Oregonians Are Recognizing Forward Together

August 19, 2019

Yee Won Chong

I am a proud Oregonian. I am also a proud non-binary trans person, and I am proud to serve on Forward Together’s board of directors. I decided to join the board because I am passionate about the work that the organization does. I’ve spent most of my time on the board sharing my personal stories in order to help people connect to the work we are doing in Oregon to expand the definition of family.

You can imagine how elated I was to learn that during the 2019 legislative session, Forward Together helped pass the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, including an expansive definition of family — and we did it through collective organizing efforts. This is such an impactful moment in Oregon. The data don’t lie; the idea of the nuclear family is really not the way that a lot of families identify today, especially families of color, immigrant families and queer families.

I know that Forward Together is just beginning the work that it will do in Oregon and beyond. We are bringing people together, creating change and dismantling societal norms, and this is how we will also transform the ways that we support each other.

At the same time, people are already recognizing Forward Together, and it’s beautiful! About four years ago, when I engaged with folks, they were less familiar with Forward Together, and yet they were fully aware of our programs like Mamas Day and Strong Families. Now, folks recognize the national organization. I often go places where I see the art that Forward Together created through the Art is Power program, and seeing how proudly people place the art in their offices and in front of their homes always amazes me. The art is creating change and spreading positive messages for our movements.

I am honored that I can be a part of Forward Together’s 30th birthday, and I can’t wait to see how the organization evolves over the next 30 years.