FAIR News: Building a New Civil Liberties Organization
Dear Friends of FAIR,
When I was a child growing up in Newton, Massachusetts, I was passionate about civil rights. I wanted to do my small part to help “heal the world”—and move us ever closer to the promise outlined in the Declaration of Independence: that every person was created equal, and that we are all entitled to unalienable rights including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was a hero to me, and still is. I remember the day several years ago that I first shared his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech with my two young children. He spoke the truth about our shared humanity, equal protection under the law, access to equal opportunity for all, and why it was important to treat our fellow Americans with dignity and respect. I thought, growing up, that everybody shared these values.
As a young teenager in 1988, I did not understand why our governor at the time was pilloried as a “card-carrying member of the ACLU”—which I viewed as an organization committed to standing up for the individual civil liberties that are promised to all Americans under the Constitution. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Equal protection under the law. I saw the ACLU as a vigilant guardian, fighting to protect our hard-won individual rights and freedoms.
Perhaps that was true at one time—but, as I discovered a few years ago, and many recognized much earlier, the ACLU is no longer the vigilant and nonpartisan civil liberties organization that we desperately need. Rather, it is a highly partisan fundraising machine that contributes to the ever-increasing polarization in our culture, while bringing in almost $400 million per year through the ACLU and ACLU Foundation, plus millions more through its state-level chapters.
And where does the ACLU spend all of the money that it raises from individuals and corporations? In 2021, Anthony Romero, CEO of the ACLU, was paid over $1 million. This is an astounding amount for a nonprofit organization to spend on one person—and, together with the significant salaries of the other key employees, shows the degree to which, perhaps, money and a careerist mindset motivates and drives the people at the top of the ACLU.
As founder and CEO of FAIR, I have never taken, and will never take, any salary or compensation. In fact, FAIR’s total payroll, for its entire team of paid staff members combined, is substantially less than the $1 million that the ACLU spends on its CEO alone. For almost two years I have donated, and will continue to donate, my time, energy, and money to support FAIR. The same is true of the other volunteers and donors involved in building FAIR since its launch last March—including Letitia Kim, head of the FAIR legal network, our chapter leaders, Board of Advisors, and hundreds of other courageous individuals.
Why do so many of us choose to be part of this? While we may not agree on every issue, we are all passionate about FAIR’s nonpartisan mission, and to advancing the values, principles—and individual freedoms—that are the foundation of a healthy, functioning, pluralistic society. I was compelled to found FAIR after seeing how the same illiberal and intolerant ideology that had infected my children’s school had caused the ACLU and other civil rights organizations to stray from their missions. I saw the urgent need for a new, truly nonpartisan, organization committed to advancing individual civil rights and liberties for all Americans—and that is exactly what we are building, with your support and involvement, at FAIR.
Together, we are building an organization based on our shared values of fairness, understanding, and humanity. I invite you to join us as a member of FAIR with a donation of $25 or more—and help bolster the forces of love and honest inclusion over the forces of hate and alienation.
Want to help advance civil rights and liberties for all, and promote a common culture based on fairness, understanding, and humanity? Sign up for a free subscription today!
FAIR's Pro-Human Tour Stop in San Francisco, CA
Featuring Winston Marshall, Meg Smaker, Lincoln Jones, Michael Shellenberger, Bion Bartning, and Letitia Kim.
Understanding Gender Dysphoria and Its Impact on Clinical Care
Featuring Zander Keig, Teva Johnstone, Lisa Littman, and Stella O'Malley.
FAIR's Pro-Human Tour Stop in Los Angeles, CA
Featuring Winston Marshall, Michelle Pollino, Lincoln Jones, Kimi Katiti, and Bion Bartning.
FAIR Summer Internship Program
Applications are now open for our full-time summer internship program for highly motivated and open-minded undergraduate students.
Ideal candidates value curiosity, compassion, and courage, have excellent communication and leadership skills, and show a passion for FAIR’s pro-human values and vision. This internship provides students with real-world experience in a nonpartisan, dynamic, and mission-driven organization, while also empowering students to become ambassadors for FAIR’s mission. See what Summer 2022 Interns have to say about their experience below.
The internship is fully remote, except for an in-person orientation during the first week of the internship. Over the course of the internship, interns attend weekly all-hands meetings and work with a specific team to assist with new and ongoing projects. As a cohort, interns attend lunch & learns and seminars with thought leaders who promote our pro-human mission. Interns are expected to return to campus with a plan for bringing FAIR’s mission and approach to their respective colleges and universities.
HOW TO RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD | JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 2, 2023
You care about your kids and your community, we get it! So do we. Join FAIR in partnership with the Grassroots Leadership Academy for a 4-session, training experience to empower you to roll up your sleeves and run for school board (or effectively organize your community for someone you want to run for school board). This training experience is four, 90 minute sessions over four days, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. ET each day. This training is great for those of you who want to run and your core supporters alike. Together you will learn:
Session 1 on January 30 – How to become the candidate and set yourself up for success
Session 2 on January 31 – How to communicate your why and connect with the whys of those in your district
Session 3 on February 1 – How to create a messaging plan and stay on message no matter what
Session 4 on February 2 – How to talk to voters and raise money
Clinical Guide for Therapists Working With Gender Questioning Youth
GETA's Clinical Guide was written by therapists who have worked extensively with LGBT clients. GETA believes that a psychological approach should be the first line of treatment for psychological distress. Our guide offers an alternative to a gender affirming approach, putting forth an accessible, practical framework for clinicians. There is a need for therapists who validate the client as a whole person and who can facilitate an open-ended exploration rather than applying a one-size-fits-all treatment model. Many clinicians want to offer this type of therapeutic process, but may need guidance in how to achieve this stance amidst the contentious landscape. GETA's Clinical Guide is rooted in established and evidence-based psychotherapeutic traditions.
This webinar will provide a brief overview to the Clinical Guide and we’ll offer case examples and a discussion on working through common issues that arise in therapy with gender-questioning youth. Since this will be a webinar format, your attendance at this event will be anonymous.
FAIR News Podcast
Join the Pro-Human Movement With FAIR Merch!
FAIR Educators Alliance & Administrators Alliance Happy Hours
Teachers often feel isolated and alone in their schools, but FAIR is here for you! The FAIR Educators Alliance brings together educators from all levels to share experiences and concerns and work on developing resources that can support teachers, community members, and FAIR chapters.
FAIR’s Educator’s Alliance is hosting an informal happy hour every other Thursday evening, alternating between beginning at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET, and will hold more formal monthly meetings that will address issues based on your interests and needs.
If you’re a K-12 school administrator, we’re here to support you too! You’re invited to join the FAIR Administrators Alliance, which holds meetings the last Thursday of every month at 1:00 p.m. ET!
All teachers and administrators are welcome! For more information and to subscribe to the calendar, reach out to email@example.com.
Calling all FAIR Member Librarians and Library Staff! FAIR has established a network for members to connect and discuss key issues affecting their profession, advance pro-human principles, and preserve academic freedoms in library systems. The group meets biweekly.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining!