to end the sale of minors for sex on Backpage.com is by shutting down the Adult section for good.”

The newly formed multifaith coalition is made up of mainline Christians, Catholics, Jews, evangelical Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Humanists and other moral and religious leaders. Groundswell, Auburn Seminary’s social action initiative, convened the group.

Arrests of adults using Backpage.com to sell minors for sex have been reported by the media in a number of states, including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The National Association of Attorneys General has “tracked more than 50 instances, in 22 states over three years, of charges filed against those trafficking or attempting to traffic minors on Backpage.com,” it wrote in an August 31, 2011 letter to Backpage. Fifty-one Attorneys General have signed on to that letter. Access the letter from the Attorneys General here.

Backpage.com asserts it has put in place “effective measures” to prevent child prostitution from occurring on its Web site, yet it is still happening. According to the letter from the Attorneys General, even Backpage.com Vice President Carl Ferrer has admitted this, stating “the company identifies more than 400 ‘adult services’ posts every month that may involve minors.” The Attorneys General maintain that it is “very difficult to accurately detect underage human trafficking,” and therefore call on Backpage.com to “eradicate” child sex trafficking on its Web site by shutting down the Adult section. The clergy join them in this call.

“As a pastor I have seen the devastating effects of the sex trafficking of minors first hand. It is a moral abomination,” said the Rev. Otis Moss, III, Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. “My message to Village Voice Media is this: protect these young girls and boys by immediately taking down the Adult section of Backpage.com.”

Groundswell plans to rally additional clergy and Americans of moral commitment to sign a petition and join in its call to Village Voice Media. The clergy still welcome the opportunity to meet with the Board of Directors of Village Voice Media to discuss their concerns.

“We know there is much more to be done to end the sex trafficking of minors beyond what we’re asking of Village Voice Media,” said Valarie Kaur, Sikh-American activist and Director of Groundswell. “We need educational campaigns, robust law enforcement, and solutions to the poverty and abuse at the root of the practice. But we can do something right now to shut down a prominent commercial platform used for the sex trafficking of girls and boys.”