Lincoln Legacy Project Partners

Ford’s Theatre will partner with a number of local and national organizations on the 2013 Lincoln Legacy Project, which will center on a production of The Laramie Project. Our partners shared the following words about the project:

Matthew Shepard Foundation
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was established by Judy and Dennis Shepard in memory of their son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. The Foundation empowers individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy and resources, effecting positive change.

“Every great civil rights advance in our country's history seems to stem from a place whose name echoes in Americans' mind long after the crime, or vigil, or march or protest that occurred there. Because of the visibility of Matthew Shepard's murder, and the groundswell of LGBT civil rights activism that followed, Laramie, Wyoming is one of those places. The Laramie Project captures the momentousness of the days following Matt's death and the introspection and ongoing debate that lingers so many years later, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation is proud and honored to work with Ford's Theatre on this year's Lincoln Legacy Project.”
Jason Marsden, Executive Director, Matthew Shepard Foundation

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources, including accredited, free and confidential crisis intervention services, a social networking community, best-practice education programs, and advocacy initiatives to create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.

“The Trevor Project is proud to partner with Ford’s Theatre on The Lincoln Legacy Project. We know that lack of acceptance and tolerance directly impacts the health, safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Recalling President Lincoln’s legacy to promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding can both move our country forward and save lives.”
Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project

Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL)
SMYAL’s mission is to support and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy.

“SMYAL is proud to partner with Ford’s Theatre on The Lincoln Legacy Project to shine a light on the devastating impact homophobia and transphobia continue to have on our youth – and how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight youth leaders are at the forefront of promoting acceptance and inclusion throughout our community.”
Andrew Barnett, Executive Director, Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL)

Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.

“Facing History and Ourselves is pleased to partner with Ford's Theatre on The Lincoln Legacy Project about the important issues raised in The Laramie Project, from understanding how unchecked prejudice can lead to a hate crime, to the importance of perspective-taking and developing empathy. Bringing the story of Matthew Shepard to Metro DC schools and classrooms will help students make the connection between recent history and the moral choices they face in their own lives.“
Marc Skvirsky, Chief Program Officer, Facing History and Ourselves

Not In Our Town (NIOT)
Not In Our Town’s mission is to guide, support and inspire people and communities to work together to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments for all. NIOT believes that change takes place at the local level and fosters and supports models of change that result in efforts to address intolerance and hate.

The Laramie Project helped a town, and then the nation, confront the horror and pain of a viscous hate crime killing by giving voice to an entire community. Thanks to Ford's Theatre for bringing this vital story to the Capital. Not in Our Town is proud to be a part of the endeavor to promote deep conversations about how all of us are affected by acts of bigotry, and how each of us can find a way to stand up to hate in our communities, our country and our world.”
Patrice O’Neill, Executive Director, Not In Our Town

Split This Rock
Split This Rock celebrates poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination. Our youth programs provide safe spaces, mentorship and training for students interested in developing their poetry skills. In addition to poetry festivals and workshops, we run after-school programs, host slams and coach the D.C. Youth Slam Team.

“Split This Rock is dedicated to the poetry of provocation and witness, precisely the art of The Laramie Project. We’re thrilled to partner with Ford’s Theatre on The Lincoln Legacy Project—an opportunity to bear witness to injustice and provoke change.”
Sarah Browning, Executive Director, Split This Rock

Teaching for Change
Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world. Our programs include a progressive bookstore at Busboys and Poets (14th and V), parent organizing, professional development and online resources for teachers.

“Teaching for Change is pleased to partner with Ford’s Theatre for The Laramie Project and contribute to the conversation on equity and justice for the lesbian and gay communities. The production and community dialogues present a unique opportunity to promote lesbian and gay history and voices with parents, teachers, and students seeking to build social justice, starting in the classroom.”
Deborah Menkart, Executive Director, Teaching for Change

Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, we work toward the day when the ideals of
equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

“This year’s play, about the brutal murder of a young gay man, is a powerful tool to inspire discussion and education around SPLC’s core goals of promoting a more accepting society and winning justice for the victims of bigotry. This discussion is particularly important as the LGBT community suffers from more violent hate crimes than any other group and fights for the equal treatment enjoyed by the rest of society.”
Morris Dees, Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

The DC Center
The DC Center’s mission is to celebrate, strengthen, and support community among the LGBT residents and organizations of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is the nation’s premier civil and human rights coalition, consisting of more than 200 national organizations working together to build an America that is as good as its ideals.

PFLAG-Metro DC Chapter
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.

Tectonic Theater Project

Tectonic Theater Project is known for creating plays that have sparked national discourse and inspired audiences worldwide, including: Gross Indecency, The Laramie Project and I Am My Own Wife. TTP uses Moment Work, our unique method for creating theater, to develop our plays. Currently in production/development: Tallest Tree (about Paul Robeson) and Square Peg (about life on the Autism spectrum).

Previous year’s partners for The Lincoln Legacy Project include the Atlas Performing Arts Center, East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., the DCJCC, Jewish Film Festival, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, the Montford Point Marine Association, the NAACP-D.C. Branch, Operation Understanding D.C., Theater J and the Veterans History Project.