Rainbow Chamber Denounces Trump Administration Roll-back of Transgender Student Protections

Roll-back of Guidelines Guaranteeing Access to Gender-Appropriate Facilities Violates Civil Rights of Transgender Youth

Richard A Hernandez, Rainbow Chamber PresidentSacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez has released the following statement on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors in regard to actions of the Trump administration revoking guidelines protecting transgender students:

“The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes the recent actions taken by President Donald Trump and his administration to overturn guidelines issued in 2016 guaranteeing all students access to gender-segregated facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms in federally funded schools.

“Growing up is hard enough for any child. Transgender children, faced with the added challenge of living in bodies that do not match their gender identities, are particularly vulnerable to bullying, discrimination, depression and suicide. Yet, with support from the institutions and the adults in their lives, we know that these courageous young people can succeed in school and become healthy, productive members of our communities and our workforce.

“No person, adult or child, should be singled out to use a separate facility or forced to seek special permission simply to use a restroom or shower facility where he or she feels safe. Protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender should not be left to the discretion of state officials, just as protection from discrimination based on religious affiliation or ethnicity is not applied on a state-by-state basis.

“As many of America’s largest corporations continue to affirm, prejudice and discrimination against any group of people is harmful for families and bad for economic growth. The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, which represents LGBT business owners and their allies in a six-county region, urges the Trump administration to reconsider its action and to reinstate the 2016 guidelines advising federally funded schools to ensure the safety, dignity and equal rights of all students in using gender-segregated facilities.”

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals across the Sacramento Valley, as well as straight allies who support its mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate. For more information about the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.

 

Sacramento Gay Chamber Announces Hiring of Group’s First Executive Director

Community Organizer Nikki Whitfield Is New Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Nikki-Whitfield-2013July 23, SACRAMENTO— The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce has hired local community organizer Nicole Whitfield, former community outreach coordinator for HIV/AIDS healthcare provider CARES, as its new executive director. Whitfield is the 12-year-old chamber’s first executive director.

“We’re tremendously proud to welcome Nikki Whitfield onboard,” said Chamber President Dr. Darrick Lawson. “With only a volunteer board of directors and part-time staff, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce has made enormous strides as a community leader and advocate for small and LGBT-owned businesses in the Sacramento region. The organization has reached a crossroads, when it will either grow or stay stagnant. The board and I are confident in Nikki’s ability to lead our growth and increase the value of chamber membership, and we are all so thrilled to be part of this exciting new chapter in the history of our chamber.”

Whitfield served from June 2008 to present as community mobilization coordinator for CARES (Center for AIDS Research Education & Services), where she helped build relationships with the African American community, area churches, health care providers and community-based organizations. Whitfield is an HIV University Fellow of the Black AIDS Institute (AAHU); and recipient of the 2013 Sacramento Kings All Star Community Service Award and of the 2009 Exceptional Woman Of Color Award. She serves on Mayor Kevin Johnson’s “Indivizible” African American leadership forum; Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s African American Advisory Committee; and Mental Health America’s LGBTQ Youth Collaborative.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce at such an exciting time in the history of the LGBT community,” Whitfield said. “Over the past two years, the Chamber has helped pass state legislation supporting LGBT-owned businesses, participated in the successful effort to create a unified central city council district, launched a non-partisan, business-friendly Political Action Committee, and received a Chamber Excellence Award from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. As a full-time executive director, I’ll have the time and focus to continue building our membership base and increase our outreach to government and corporate partners. I’m ready to go to work!”

In one of her first acts as executive director, Whitfield will travel to Dallas for the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce National Business & Leadership Conference July 30 through August 2, where she will meet with leaders of LGBT chambers from throughout the United States. California itself is home to six LGBT chambers of commerce, in the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and Sacramento.

Established in 2001, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business owners and professionals and allies in the Greater Sacramento region. The Chamber works to build a prosperous and inclusive business community and to support issues that promote business development and equal rights for all people.  The Chamber and its non-profit affiliate, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation, have contributed more than $40,000 to charitable causes, including youth scholarships and programs for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. For more information, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.

RCC Members May Apply to Host Paid Intern

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce members are invited to apply for placement of an intern in your business, with a $1,000 stipend paid by the Rainbow Chamber Foundation.

The Rainbow Chamber Foundation recently launched its first Internship Award program to provide motivate and assist qualified LGBT or supportive students with work experience and training. In order to qualify, intern applicants must be able to complete a six-week internship located in the Sacramento region within 12 months of receiving the award. A completed application form and supporting materials must be submitted by August 1. The intern award winner will be selected by the Chamber’s Scholarship/Internship Selection Committee. The Foundation will provide a stipend of at least $1,000 to the intern award winner. The winner will be notified in writing no later than Sept. 5. For more information about the internship, visit https://www.rainbowchamber.com/foundation/internship/.

RCC member companies who would like to host a paid intern must also submit a completed application online by end of day August 1. The winning intern will be matched with a qualifying RCC member business based on the intern’s interest and field of study. For more information about hosting a paid Rainbow Chamber Foundation inter, visit https://www.rainbowchamber.com/business-sponsor-internship/

Applications also are being accepted for the Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholarship awards. Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to qualified LGBT or supportive students. In order to qualify, scholarship applicants must be enrolled in the 12th grade of high school or in a university or college, or a qualified vocational school, or intend to be so enrolled in September 2013, and must have a minimum 2.9 cumulative grade point average. Deadline to apply is August 1, and winners will be notified in writing no later than Sept. 5. To learn more about the Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholarship, please visit https://www.rainbowchamber.com/foundation/scholarship/.

Nominations Close July 16 for RCC Board!

It’s not too late to become a candidate for the Rainbow Chamber Board of Directors—but time is running out! Five of the nine RCC board seats are open for election in August. Each new board member will be elected to a two-year term. New board officers—president, vice president, secretary and treasurer—will be appointed by the newly elected board at the September board meeting.

 

All candidates for the Chamber board must be an RCC member in good standing and must be nominated by another RCC member in good standing. The easiest way to nominate someone is to fill out the online Nomination Form at https://www.rainbowchamber.com/board-of-directors/nomination-form/. Once nominated, each candidate must fill out and submit a Board Application Form, available at https://www.rainbowchamber.com/board-online-application-form/. Nomination Committee Chair Brian McMartin has asked that all nominees submit their forms by end of day TODAY, Friday, July 12. The list of nominees will be submitted to the membership at the RCC July Mixer on Tuesday, July 16, at Hair Play Salon. Additional nominations may be made by members from the floor at this time. Nominations will close that evening, July 16.

A Candidate Meet & Greet is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6, from 6 to 7 p.m., at UC Davis Extension, 2901 K Street in Sacramento. Candidates will be invited to make a 3-minute presentation about their qualifications and their goals for RCC over the coming two-year term.

Electronic voting will begin one week prior to the RCC August Mixer on August 20. Each voting member in good standing will receive an e-mail containing log-in information in order to vote. Only one designated voting member is allowed for each member business. In-person voting also will be available at the RCC August Mixer on Tuesday, August 20. Winning candidates will be announced that night.

For more information about nominations or board elections, call the RCC office at 916-266-9630 or e-mail Sara Freid, sfreid@rainbowchamber.com.

 

Overturn of Prop 8 Good for Economy, LGBT Chamber President Says

June 26, SACRAMENTO— The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce released the following statement on today’s two rulings regarding same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court:

“The majority rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court today overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act and overturning California’s Proposition 8 were historic in their impact by reversing the unjust treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,” said Dr. Darrick Lawson, president of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. “All other considerations aside, it was a morally correct decision.

“But the Court’s decisions today also will have an economic impact. There are few factors more beneficial to the economic development and prosperity of any society than the freedom of people to form lasting relationships free of harassment and fear, and to enjoy equal legal protections and security for their families. In the near term, we expect the resumption of same-sex weddings in California to generate a revenue boost to the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as to all those small businesses that support the wedding industry—just as happened in 2008. Gay marriage will create California jobs. In a nutshell, marriage equality is good for California’s economy and good for the economy and future prosperity of the United States.”

Members of Sacramento’s LGBT community will gather in celebration today, Wednesday, June 26, at the California State Capitol West Steps. The event is free and open to the public.

Established in 2001, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business owners and professionals and allies in the Greater Sacramento region. The Chamber works to build a prosperous and inclusive business community and to support issues that promote business development and equal rights for all people.  The Chamber and its non-profit affiliate, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation, have contributed more than $40,000 to charitable causes, including youth scholarships and programs for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. For more information, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.