The first meeting of the newly formed advisory board of the National Coalition of State-Level Transgender Organizations will meet July 9-11 in Memphis.

The new group, a coalition of transgender advocacy organizations, will bring together state and city-based transgender-led advocacy organizations for the purpose of networking, organizing, sharing resources, and building grassroots advocacy, according to Dr. Marisa Richmond, president of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition and a founding member of the new national group.

The meeting, which is being funded by the Gill Foundation, will consist of representatives from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, the Transgender Civil Rights Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Transgender Law Center, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, the DC Trans Coalition, and TransOhio.

On Saturday evening, July 10, the advisory board will host a reception at 6 p.m. at the Westin Beale Street for local transgender community members and allies who are interested in learning about the transgender movement around the country.

Over the course of the weekend’s meetings, the advisory board will define the mission, craft a vision statement and outline plans for the organization’s first year. One of the overall goals of the coalition is to facilitate more open communication amongst state- and city-based transgender advocacy groups in order to provide additional opportunities for sharing of strategies, policies, and best practices, Richmond said, adding that the hope is that independent organizations can benefit collectively from each other’s work in advancing the transgender movement in the United States.

The advisory board chose Memphis as their meeting location in order to bring continued media attention to the unacceptable and dangerous climate that transgender Tennesseans are facing. Since 2000, there have been 10 recorded murders of transgender individuals in Tennessee, four of them in Memphis, according to TTPC.

“Having this historic meeting in Memphis will help to shine a light on the brutal and often unsolved murders of transgender women that have been occurring here in our state,” Richmond said.

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