Special February 13, 2014

Swish 3.0 - A New Chapter

UPDATE: Announcement on BroadwayWorld.Com

February 13th, 2014

It is with both undeniable wistfulness and great anticipation that we write to you, bearing news about the future of Swish.

After a decade of service engaging straight allies in joyful partnership with the LGBT community, the Swish Board of Directors has voted to transition our operations into a new venture. We hope that you, as one of our 3,000 members – Swish’s heart, soul and backbone – will accompany us on this exciting journey.

Swish will cease programmatic operations on June 29, 2014 and launch a new chapter as the Swish Ally Fund of the Stonewall Community Foundation.  The fund will dispense grants on an ongoing basis, ensuring a legacy of grassroots support to LGBT organizations and engaging allies worldwide.  

Another historic first for Swish, the Ally Fund will be the first in Stonewall's family of funds dedicated to engaging allies in the fight for equality.  All gifts of $250 or more to the Fund before June 30 will be listed in perpetuity as founding donors of the Fund.

The progress made by the LGBT movement in the US over the last 10 years has been both staggering and inspiring.  However, we all know there is still more work to be done.  And by supporting the work of communities around the world through grants from the Swish Ally Fund, we can ensure they make an impact – first locally, then globally – by engaging straight allies as their partners in this fight.

What happens between now and then?

Swish came into the world loud and proud – dancing down Fifth Avenue in NYC on a Pride float shaped like a giant rainbow – and we’re going out the same way; with a great big, rainbow-colored bang!

We have three scheduled events planned between now and June 29:

-  Our 7th annual Songs in the Key of Equality benefit concert – the Broadway community’s love letter to the movement – on May 19 – in NYC and streaming live everywhere!

-  A Pride-season Swish Voices educational forum of LGBT and ally professionals with our partners at Fidelity Investments on what it means to be out on the job.

-  And of course, the celebration that started it all – the NYC Pride March – on June 29.

We look forward to sharing memories with all of you at these events, as well as acknowledging the founding board members and donors that were so instrumental to Swish's success.

All net funds raised from these events will launch the Swish Ally Fund with our partners at Stonewall Community Foundation - so you, too, will be a part of Swish’s legacy for the movement.

When Swish began in 2003, not one single US state had marriage equality. Today there are 18.

In 2003, there were no easy ways for straight allies to join the movement.  Now there are many! 

And a decade ago, the message was about rights and laws.  Today it is about love.  We are deeply proud that Swish played a leadership role in this transformation.

***
And now, about you. There are no words to express our gratitude to you for this challenging, exhilarating, revelatory decade. It has been our profound privilege to laugh, cry, march, fight, celebrate, dance and change the world with you, our beloved members, for 10 truly incredible years.

Thank you for your support and trust in us, and for your part in creating a more just, more loving and more equal world for everyone through Swish’s mission and programs.

Stay tuned for more information about our 2014 events in the coming days – we want you to be involved every step of the way in the completion of this chapter and the invention of the next! 

As always, see you on the front lines.

With immeasurable love, pride and gratitude,

The Swish Board of Directors
Sue, Jason, Jamie, Andrew, Ny and Ida

P.S. If you'd like to share your favorite Swish memories, we’ve created a forum for this purpose – and we want to hear from you!  You can do so here: http://action.swishpride.org/SwishMemories

Also, please feel free to email Swish's president Sue Sena directly with any thoughts, questions or insights about this new chapter in our work together.

***