About Us

Equality Arizona is a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure LGBTQ+ people in Arizona have the opportunity, capacity, and confidence to make change as advocates, voters, and civic leaders. We're a multi-entity organization composed of a 501(c)(3), the Equality Arizona Foundation; a 501(c)(4), Equality Arizona; and the Equality Arizona Political Action Committee.

Meet Our Team

Jeanne Woodbury Jeanne Woodbury (she/her)

Interim Executive Director | Learn More About Jeanne

Shelby Young Shelby Young (she/her)

Community Organizer | Learn More About Shelby

Our Approach

Wherever decisions are being made in Arizona, it’s our job to make sure LGBTQ+ people are involved in that process. Something that plagues a lot of political organizing is an emphasis on “vision” over “value.” At its most basic level, politics is about how we form and structure our relationships to each other. And like any relationship, while it’s good and important (and unavoidable) to bring your own ideas and desires to the table, it’s not a given that everyone else involved will want the same things you do, and that’s okay. The highest and best pursuit is to put something of value out into the world, and to do that with care and attentiveness to detail.

For us this means approaching the work with focus and conducting ourselves with as much transparency as possible. We’ve streamlined all of our activity into three categories and are committed to delivering high-value, focused programs and resources in each:

  1. Civic Advocacy
  2. Political Organizing
  3. Media & Events

We’re going to wear our opinions on our sleeves, but we’re not going to chase down any singular policy or political outcome if it means compromising our core values of care and consent. Most importantly, we’re not going to try to do or be everything for everyone; we’re going to focus on what we think can provide the most value for you – the quarter million queer people of every race, of every faith, in every family and county and tribe across the state of Arizona – and then execute on those few ideas incredibly well.

Our History

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of Equality Arizona. We were founded at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to fight for the rights of people living with AIDS and for the decriminalization of LGBTQ+ lives and identities. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, we fought for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", challenged laws that would have defined marriage as "one man and one woman", and campaigned to win marriage equality for the entire community.

That work continues to be essential. Our rights as queer people – to form relationships, to receive healthcare and education, and even to exist in public – are under threat from a patterned and organized campaign stretching back 45 years to the formation of Anita Bryant’s homophobic “Save Our Children” coalition. It’s been a long and painful erosion of trust, ostracizing LGBTQ+ people from society. Winning rights on paper has never done enough to slow that down, and will never be enough for our community. We think the answer is simple – simple, but not easy. Building back trust means finding new ways to depend on each other, and embedding ourselves in our shared civic and political systems. We need active partners in this work, and that starts with you. Join us at the capitol, attend our events, sign up to volunteer, or make a donation today.