'The next twelve months are going to be the most challenging time in the history of the International Foundation for Gender Education,' declared Yvonne Cook-Riley, newly elected Chair of IFGE, as she addressed hundreds of people gathered at IFGE's 20th Conference.
'Over the last twenty years our community has evolved, and our community urgently needs IFGE to evolve to meet their needs,' said Cook-Riley. 'Effective immediately, this board has a mandate to effect an immediate change of direction and to refocus on our mission to serve the entire Transgender community ...'
(07 April 2006, Philadelphia, PA)
Dear Friends and Members,
IFGE faces a formidable challenge. Over our twenty years of service to the Transgender community, many of our original goals have been accomplished. People who originally sought our services have got the information they needed and moved on. In every medium, Transgender people have burst onto the scene in a big way. You might think our work is done.
Unfortunately, while many of us are living our dreams, many others are living a nightmare. Far too many of us are homeless and unemployed. HIV is silently ravaging thousands of us while we are all denied health care. Kids are being harassed and bullied in school. Transgender people still face violence and discrimination, and our very identities are considered a mental illness. The work is far from done.
So we must chart a new course towards a more just and equitable future that doesn't leave anyone behind, and we must get underway. Some of the options now under consideration include:
* Refocusing our programs, our outreach, and our board to include a broader range of diversity of income, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds.
* Relocating the corporate headquarters of IFGE to Washington, DC. This move has been discussed for several years, but now may be the time for IFGE to join many other Transgender groups already in Washington.
* Partnering of merging with one or more organisations working for gender equality or other support and educational organisations.
An ambitious program to accomplish in the next twelve months? You bet!
Here is how IFGE is going to do it:
* The board has appointed a study committee consisting of S. Kristine James, Yvonne Cook-Riley, and Denise Leclair to explore the above options.
* We are also collaborating with leaders from other national organisations.
* IFGE is now undertaking a survey so that each respondent can identify the programs that we should continue, those that we should cancel and new areas of interest.
* The board has initiated a fund raising program to raise $65,000.00 within the next 60 days so we can accomplish these needed changes.
Here is how you can participate in effecting change:
* Complete the online survey, available on the website at http://www.ifge.org/survey/
* If you are not a current member you can sign up by going to https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/inde
* If you are already a member, please make an additional contribution to help this effort through our secure online system by going to https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/inde
* We will soon have additional forms and instructions on the website so you can volunteer to be on various committees or join the board of directors.
The time for action is NOW. The need is immediate. You, as members and friends of IFGE and the Transgender community, can effect and influence change by making your contribution and joining our team today.