By Crystal A. Promxire
A fresh new face appears on the page of Equality Michigan's staff page, as the statewide advocacy group welcomes their newest Field Organizer Sommer Foster.
Foster is an Eastern Michigan graduate, a member of the Canton Township Library Board, and a member of both the NAACP and the Center for Progressive Leadership. She has worked on several political campaigns and most recently worked in constituent services and outreach for Congressman David Alan Curson, who briefly held Michigan's 11th Congressional District seat, replacing Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) after he stepped down abruptly during his 2012 campaign.
Equality Michigan's field organizer is responsible for recruiting, managing and coordinating volunteers as well as for developing and executing the organization's public education and grassroots mobilization, coordination and outreach plans.
The organization has utilized field organizers in the past to train community leaders in political activism strategies and messaging, facilitate town halls, provide rapid response and initiate public engagement in response to legislative action and assist in the passage of local non-discrimination policies, according to Equality Michigan's Managing Director Emily Dievendorf.
"Sommer Foster brings a unique set of skills to Equality Michigan's field program," Dievendorf said. "She has experience in the management of political campaigns, volunteer recruitment and training, coalition building, and has been a legislative staffer. She is warm, passionate, politically savvy and articulate. I consider Sommer's combination of skills an ideal match to Equality Michigan's work to expand the base, engage and activate equality supporters, and strengthen Equality Michigan's collaborative work to better empower the LGBT communities' ability to win equality and stand firm against attempts to make Michigan more hostile to our families."
Equality Michigan advocates for full equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. That work includes lobbying for policy change in Lansing, advancing local LGBT-inclusive ordinances, and serving over 700 victims of LGBT or HIV related harassment, discrimination, or violence.
Foster will begin working immediately with the existing staff to advance local and statewide policy initiatives, and coordinate the organization's volunteers.