Equality Right Now Syndicate is moving forward with plans to register as a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Siblings Alexandria Gray and Anthony Collins, who founded the organization, expect the more structured approach to help the group establish a bigger footprint in Franklin County to impact what Collins called the “three-legged stool” — education, development and community outreach — to make the county more accessible to everyone.
The Equality Right Now Syndicate started over the summer with an initial protest Gray organized June 2 in Union. The group held multiple protests over the following months, and are planning to use the nonprofit to make ingrained change in the community that can outlast the momentum of those singular events.
Gray said community support of the group has been “outstanding.”
“It was a lot going on this year with COVID-19, so considering we were still able to make a difference so far with things happening in the community … I’m just happy,” Gray said.
The organization has received approval from the state and is waiting on the federal confirmation, which Gray said has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting backlog of applications.
The group will hold its first event as a nonprofit Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at Fricks in Union. Branding Bear, the Washington-based marketing company, will have T-shirts available. Gray said the goal is to offer area residents a chance to meet the organization’s leaders, especially if they are considering getting involved with the group.
There will also be refreshments, including coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts. All COVID-19 safety guidelines will be followed, she said.
The group’s long-term goal is to make Franklin County more considerate of and accessible to everyone. Although the greater focus is currently on racial minorities, Collins said the group also hopes to advocate for those in the LGBTQ community and people who have a disability. The group is not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization, although Collins and Gray support the overarching message of that movement.
People can keep up with the group through its Instagram @equalityrightnowsyndicate, its Facebook pages, Equality Right Now Syndicate or Let’s Talk Franklin County, which combined have more than 3,000 followers and members, or its website equalityrightnow.org.