Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Politics

Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith makes Time100 list

TIME has named Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith to the 2022 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“I am deeply honored to be included in the TIME100,” said Smith. “This recognizes decades of work not only by me, but by the dedicated team of volunteers, staff and supporters I’ve had the privilege to work with at Equality Florida.  Our work is far from done as Florida, once again, stands at the center of the fight against extremism and hate.  We are bearing the brunt of a governor willing to sacrifice the safety of children and destroy our most basic liberties in his desperate bid to be President. But this is not simply Florida’s fight. The wave of anti-LGBTQ, racist, freedom-destroying bills sweeping the country calls each of us to fight for our rights and, indeed, our democracy.”

The list, now in its nineteenth year, recognizes the impact, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. 

TIME has named Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith to the 2022 TIME100

Smith comes from a long line of activists and barrier breakers. Her grandparents helped form the Southern Tenant Farmers Union to fight for the rights of sharecroppers. While in college, Smith co-founded IGLYO, the world’s largest LGBTQ youth and student organization. She co-chaired the 1993 March on Washington that drew a million marchers and she was part of the first Oval Office meeting between a sitting President and LGBTQ leaders. In the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Smith and her team coordinated a national response including raising millions in direct resources for survivors and families of the 49 killed. 

Smith’s recognition comes as Florida has taken center stage in the right wing, anti-freedom agenda aimed at erasing LGBTQ people from classrooms, propagandizing curriculum, censoring history, banning books, and putting politicians in control of personal medical decisions. Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential ambitions have fueled bills like Don’t Say Gay, the Stop WOKE Act, a 15-week abortion ban, and dangerous national rhetoric that seeks to dehumanize LGBTQ people in service to the most extreme segment of his base. 

Equality Florida is committed to ensuring that every student is protected and every family is respected. To end the bigoted Don’t Say Gay law and mitigate the harm it inflicts on children, parents, and teachers, Equality Florida is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the State of Florida. The organization has also launched a legal defense fund to protect Floridians from this harmful policy, placed its elections program focus on holding lawmakers accountable for their positions on safeguarding critical civil liberties, expanded its network of business partners committed to the fighting for full equality, and deepened its investment in the Safe & Healthy Schools program to defend the rights of all students to have a healthy environment to learn and thrive.

The full list and related tributes appear in the June 6/June 13 double issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, May 27, and online now at time.com/time100.

Follow @TIME for updates about the list on Twitter and Instagram and at Facebook.com/TIME.

About Equality Florida

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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