Pauly Pagenhart

A Celebratory Bookmark

by MJ Morrissey, Our Family Coalition Education Intern

Atfap-valentinesbookmark-2015-1  Our Family Coalition, we understand that our families are not simply members of the LGBTQIA+ community; they are members of the black community, the latin@ community, and many other communities. That while our focus is to provide resources and support to queer headed households, we cannot fulfill that promise or meet that expectation unless we are able and willing to address the needs of these other communities as well, and the ways in which those identities coincide and intersect with being LGBTQIA+.

We always have and always will bring an intersectional framework to our actions. We do this because we cannot advocate for only one part of our identity/identities. Social justice work requires us to be aware of our differences and identities, know when and where they intersect, and acknowledge that they are inextricable from each other. To advocate for equality means that when we advocate for one identity that we must not forget the others. For more on intersectionality and its necessity to the work of social justice, we lift up the words of Audre Lorde:

fap-valentinesbookmark-2015-2It is in this light that we are proud to present our most recent creation: a bookmark that celebrates Valentine’s day, Black History Month, LGBTQ history, and promotes inclusion in schools. This bookmark, which draws its design from the kente cloth of South Ghana, also features the the LGBTQIA+ rainbow colors and a quote from June Jordan, highlighting just one of the many ways in which the identities of queer and black can intersect.

The original idea behind this came from one of our own family liaison members, Meghan Lewis, who was seeking to highlight and bring to light the specific intersection of queerness and blackness as we headed into Black History Month. Our Education and Communication teams, which were behind the intersectional idea from the start, helped bring the design to life and are proud to announce that 8 different schools in the East Bay will be receiving and distributing these bookmarks to their students as Black History Month draws to a close and Women’s History month begins.


As always, we want to empower each of our families and remind them that Our Family Coalition is always open and looking for great ideas to help represent and lift up the diverse range of families we support. Our Family Coalition was started by families coming together to discuss how we can create more welcoming and inclusive school environments. We began from the spirit of families advocating for families and maintain that vision and goal as we grow. We are always working to do what we feel and know is best, but also acknowledge that if we are to truly stand and say we know what our families need, we also rely on all of you to tell us what you need and/or provide us feedback at any and every juncture. If you have any suggestions or specific ideas you would like to see brought to reality, we are always here. It’s why we’re here. Contact us at!

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