UPDATE, APRIL 2021!
So, Unity Works finally went into operation after a delay, annnnd the City of New York included me in the press release! Here’s what I said:
“Many voices in the LGBTQ+ community, notably transgender and gender non-conforming activists, have pointed to the deep need to just get community members into jobs. This has been the struggle before our current crisis, and remains so,” said Andrea Bowen, Principal of Bowen Public Affairs Consulting, which helped design the program with City and community partners. “Unity Works is a bold step toward showing that government recognizes its obligation to support the LGBTQ+ community, and is powerfully responding to community feedback.”
ORIGINAL POST! October 9, 2019.
The First Lady of NYC announced UnityWorks, the most comprehensive workforce development program in the nation for runaway and homeless LGBTQI+ youth.
This is the result of a lot of work from a lot of people. It comes from community members, organizers, the demands of the TGNCNB (trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary) Solutions Coalition, LGBTQI+ youth advocates, and allies in government, notably the Center for Youth Employment and the Unity Project.
Bowen Public Affairs Consulting was honored to play a role in all of this, working with community members and workforce programming experts, to shape this program.
Years of community organizing, struggles for survival, and brave statements from the TGNCNB community have continually surfaced a major demand: we need jobs. UnityWorks is a major step toward providing our community with careers and economic well-being. We will continue to fight to make sure resources like this program are extended for TGNCNB people of all ages, but we’re excited for this program’s promise as a model for putting community members into well-paying careers.
Thanks to everybody who made this possible.