Out in the Night

PBS Premiere: June 22, 2015Check the broadcast schedule »

Take Action

Investigate your state's prosecution and incarceration rates by race, gender and/or sexual orientation. Work with state leaders and community-based alternative-to-incarceration groups to remedy any inequities you find. Alternatively (or in addition), look for systemic inequities based on socioeconomic class. (For example, consider how the system works differently for people who can and can't afford bail and whether the workload of the public defender's office is reasonable.)

Brainstorm a list of safe ways to respond to street harassers. Talk to your local police precinct for advice and ways to build police-community relationships. Start a community watchdog organization as a potential first response alternative to calling the police. Share the list widely.

Have a discussion with friends, family, community or students about safety and what makes a situation safe or unsafe. Establish a game plan for how to prevent unsafe situations and respond if you find yourself in one. Download the Circle of 6 app (http://www.circileof6app.com/), a free app that connects users with friends to stay close, stay safe and prevent violence before it happens. Identify six people to whom you can reach out if you find yourself in an unsafe situation, then share your game plan with them and ask if they will join your "Circle of 6."

Organize a group to serve as media watchdogs. Arrange to meet with publishers, journalists and news directors when you see headlines or stories that rely on negative stereotypes.

  • Write letters to individuals who are incarcerated. For a pen pal program for incarcerated LGBTQ, visit http://www.blackandpink.org/pen-pals/.

    Find (or found) an organization in your community that works to counteract homophobic, sexist or racist discrimination and/or that supports LGBTQ youth (especially youth of color). Ask how you can help. Find out more information about your legal rights from an organization such as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Lawyers Guild or Get Yr Rights.