October was a very busy month, and we did not get a chance to have a town hall, but we still wanted to let you know what is going on, and also to ask for your help.
SPART*A is growing by leaps and bounds; both in membership and operations. We reviewed our bylaws again, we added people to our advisory and interim boards, we updated our website, and we launched a few campaigns.
Internally, we established 8 regions, and currently we have enough members throughout the world for a Regional Board of Directors to represent 3 distinct regions. We are actively looking for people to apply to be the very first SPART*A Regional Directors and help us continue to develop. It doesn't matter if you are active, veteran, a uniformed/veteran ally, or a spouse; you are eligible to hold the Regional Director Position. Take a look at the Regional Director Job Description and the application, if you feel you meet the requirements then please, apply and help us as we continue to build SPART*A.
We have also completed the incorporation process, the first step in becoming a non-profit organization. When we found out the NPO filing fee was $850.00, we asked for your help, and within one hour SPART*Ans answered the call. We will be filing for our NPO status before the end of November.
The Board of Directors has added Sue Fulton, to help with shaping military policy for LGBT military service members, veterans, and our spouses. Allyson Robinson joined our Advisory Board, and will be working with us to ensure that we continue to be the premiere transgender military advocacy organization.
Externally, Brynn Tannehill, Director of Advocacy, published two pieces in the Huffington Post; an article called “The Ties That Bind”, and a photo essay about how stereotypes vary by community, called “Transgender Google Auto Complete Photo Essay”. Minutes after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made a speech about equality in the National Guard, SPART*A was again in the press, thanking him for his comments.
October was the first month that we really utilized our website. For LGBT History Month, SPART*A celebrated one person from our community a day with a video and article. October 26th was National Day of the Deployed, SPART*A recognized our deployed members with photographs and members donated to help us send them items.
We have integrated Instagram into our next few projects, the first was by launching a members’ only page, where you can post pictures of yourself, by uploading them through Instagram and using the hashtag #FacesOfSparta. November is National Military Family Month, and we have partnered with MPFC to highlight our families. You can post pictures by uploading them to Instagram and using the hashtag #SpartaFamilies and #LGBTMilFam. You can also email pictures to email@example.com, and we can post them for you.Veterans day is coming up soon, as well as Transgender Day of Remembrance; we will be sending out an email to you all to ask for your participation in those as well.
Finally, we want to stress that this is your organization. There is still a great deal of work to be done, and we need your help, input and ideas. Whether it is an idea for a project, volunteering on a committee, or addressing a concern, we love hearing from you.
On behalf of the board, we look forward to working with you to make SPART*A bigger and better, and living up to our motto: "Virium per aequalitas" (strength through equality)
Tania Dunbar and Jeremy Johnson
Interim Board of Directors