Friday, November 27, 2009

Video 7 - Boston, MA

Here is this week's video filmed in Boston, MA.

video

Wherever I go, so goes this message.

Sign the petition today.

Alan L. Bounville
407-484-6671
alanbounville@gmail.com

Organizational Oppression - A One Man Show

It is official. The play I am writing detailing this whole movement has been selected by the Orlando International Fringe Festival for their 2010 season.

Organizational Oppression - A One Man Show is a one-act play that details one person's journey as an emerging activist. Through the very personal true story, I will share how much of an impact oppression in the workplace had on my life and why I choose to stand up against it in such a public and artistic way. I hope you will join me in May, 2010 at the Orlando International Fringe Festival!

A portion of the proceeds will benefit future performances of this play in other cities where this kind of oppression exists. Another portion of the proceeds will benefit outreach efforts to continue encouraging Orlando Health to embrace the calls to action in the ignored proposal and petition. And yet another portion will benefit my bank account. I'm a poor grad student living off student loans. It's the sad state of education in this country, being financially penalized to further ourselves. I digress.

If Orlando Health or anyone tries to thwart this play's production - whether it be by subversive means or direct affronts I am fully prepared to engage in legal action.

To learn more about the Orlando International Fringe Festival visit:

Alan L. Bounville
407-484-6671
alanbounville@gmail.com

PS Orlando Health employees will receive a $2 discount to the show.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

I thought it would be appropriate to share during this season of thanks - some of my thanks.

I worked at Orlando Health for 2 1/2 years. I lived in Orlando for about 20 years. And I am gay. Much of my work in Orlando centered around fundraising and marketing. As the public face to different organizations I was often part of meetings or in groups with those who would identify as conservative. Often in these settings I would be nervous to speak my mind, interject with a criticism or let my hair down, so to speak and just be myself.

Since moving to New York and starting my graduate studies at New York University I have found a pressure I didn't even know was there dissipating. More and more I feel I am coming into my skin - caring less and less how I am perceived - and able to go about my daily life at work and school with less anxiety and more focus on what is important to me - getting the most of my very expensive, probably-will-never-be-able-to-pay-back education.

I am surrounded by supportive people - people who think the idea of not extending domestic partner benefits to Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Transgender, Bisexual unmarried employees in any setting is appalling. When I share with people the pressures I felt as a gay person working for Orlando Health they understand me. They know that any organization that does not stand on the side of all their employees is oppressing some of them for certain. The people I confront here don't understand why Orlando Health won't provide domestic partner benefits and further establish a diversity initiative where all employees have a voice. In 2009 they say such bigotry is ridiculous and is a clear sign something is wrong.

When I think of what a true commitment to diversity will bring to the whole Central Florida community - I don't understand either why it is so hard for Orlando Health to - just - change. All I can think now is - in doing so, Orlando Health would create an imbalance in benefits and opportunities hospitals provide in Central Florida causing employees from all hospitals to want to lobby for more voice in their organizations - which would probably lead to...

UNIONS!

Yikes! What if all the leaders in healthcare in Central Florida had an unwritten agreement to not stray to far away from the status quo as to not give the common folk the idea that they have more power than they think they have at present?

Hmm...

In contrast, as we see the tide towards equality shifting among the common folk we see coalition building starting to happen in the Central Florida community. I'd like to give you the contact information for a leader who is committed to working with all who support initiatives like the petition encouraging Orlando Health to be more culturally competent. His name is Paul Wilson. Paul is the president of the Central Florida AFL-CIO. He has been a great ally fighting for equality in the workplace. You can contact Paul confidentially to discuss how employees can have more voice in the workplace in all areas - not just those outlined in the petition.

Paul Wilson, President
ATU LOCAL 1596 &

CF AFL-CIO

407-463-4428 cell

Pwilson122@cfl.rr.com


Well, I said I was going to share some of what I am thankful for. Here goes:

I am thankful we are near the 200 mark in petition signers.
I am thankful I have a weight lifted from my shoulders as an out and proud gay man.
I am thankful that I am on the right side of history.
I am thankful for my loving family and friends who support equality.

And I am thankful that you are reading my words right now.

Have a wonderful weekend with those you love!

Alan L. Bounville
Former Orlando Health employee and current donor
407-484-6671
alanbounville@gmail.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekly Video - Video 6 and Facebook Opportunity

Here is this week's video encouraging Orlando Health to be more culturally competent.

video

I want to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting this movement so far. I'm sure at Orlando Health there are plenty of closed door conversations trying to thwart these efforts. I know this because it happened while I worked there - and the public actions they have taken as of late to try and show how wonderful they are parallel that of staged propaganda.

Recently, Orlando Health established a Facebook Group. Please join the group and share how you feel about equal benefits in the workplace. There are over 1,400 members of the group and two very interesting things are happening:

1. The people who are posting comments are all saying essentially the same thing - 'I've worked at Orlando Health for x numbers of years and I love it.' But, only I seem to be addressing what the organization could do better. Sounds a bit fishy.

2. I have sent friend requests to many of the members of the group and many have accepted my request. My profile picture is very clear that I am on a mission - so it's not as though I'm trying to trick people into becoming my Facebook friend.

Though is seems somewhat manipulative, I would like to thank Orlando Health for providing such a public venue for feedback. Now, if people would use it to do more than reinforce the status quo the group could really be something useful. I'm not saying wonderful things don't happen at Orlando Health. They do. It's just, well...we shall see if you join me and seize this opportunity to provide critical feedback to a company responsible for saving and improving lives - so they can do just that even better.

Your voice matters.

Thank you.

Alan L. Bounville
Former Orlando Health employee and current donor
407-484-6671
alanbounville@gmail.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Was Faxed to Doctors?

I've received the question - what was faxed to Orlando Health affiliated doctor offices?

Below is the copy of the single page fax that I sent to doctor's offices over the past couple days. Why this would inspire such hateful emails to me and stern voice messages only shows what is really under the surface in Central Florida in regard to inclusivity.

"Dear Orlando Health Affiliated Physician Group,

Since I’ve been blocked by Orlando Health to email you – I am sending you this second fax in what will be a series you will receive. In the last fax I shared with you why it is important for healthcare providers who are affiliated with Orlando Health to stand up and support the petition at www.tinyurl.com/ohdiversity encouraging Orlando Health to fall in line with true healthcare leaders like:

Yale-New Haven Hospital, Children’s Hospital Boston, Duke University Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Group Health Central Hospital, Bedford Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic and many more to among other things provide domestic partner benefits for their employees. It is just wrong that Orlando Health does not treat all employees the same. How can Orlando Health be on the forefront of healthcare without adhering to the principles outlined in the petition? The truth – they are not on the forefront of healthcare because of bias such as this.

Here are some recent petition signatures:

Orlando Health Affiliated Physician, Dr. Mark P. Trolice (signed after I faxed over 1,700 Orlando Health doctor offices like yours)

“Increasing education and cultural awareness of diverse patient populations is critical to the health of our society and mandatory for any health care provider/organization. Our goal must be to facilitate the comfort of our patients as we provide the highest quality of care.”

Orlando Health Employee, Michael Cherry

“I am a team member of Orlando Health and while I am often proud of the work done here I am ashamed of the message this kind of bias sends out. This institutionalized bigotry flies in the face of the values that our caring work normally reflects. Institutionalized bigotry contributes to violence and strife in the workplace and the community. It is in direct opposition to the Orlando Health mission of promoting health in the community.”

Community Member and Healthcare Provider, Cynthia Grow

“Community providers, myself included, need to be vigilant by doing all we can to encourage companies and individual public servants to support EQUAL rights for ALL no matter what! Doing NOTHING or remaining SILENT regarding crucial company policies that would alleviate suffering or protect individual's and couples' rights means that your company CONDONES discrimination. SHAME on you, ORLANDO HEALTH. Step up and DO what's RIGHT!!”

The petition to support this effort can be found at: www.tinyurl.com/ohdiveristy

All videos, a copy of the original proposal Orlando Health ignored and history on this movement can be found at: www.ohdi.blogspot.com

There are 190 signatures on this petition to date.

Your voice matters! Sign the petition today.

Sincerely,

Alan L. Bounville

Former Orlando Health Employee and Current Donor

407-484-6671

alanbounville@gmail.com

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hateful Speech from Princeton Pediatrics - Faxes to Doctors who Work with Orlando Health

Since Orlando Health has blocked me from emailing any Orlando Health employees or doctors (they removed all doctor's emails from their website because I was pulling their email addresses offline and emailing them) I downloaded a list FROM Orlando Health's website that had all their affiliated doctor's contact information listed and decided to start faxing them all - all 1,700 + of them.

I have sent two faxes - one in October and one last night. I thought I'd share with you an email I just received from one of their partner physician groups.

"DO NOT SEND ANY FURTHER FAXES TO OUR BUSINESS 407 290 9941. I AM NOT INTERESTED AT ALL IN YOUR LIBERAL FACIST IDEAS OR YOUR EXTREME LEFT VIEWS. IF YOU DON'T LIKE ORLANDO HEALTH DON'T WORK FOR THEM.

THANK YOU

PRINCETON PEDIATRICS"

If one were to read the petition they would see that what is being promoted here is far from fascist or extreme left. If I were a patient of Princeton Pediatrics I'd worry about the healthcare they are providing to me or my family because of the above comment.

No longer does it amaze me at what comes out of the can when you open it. This is the kind of hate that is under the surface in Central Florida. This is the kind of hate that we know goes on behind closed doors all the time. But it has been through projects such as this one where you really get to see what people are thinking. Though it is hard to read words such as the representative from Princeton Pediatrics' - especially since these words represent a healthcare facility that serves the community - and especially since they are affiliated with Orlando Health - though it is hard to read these words - it is necessary to reveal them so we never forget what we're up against - and keep fighting.

Please contact Princeton Pediatrics to let them know they are causing harm to patients by holding such extreme views:

Princeton Pediatrics
6388 Silver Star Road, # 2B
Orlando, FL 32818
Phone - (407) 290-3344
Fax - 407-290-9941
email address that sent me the hateful email - prinpeds@cfl.rr.com

SIGN THE PETITION TODAY - to let Orlando Health know you don't support them having this kind of business partnership with doctors in the community.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why All Voices on this Petition Matter

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Birmingham Jail.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Growth of the Walking Collection of Voices

Orlando Health Diversity Initiative - Video 5

LINK TO VIDEO

(I will be uploading the video to the blog later, but until then you can access it on my YouTube channel.)

As an act of civil disobedience, you may know that I do not remove people from my email list who don't want to know about this Walking Collection of Voices encouraging Orlando Health to embrace the calls to action in the proposal and petition.

So you can see what we're up against, here are a few such messages I have received since starting this blog and video project.

August 20, 2009 - From me to John Bozard, president of Orlando Health Foundation and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (one of Orlando Health's hospitals):

"John,

I wanted to follow up with you to see where you are at in meeting Michael Freeman to discuss Cultural Awareness opportunities for Orlando Health. As you and I discussed, there are many, many facets to this topic and how Orlando Health can benefit from taking solid steps towards broadening its cultural awareness. Michael as an expert in this area with a well respected track record for working with organizations like Orlando Health will, as we discussed, help break down this process into manageable action items so that the organization can work over time towards being more culturally competent.

I know you are very busy, but I am confident your meeting with Michael will prove valuable for the organization both in the near term and for long term growth.

Thanks,

Alan"

August 20, 2009 - John Bozard's reply to my above email:

"Alan, good to hear from you. I hope you are doing well and that things are going well for you. When you have time, be sure to give me an update on what you are doing, with contact information, etc. As you can imagine, we have been very busy getting ready for the Sept 5th birthday party to honor Mr. Palmer and to celebrate the 20yr anniversary of APH. I have been traveling a little more than normal these past days trying to visit some potential donors. I had planned to follow up on things but just have not had a chance.

I did get a call from Michael Freeman a few weeks ago, trying to get a meeting on my calender. As it turns out, Michael Freeman and I have known each other for a long time. Many years ago, Michael and his wife were good friends with my sister and brother in law. I have not yet had a chance to return his call or to get something set up.

After you and I had the meeting with Nancy Dinon, Nancy ask that I let her office be the ones to follow up on anything to do with Cultural Awareness as she was adding some new staff members, and she felt that it was important that this issue be handled appropriately by her team. In that regard, I am going to forward Michael's contact information to Nancy and ask her to please have someone on her team to follow up. I will do that next week.

Again, it was good to hear from you and please stay in touch with us at the Foundation. I appreciate the great work that you did for us while you were part of the team.

John Bozard"

October 13, 2009 - Email from Jan Stratton, Universal Orlando's vice president of Diversity & Community Relations:

"Please take me off of your e-mail distribution list."

Ms. Stratton's desire to be removed points to a big problem among leaders at businesses that do embrace diversity in a truly culturally competent way. Ms. Stratton should be pressuring Orlando Health to change. Universal Orlando donates to Orlando Health - they have power to tell Orlando Health to get with the times - but instead their diversity leader asks to be removed from my list. Ironic as well since this week the following Universal Orlando team member signed the petition with the following comment:

John Goodwin, Florida
"I work for NBC Universal Orlando. We have one of the best diversity programs I have seen. Diversity is not just a "gay" issue. This is about working in a diverse society and recognizing the needs and issues of many groups. You can't leave your house and not notice how diverse central Florida is. You are welcome to come and learn from our program."

October 13, 2009 - Email from West Orange Chamber of Commerce Board Member (I send to chamber board members because they should be part of the solution - not part of the problem like this board member.):

"Let the market decide. Please do not send me any more of your campaign and other e-mails.

A. Kurt Ardaman
Fishback, Dominick, Bennett, Stepter,
Ardaman, Ahlers & Langley LLP
1947 Lee Road
Winter Park, Florida 32789
ardaman@fishbacklaw.com
Phone: (407) 425-2786
Fax: (407) 425-2863"

September 11, 2009 - Another West Orange Chamber of Commerce Board Member - Little does Mr. Densmore know that my own father threatened to sue me over emailing him similar type messages last year. If I'm not afraid of my own dad, Mr. Densmore, what makes you think I fear you?:

"Mr. Bounville:

Once again I advise you to *_IMMEDIATELY REMOVE ME_* from your email list. I am prepared to take legal action if I receive another email from you.
Mr. James K. Densmore"

September 11, 2009 - From the president of the African American Chamber of Commerce, Robert Spooney:

"Please remove me from your distribution list."

September 4, 2009 - From Betsey Bell - Orlando Health employee and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board Member - She is referring to one of my many emails I've sent out on this subject to the chamber:

"Please disregard this message. I am going to look into it- Alan is not a team member and this is the first I'm hearing of anything like this.

Thank you for your understanding. I will follow up once I find out more details.

Thank you!

Betsey Bell
Orlando Health
321. 230. 9710 cell"

There are a handful more of these emails. I share these above so you see that no matter who you are in the Central Florida business elite, it seems you don't want to be part of the solution. So, as I've been saying all along - the self appointed 'leadership' is doing a poor job at leading. It really is a sad situation. But, this is par for the course for social movements. It is always the people who are under the thumb of oppression who have the most powerful voices. And the more they rise up and share their stories and their experiences the closer a movement comes to tangible change.

Will you commit to add more voices to this movement?


Thank you.

Alan L. Bounville
Former Orlando Health employee and current donor
407-484-6671
alanbounville@gmail.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

Taking a Week Off?

Hardly!

I wanted to let you know that the only reason I have not posted the weekly video showing this week's additional signatures is because I have taken on a protest project this week, here in my new home of New York City. Trust me - the momentum has most definitely moved forward this week and it's killing me not to be able to share it all with you until next week.

However know this:
  • Some very - VERY powerful comments have come through the petition this week (hint: you could just go to the petition link above if you want to read them right now).
  • There is a coalition forming between this movement and other health care institutions who are going through similar inequality struggles.
  • An exciting organizational endorsement to the petition is on its way.
Though it is very exciting to see the momentum continue to build - it is also disheartening that Orlando Health leaders are still inactive. Let me rephrase that because I'm not under their thumb anymore and I can say it like it is - it's disgusting!

But - this is what bigots do. In every social movement where an oppressed group is seeking equality, those who hold the power can wield it at their discretion - that is until enough pressure is put on the oppressing group to force a change. Each movement's tipping point is different, but what is clear is that it takes all kinds of activities to gain equality.

It takes petitions, meetings of those who support equality, acts of civil disobedience, one-on-one talks with anyone and everyone involved on both sides of the issue, money (in this case my personal money) and most importantly - a desire to achieve the end result.

In all these areas, with this movement we are witnessing change before our eyes. In my silly costume I ask every week in the video project, How Many Voices Does it Take for Change to Take Place? Today I also ask - how much do those who want to see this change take place care to see the end result come to fruition and what else are you going to do to make it a reality?

Never forget: Florida is one of if not the most oppressive states in the United States. I can tell you from personal knowledge as a patient of health care institutions here in New York and in Florida that there is a marked difference in how health care is delivered in regard to cultural competence. In New York there are more inclusive questions on in-take forms, I am questioned less about my health care concerns that may indicate something about my culture (like I was at Orlando Health - not as an employee, but as a patient), there are more protections for non-white or non-Christian people like domestic partner benefits and diversity offices do an excellent job here of using the diversity of employees and patients as a tool to make the delivery of health care better.

It is always the case that oppressed people truly don't feel the oppression they are under until they are out from its stronghold. Then, and only then can they reflect back at how bad it really was and appreciate everything they did to get to the other side.

Keep getting people to stand up and fight Orlando Health's bigotry!

Thank you.

Alan L. Bounville


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gay Apartheid Protest this Sunday in New York City - Plan One in Your City Too

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4, 2009

Media Contact:

Alan L. Bounville
Activist and Graduate Student
New York University
407-484-6671
alanbounville@gmail.com

www.tinyurl.com/gayapartheidprotest

REACTION TO GAY APARTHEID IN MAINE

New York City Residents Protest this Sunday, November 8, 2009 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Join supporters of equality outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral this Sunday to show those who oppose equality the faces of their discrimination. Stepping beyond the comfort zones of rallies and marches we take our message directly to the people and one of the organizations that have brought about gay apartheid in the United States.

Protesters should come with signs and their voices. This is a peaceful demonstration, but the anger against the members of the Catholic Church in New York City, who helped by their affiliation to the Catholic Church in Maine pass the hateful Question 1 in Maine yesterday need to know that no longer can we live as a nation that is separate and not equal.

Protest participants are also encouraged to call their U.S. elected officials at 202-224-3121 and tell them that supporting gay apartheid on all fronts is wrong. It is against the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Protest Details can be found below and at:
www.tinyurl.com/gayapartheidprotest

Gay Apartheid Protest Details:

Sunday, November 8, 2009
Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral
9 AM - 1 PM
460 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10022-6863
___________________________________________________

Alan L. Bounville is an organizational oppression and LGBTQI activist and graduate student at New York University in New York City. His current project, encouraging the fifth largest employer in his former city, Orlando, FL to provide domestic partner benefits, create a multicultural office and open the dialogue about diversity can be found at: www.ohdi.blogspot.com.