Advocacy

My Advocacy Background

I have been a strong advocate for non discrimination since my high school days.
I started seriously in the 60's advocating for African American rights: through my church and working with Saul Alinski.
This continued through to Johnson's civil rights act; I continued working on voting rights for the poor and people of color.
Even though I was in the service, I have been a war protester from Vietnam through the current imbroglios in the Middle East.
For the past two years I have focused on transgender rights and prison reform.

The transgender work includes gaining anti-discrimination legislation in Albany County,
several presentations to local government agencies, and participating in University panels.
I was also an organizer of a transgender workshop in Philadelphia this year.

Finally, I am a co-founder of a Times Union of Albany blog, Transgender Talk and a Facebook page, Affirming Transgender Rights, offering a wide range of transgender topics.

Affirming Transgender Rights

RSS Times Union – Transgender Talk

  • I’m here remarks at the 2019 Women’s Empowerment Rally in Albany, NY (a guest post by Teri Wilhelm) January 25, 2019
    [1] March organizers, especially Castina Charles and my brave, empowered sisters standing her in this cold afternoon.  My name is Teri Wilhelm.  With the good faith and at the pleasure of my colleagues, I presently serve as co-chair for the Capital Region GLSEN board,   Our beloved mission as a non-profit, all volunteer, GLSEN chapter, is
    Byrgen Finkelman
  • Please don’t conflate sexual assault and sexual harassment October 18, 2017
    The current “Me too” social media campaign engulfed the original “Me Too” movement started by activist Tarana Burke, a Black woman, 10 years ago, particularly for women of color.* “Burke is the founder of the Me Too movement, which aims to do exactly what the recent trending topic has done on social media: unify those
    Byrgen Finkelman
  • Let’s stop being poor allies to our own community (a guest post a trans person) October 17, 2017
    How microaggressions when used by members of the transgender community members and allies affect me. Recently, while advocating for transgender rights, I was on the receiving end of some microaggressions that bothered me.  Now, let me explain, I am not newly transitioned.   I transitioned over 15 years ago, and I have been a member of
    Byrgen Finkelman