At its core, Gender JUST is an issue-based organizing project.
Since its inception, however, Gender JUST members & leaders have come together in both popular education sessions & in other community venues around issues important to the our community.
The following are some of the many issues Gender JUST organizes around:
Economic JusticeThe call for economic justice is at the center of Gender JUST's organizing. GJ believes that economic oppression is one of the key ways that our communities are oppressed and kept down. We work to interject a queer voice in broader economic justice struggles, such as the fight for economic transparency and accountability. In October of 2009, over 30 Gender JUST members were part of a national series of actions in Chicago to hold banking institutions accountable for the foreclosure crisis. In 2011, GJ members & youth leaders participated in the Showdown in Ohio, tackling the foreclosure crisis and bankers who have contributed to the economic inequalities that ravage our communities.
All of Gender JUST's organizing highlights a racial justice framework, including disparate impacts on communities of color. One of the motivations for the founding of Gender JUST was the desire to hold traditional and mainstream LGBTQ organizations accountable around race. In the aftermath of Prop 8, language such as "Gay is the New Black" was common, as well as more explicitly racist blaming of communities of color for homophobia. Gender JUST struggles against such notions and centers organizing around the experiences of queer people of color.
ImmigrationGender JUST believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a critically queer struggle and has been involved in several citywide efforts to stop deportations and immigration raids. GJ's immigrant-led immigration position stands firmly against Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and other LGBTQ efforts that stop short of comprehensive immigration reform.
Gender JUST firmly believes in community alternatives to hate crimes legislation and opposes all policies which rely on the Prison Industrial Complex, which is inherently racist and heterosexist. Hate crimes legislation has not been proven to serve as a deterrent for violence, and has only served to fuel state-violence against our communities.
There is no issue more central to gender justice than reproductive justice. Gender JUST has been mobilizing and organizing against recent attacks on reproductive rights in Illinois and nationally, including a recent Parental Notice law in Illinois. In partnership with allies, such the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Gender JUST seeks to fight back against attacks on reproductive rights.
As part of Gender JUST's abolitionist framework and the struggle against the Prison Industrial Complex, GJ believes in providing solidarity to queer and trans communities inside prisons, as well as all prisoners. Gender JUST coordinates a prisoner pen pal correspondence project between its members and queer & trans prisoners.