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West Michigan art museum director Dana Friis Hansen is the first of 15 participants to speak out on the value of equality, in a new PSA series created by grassroots equality movement Until Love Is Equal.

Click here to see currently released the “Testify” PSA videos.

The “Testify” PSA series features a diverse sampling of West Michigan residents:

  • Local Arts and Culture leaders
  • Business owners, CEOs
  • Clergy
  • Heads of foundations and charities
  • Victims of discrimination in Holland

We’ll release new PSAs bi-weekly through June 15, 2013, the two-year anniversary of five Holland City Council members refusing to vote on an equality ordinance: Mayor Kurt Dykstra, the honorable Brian Burch, Todd Whiteman, Myron Trethewey and Nancy DeBoer.

“Everything about this production was transformative, and most of all – the trust factor,” said Until Love Is Equal founder Erin Wilson. “When we asked people to appear on camera and talk about equality – many are prominent leaders – they said “yes” before we could even finish the question.

“That’s a sea change,” Wilson said.

Speaking of trust: several of the LGBTQ participants said the PSAs will be their “coming out.”

“For the couple of participants who indicated this, we asked if they were sure… did they still want us to release their videos?” Wilson recalled. “Both said they knew this going in, and they were most pleased to do it like this. The courage and the trust… it’s almost overwhelming.”

Ironically, Wilson said, the PSAs were created to urge straight people to ‘come out’ on their support for equality.

“By the numbers, the problem in West Michigan isn’t prejudice – it’s a reluctance to stand up and speak out,” Wilson said. “We’re starting to see that change, though, and we hope the ‘Testify’ PSA series helps encourage people.”

Videos will be released bi-weekly on the Facebook Group for Until Love Is Equal, on Twitter and here on the website.

  • Videos directed by Seth Thompson, Epiglotic Photographic
  • Scripts written by Erin Wilson – co-written, edited by participants.
  • Producers: Ella Swift and Kim Crawford
  • “Testify” artwork: Sarah Scott

Next four PSAs to be released January-February 2013:

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