Robbie receiving award from Boston City Councelor Felix Arroyo

My expression when Felix
announced Robbie Samuels Day!

Thank you. Tonight was a very special night. At Socializing for Justice’s 5th birthday party, over 120 like-minded progressives gathered together to celebrate what we’ve created together! As the co-founder of Socializing for Justice, I'm was so excited to be there celebrating 5 years, 104 events, 1808 members and countless connections made since we founded this group in 2006.

I was surprised with special gifts 3 times at tonight’s party.

First, Felix G. Arroyo, Boston City Councilor At-Large, attended the event and brought with him, not one, but two resolutions from the Boston City Council. The first was a resolution congratulating Socializing for Justice on our 5th anniversary of building a progressive community, network and movement. It’s great to have the support of the Boston City Council.

The 2nd resolution was a huge surprise! He read the following:

Whereas, Robbie Samuels was born on the 16th of September in 1974; and

Whereas, Robbie Samuels has been instrumental in the work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); and

Whereas, In 2006, Robbie Samuels co-founded Socializing for Justice (SoJust), a grassroots group committed to building a stronger cross-issue progressive community, network and movement by putting the “social back in social justice”; and

Whereas, Robbie Samuels, as SoJust’s co-organizer, has been the visionary behind their success; growing the group to almost 1700 members [now 1800+!] and hosting over 95 events [now 104!]. Be It Therefore,

RESOLVED That the Boston City Council, in meeting assembled, does hereby proclaim, Friday, September 16th, 2011 to be

“Robbie Samuels Day”

In the City of Boston; And Be It Further

RESOLVED That the Boston City Council extends its best wishes for continued success, that this resolution be duly signed by the President of the City Council, attested to and a copy thereof transmitted by the Clerk to be made part of the permanent record of the City of Boston.

Wow! “Robbie Samuels Day”! I don’t really have words for what this means to me. The recognition of my work is really encouraging.

Hugging Aliza!
The second surprise gift came while I was giving my welcome remarks and letting everyone know that we were raising money for Aliza’s Brain Trust, in support of Aliza Shapiro, a long-time SoJuster who recently suffered a stroke due to a brain hemorrhage. As I was beginning to explain that we were passing the bucket for her – someone says she’s at the event! That’s right! Aliza was at the SoJust birthday party and I got to give her a huge hug before continuing my pitch to support (we raised $167!). I was extremely honored that she came out and I’m so glad to see her back to her old ways – flyering the crowd. Speaking of which, you should go to TraniWreck: a benefit for Aliza Shapiro on September 16 (otherwise known as “Robbie Samuels Day” in Boston!).

Presenting my vacation fund!
The third special surprise gift came when Alison, the co-organizer of SoJust and my partner of 3 years (yes, you can find love at SoJust!), took the microphone at the end of my remarks and revealed that she asked SoJust STARZ (regulars) and several other SoJusters to “chip in” to give me a vacation and collected $600! I’m blown away by everyone’s generosity.

I want to thank several people. Boston City Councilors At-Large Felix G. Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley for attending (and Felix for the incredible resolution – “Robbie Samuels Day” September 16, 2011!) The SoJust STARZ (regulars) for all their ongoing support and for helping create a truly welcoming community. Lir Irish Pub for donating appetizers (dinner really!). All the bakers who brought cupcakes to make our birthday celebration special. And all who attended or helped spread the word.

I especially want to thank my co-founder Hilary Allen for supporting this social experiment called SoJust the first couple of years when we were still figuring out what it was or could be. My co-organizer and partner, Alison Brill, for her unwavering support of me and my plans to make a positive mark on the world. While I may be the more public face of SoJust, these two women have devoted countless hours over the years.

We would not be celebrating tonight without their contributions and your support – attending events, spreading the word and donating at events. If you've benefited from this cross-issue progressive network, please contribute the suggested annual membership fee of $25. You may do this online or at any of our events. Thank you for helping us continue to provide a space for like-minded progressives of all stripes.

I hope to see you at one of SoJust's upcoming events! Details and RSVP at

10/3 Skillshare: Intermediate Excel Tips & Tricks
10/22 Liberation Poker for Justice
11/7 Skillshare: Compassionate Communication (Non-violent Communication & Mediation)
11/16 Cocktails for Justice benefiting Resist Foundation

For Justice!

Robbie Samuels
Socializing for Justice Co-Founder & Co-Organizer