UNITE FOR EQUAL RIGHTS!

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Lesbian photographer Alix Smith's project States of Union is among 1143 projects being considered for a whopping $250,000 grant from Pepsi. For the last two years, Smith has been working on an award winning photography project/social action campaign that addresses inequality in civil rights – specifically, in the rights afforded to gay and lesbian individuals. Through gesture, color scheme, background and lighting, the photographs that comprise States of Union are loosely based on classical paintings. The goal of the project, which was exhibited at The Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York, and in Los Angeles at Manifest Equality, is to show LGBT youth - and indeed all Americans - that LGBT families, couples, and loves are no different than heterosexual ones and deserve the same love, support, and admiration.

Pepsi's "refresh everything" campaign seeks to reward "people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact" and will change their community. Smith believes that encouraging positive identify formation in gay and lesbian youth by exposing them to images of familial love that they can relate to is critical to changing all American communities for the better. States of Union has been compared to the AIDS Quilt in its power to have a profound emotional affect on those that see it. It would be truly fantastic of an LGBT project was sponsored by such a well-known company as Pepsi!

Voting for the winner of this grant began on April 1 and Smith's project has already moved from 215th place to 67th, but in order to win she must move to 1st place. Supporters may vote daily for this project online at http://www.refresheverything.com/statesofunion

IN THE LIFE is doing a segment on Alix Smith and States of Union. It is the second story in the "Dismantling Hate" episode. You can see it online at: http://www.inthelifetv.org/html/watchitl.shtml

The Advocate wrote about States of Union in January : http://www.advocate.com/Arts_and_Entertainment/Art/Artist_Spotlight_Alix...

To learn more about States of Union go to: www.statesofunion.com

Thanks for taking a look at this project and we hope you'll consider voting, passing the information to people you know or organizations you are apart of and we hope you'll consider posting about it!