Equality for All Families – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Equality for All Families

Amanda Whelan ’10 is striving towards equality for all families as a Communications Intern for Family Equality Council in Massachusetts this summer. The organization is a national advocacy group for LGBT-headed families. Day-to-day, she works with the organization’s blog, online calendar, e-blasts, and online store, and also troubleshoots problems with any online operations, helps design products for the online store, and writes product descriptions.

In many respects, Whelan’s internship relates to her post-graduate goals. “I plan to work in public policy, and a large amount of Family Equality Council work centers around advocating various bills to protect LGBT rights and to create safe schools for children of LGBT parents,” she says. “Many of the blog posts I’ve written have centered on discussing and explaining these bills and actions.”

Recently, Whelan took part in “Family Week” in Provincetown, Mass., a week-long event for families with LGBT parents. “It is the culmination of the Family Equality Council’s work, a safe space for families to play and meet other families like them,” she explains. “In many cases, Family Week is the only time that these children can recognize their awesome families and be recognized in turn. Many children remember the event for a long time and hold it dear to their hearts.” Particularly touching was a young boy who told Whelan that he’d written about last year’s Family Week for an essay, nearly an entire year after the event took place.

“The people I work with are awesome, funny and nice,” says Whelan of her internship’s rewards. “Not only has this internship let me work in an office and a non-profit setting, but it has also allowed me to interact with the very people I’m advocating. I’m really happy to be working here.”

Whelan is an international relations major and minor in French. In spring 2009, she studied abroad in Avignon, France. She served as copy editor for Thel, house manager for the Russian Theme House, member of Pride, and contributed articles to Martini.

In photo above, Whelan is playing with children at the Family Week event.