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Anne-Marie Williams and the CLP

21 Jan Posted by in • Epochalips Interviews | Comments Off on Anne-Marie Williams and the CLP
Anne-Marie Williams and the CLP

Anne-Marie, tell us a little about your background and why you wanted to start California Lesbian Project

AMW: I am a true blue Angelino by birth.  I am one of thousands of Angelinos that are trying to create an understanding that Hollywood is part of Los Angeles, not Los Angeles.  There are thousands upon thousands of native Angelinos. 

I went to private schools ’til college.  I graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a degree in Theatre Arts.  I worked in the Theatre for about ten years then the non-profit world started calling.  My art was social justice focused so it made sense to fall into the NP world. 

When I moved to West Hollywood my life changed.  City Hall held its doors open and wrapped me in the warmth and empowerment of her committees.  So ten years ago I became politically interested in my world.  Thanks WeHo. 

The California Lesbian Project (CLP) was born out of a lineage of volunteer focused lesbian groups.  I just saw that lesbians’ issues were not being funded or a point of focus.  So with a group of powerful women we started CLP.  I remember the first meeting.  It was one of those folk-circle moments. 

CLP was started when Carol Golden my dear senior citizen in the closet lesbian friend died of cancer.  She was afraid to get lesbian information or go to doctors because she was never comfortable in her lesbian skin.  This is for Carol so that no other lesbian fears taking care of herself when it comes to health, politics or money.  Carol would have never gone unless I tricked her.  God bless Carol Golden. 

What resources does CLP offer and who benefits from most?

AMW: CLP works to make information easy.  We work to turn complicated language into everyday verbiage.  Andrea Shorter our Civic Engagement Director is a gift from the political gods. 

We are a hub of female information that is shared via facebook, our website, twitter, newsletter and such.  We take the information to the people.  We do all this technology with a human hand by providing panels and workshops with real people. 

You’ve got some amazing members on your board, and committee. How did you hook up with these people and what do they do for CLP?

AMW: Each committee, board, founding board member were gifts.  Our board is a group of hardworking folks who believe in empowering women.  If I had to go to war this committee and board would be the first ones I would follow.  Great women and men, truly great.

What does CLP do that no one else is doing?

AMW: CLP is focusing on women issues 24/7.    CLP has organically become an organization of fabulous color.  We are sort of the Colors of Bento of lesbian issues. 

How do you use social marketing to your advantage?

AMW: Social marketing is our work.  SM is how we create an environment of comfortable empowerment.

What can we expect to see from CLP in 2012?

AMW: We have two new partners this year.  I can’t wait to share this with all of you.  One of the focuses I will share is Lupus.  We are partnering with Lupus L.A. to spread the word about this female only disease. 

We are also looking to create some empowerment events in your neck of the woods the awesomely cool Bay Area. 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for all you do.  I and CLP look forward to working with you.  Happy New Year sisters! 

Anne-Marie Williams is the Founder of CLP and Human Services Commissioner for the City of West Hollywood. Check out the California Lesbian Project

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