It’s official: Family Equality Council launches Project Harmony!

The Family Equality Council is proud to announce the launch of
Project Harmony. Project Harmony is a new initiative designed to
fill a void in the current work addressing LGBTQ parents and
families. The project will deepen and broaden the Family Equality
Council’s work, ensuring that the issues and concerns of families
of color are part of the national dialogue on LGBTQ family
equality. Project Harmony will take a community-based approach to
program development, as newly hired Program Manager Lisbeth
Meléndez-Rivera plans a nationwide listening tour to inform the
initiative. A report of findings from these town hall meetings will
be released in early 2009.

“We are committed to building the most informed and effective
national programs serving LGBTQ families of color and to fully
integrating the voices, experiences and needs of these families
into all of the work of the Family Equality Council,” said Project
Harmony Program Manager Lisbeth Meléndez-Rivera. “Existing
research shows that households including gay Latino men and
African-American lesbians have the highest concentration of
children among LGBTQ-headed families. We as a movement have much to
learn from the struggles and successes of these families.”

The Family Equality Council is the national advocacy organization
dedicated to securing family equality for LGBTQ parents, guardians
and allies. The work of Project Harmony epitomizes Family Equality
Council’s belief that parents should be directly involved in the
advocacy work that affects their lives. Project Harmony will lift
the voices of LGBTQ parents color into the national conversation
being had about LGBTQ-headed families, integrating their concerns
into a national model of service.

“As a long-time family advocate, I applaud the Family Equality
Council for recognizing the gap in the national dialogue around
LGBTQ families-that includes our culture, traditions and language.
And I congratulate them on the launch of Project Harmony to both
address the needs of families of color, and-most importantly-to
also bring the valuable information and experiences we have to the
table,” said Carolina Ramos, co-founder of the San Diego Children’s
Garden and Latino Services Coordinator for the San Diego LGBT

“I’m thrilled to launch Project Harmony in 2008, a year in which so
much is at stake for LGBTQ-headed families,” says Jennifer
Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council. “All
LGBTQ parents should have equal access to the resources our
community provides. Our goals as a community should be shaped by
the needs of all kinds of parents and families-it is imperative to
lift the voices of families of color. I’m excited to welcome
Lisbeth Meléndez-Rivera as the Program Manager for Project
Harmony, and I’m especially grateful to the Arcus Foundation for
the initial funding to carry out this important work.”

To learn more about Project Harmony, visit the Project Harmony
. For press information, click here.