On July 11th, 2020, Shelly's Voice teamed up with GLAAD, DignityUSA, PFLAG, Indiana Youth Group, Black Women in Charge, The Ariadne Getty Foundation and various other advocacy organizations to host our second annual Rally For Equality in Indianapolis. The caravan of over 200 #IndyVoicesForTransStudents supporters circled the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis decked in Pride and listening to our live-broadcast program featuring the key leaders, voices, and activists working to dismantle Archbishop Thompson's recent policy which seeks to ban transgender and gender non-conforming students from enrolling in more than 60 schools.
After Krystal Brazel was told she couldn’t come back as an athletic trainer for Lutheran High School because of her upcoming marriage to her fiance, she connected with us and we immediately paired up with GLAAD and The Ariadne Getty Foundation to send a letter to the school leaders in June. “To terminate her employment for this unjust cause would send a devastating signal to students about who is welcome and accepted, and who would be forced to reject their true selves to fit in, which research shows can have deadly consequences for LGBTQ youth,” the letter read. This will be the FIFTH LGBTQ-related firing in Indianapolis in a 2 year time span.
Shelly's Voice activists demonstrated at the Indiana State House alongside thousands of Hoosiers demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality. The June 6th sit-in was organized by Black Women in Charge, a group of powerful, young Black activists pushing for racial equality in the Indianapolis area, and served as an example to all of us of the power of the next generation. Thank you to the many activists, advocates, politicians, leaders, and storytellers who have pushed this movement along. We stand in solidarity with your hard work, determination, talent, and cause.
After 4 Indianapolis LGBTQ-related firings within the 2018-2019 school year, Shelly's Voice held the inaugural Rally for Equality to push for LGBTQ reform in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis' school system on June 22, 2019. With over 125+ in attendance, Shelly's Voice invited multiple speakers including Melissa Strange, a parent of an LGBTQ Catholic-school student, Dominic Conover, co-founder and President of Shelly's Voice, Shelly Fitzgerald, activist and Director of Programs at the Ariadne Getty Foundation, Dana Black, a leading Democratic community organizer in the Indianapolis area, and multiple church leaders from various denominations to speak about the consequences of oppression and urge the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to change its discriminatory policy and tactics which push away valuable LGBTQ employees and students.
Shelly Fitzgerald and Dominic Conover, both Shelly's Voice Indianapolis Chapter members, represented Shelly's Voice and The Ariadne Getty Foundation at GLAAD's 2020 LGBTQ+ Presidential Forum presented by The Advocate, The Gazette, and One Iowa on September 20. "I’ll be asking the candidates about workplace discrimination and if, in first 100 days in office, they'll make a commitment to ending LGBTQ-plus workplace discrimination" Conover told Indy Star on his road-trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa with Fitzgerald.
Shelly’s Voice activists and supporters gathered outside of Cathedral and Roncalli High School to show support for LGBTQ students during their first week of the 2019-2020 school year. After the Archdiocese of Indianapolis faced 7 LGBTQ scandals within the two schools during the 2018-2019 school year, Shelly's Voice wanted to remind LGBTQ students that they are loved by so many, that they are strong, and that they can be their unapologetic, authentic themselves.
Indy Pride honored Shelly Fitzgerald and Shelly's Voice as Grand Marshall of the 2019 Parade for being "a beacon of hope shining light on the unequal treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals in our schools, the workplace and our community at large."
Dominic Conover, a former Roncalli High School student and founding member of Shelly's Voice, speaks out about discrimination he faced during his senior year of high school after he became a vocal advocate for a guidance counselor who was suspended for being in a same-sex marriage in an exlusive op-ed in The Advocate.
Since our founding in August of 2018, Indiana Youth Group has supported our advocacy in critical ways. In addition to allowing our activists access to IYG's meeting and outdoor space, Indiana Youth Group has generously served as our fiscal sponsor, giving Shelly's Voice the ability to accept donations and manage the funds through a 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information about Indiana Youth Group, please visit indianayouthgroup.org
Indiana Youth Group creates safer spaces to foster community and provides programming that empowers LGBTQ+ youth and magnifies their voices.
3733 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208