ABOUT US

Equality Michigan Action Network has been working for nearly three decades to achieve full equality and respect for all Michigan residents regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Michigan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people are working to achieve basic fairness and equality in our state.

 

Our Mission

EQMI Action Network advocates and lobbies to ensure Michigan laws and public policies empower LGBTQ+ neighbors throughout the state to live in safe communities, and create positive impact by improving our social, political, and economic lives and wellbeing. We do this by ensuring underrepresented votes matter.

 

Vision

For LGBTQ+ people to live their best lives in the State of Michigan.

 

Values

  • Equity: We work toward fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all.
  • Integrity: We honor ethical principles, honesty, and transparency.
  • Inclusion: We courageously value each individual’s voice, ideas, and worth, seeking out those of underrepresented and LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Belonging: We are vigilantly committed to a positive environment in which everyone may experience a sense of community and worth while demonstrating a willingness to listen deeply to what each person has to say.
  • Accountability: We are accountable to our community and stakeholders for results.

 

We want to live in safe communities, take care of our families, and contribute to our social, cultural, political, and economic lives and wellbeing. EQMI Action Network is a social justice entity that educates and advocates around a host of issues disproportionately impacting LGBTQ lives, from HIV criminalization to transgender murders. Our general political work includes, but is not exclusive to:

 

  • Advocating for LGBTQ inclusion and protections under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Ethnic Intimidation Act;
  • Supporting pro-LGBTQ local human rights ordinances throughout Michigan;
  • Promoting policies supporting equal LGBTQ health care access and cultural competency;
  • Defending marriage equality and LGBTQ families against “religious exemption” and anti-LGBTQ adoption bills and laws;
  • Working toward the enforcement of state and federal anti-bullying policies to prevent the violence, harassment, and discrimination experienced by in-school LGBTQ youth;
  • Actively working for the enforcement of federal laws protecting incarcerated LGBTQ individuals from sexual assault and hate violence in jails and prisons; and,
  • addressing anti-LGBTQ bias, violence, harassment and discrimination across the state, particularly for Michigan’s uniquely vulnerable transgender communities.

MEET THE ACTION NETWORK STAFF

Erin Knott
Executive Director - eknott@equalitymi.org

Erin Knott is the Executive Director at Equality Michigan Action Network. She is a progressive activist, who has dedicated herself to championing social and economic justice and equality for all. Erin has extensive experience working on high-impact campaigns, involving a combination of legislative, public education and organizing strategies. She began her career investing resources and human capital into Kalamazoo’s urban neighborhoods, and has spent over a decade working on issue campaigns at the local, state and federal levels.

 

Erin served as the Michigan State Director for Enroll America where she worked in collaboration to coordinate enrollment efforts in the Michigan Marketplace. She previously served as the Michigan Political Director for America Votes and Deputy Director for Michigan Citizen Action. She has forged and strengthened collaborative efforts with advocacy organizations, labor unions, student groups, communities of color, faith-based organizations, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities by working in coalitions across all levels.

 

Erin has made Kalamazoo her home for over twenty years. She has been on the City Commission since 2015 and is currently the Mayor Pro Tem. Erin is the recipient of the 2012 Progressive Leadership “Grassroots Leader” Award.

Trevor Thomas
Chair Emeritus
Phillip Smith
Vice Chair
Scott Morrow
Treasurer
Courtney Simmons
Chair
Tim Atkinson
Secretary
Open
Member-at-Large