NYAGRA’s mission is to advocate for freedom of gender identity and expression for all.
Pauline Park was chosen to be grand marshal of the
2005 New York City Pride March, the first
openly transgendered grand marshal in the history of that event.
The New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) is currently involved in a number of major initiatives at the state and local level:
1) Transgender Health Initiative of New York (THINY)
In 2004, in response to wide-ranging complaints of discrimination against transgendered people in the health care system, NYAGRA joined the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) in co-founding the Transgender Health Initiative of New York, a community organizing project whose goal is to ensure that transgendered and gender non-conforming people can access health care in a safe, respectful and non-discriminatory manner.
2) Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)
Transgendered and gender-variant people face pervasive discrimination, harassment, abuse and violence in this society. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (A.7438/Gottfried)(S.4794/Duane) was introduced in the New York state legislature in 2003 to amend state human rights law to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression. NYAGRA is a co-founding member of the GENDA Coalition (coordinated by the Empire State Pride Agenda, which is working to enact this important law. The bill passed the Assembly in early 2008 but has yet
to make progress in the state Senate.
3) Dignity for All Students Act (NYS DASA)
The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) was enacted by the New York state legislature in 2010 and prohibits discrimination and bias-based harassment in public schools throughout the state. The legislation requires the creation of programs such as student and teacher training to foster a harassment-free environment in schools, and a reporting mechanism that will allow the state to compile data on the occurrences of harassment in schools. NYAGRA is a co-founding member organization of the Dignity Coalition, which secured enactment of the legislation and which is now working on implementation of the statute.
4) Dignity in All Schools Act (NYC DASA)
In 2004, the New York City Council enacted the Dignity in All Schools Act (DASA), over-riding a veto by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The campaign for DASA was spearheaded by the NYC DASA Coalition, of which NYAGRA was a co-founding member organization. DASA prohibits bias harassment in public and (non-parochial) private schools throughout the five boroughs. The statute includes provisions that mandate training programs for school staff and create a mechanism for lodging complaints. DASA would make schools more accountable for preventing bias-based harassment and help students realize their full potential. Unfortunately, the Bloomberg administration refuses to implement and enforce this law. In 2007, NYAGRA joined with the New York Civil Liberties Union in founding a new coalition, the Dignity in Action coalition (coordinated by the NYCLU and NYAGRA), which is focused on securing full implementation and enforcement of the statute.
5) Human Rights in Government Operations Audit Law (Human Rights GOAL) &
New York City Human Rights Initiative (NYCHRI)
NYAGRA is a co-founding member organization of the New York City Human Rights Initiative (NYCHRI), which is coordinated by the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center. NYC HRI was established to advance the Human Rights in Government Operations Audit Law (Human Rights GOAL), pending legislation that if enacted would transform the way in which the City of New York addresses discrimination.
6) New York Alliance Against the Real ID Act (NYAARIDA)
NYAGRA is a co-founding member of the New York Alliance Against the Real ID Act (NYAARIDA), a statewide coalition of organizations coordinated by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) established to oppose implementation of the Real ID Act in New York.
Enacted by Congress in 2005, the Real ID Act will establish a system of government databases and electronic checkpoints that will infringe on the liberty of New Yorkers. In addition to costing billions of dollars to implement, the Real ID Act is an unwarranted intrusion into personal privacy that has serious implications for transgendered people as well as for immigrants and other law-abiding citizens and residents of the state.
Pauline Park, Chair
New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA)