“We Are HERO” Photography Project Beautifully Captures Impact of Proposition 1 Campaign

By Adam Polaski • October 31, 2015 • 2:07 pm

A beautiful photography project, We Are HERO, is capturing the faces of Houstonians who would be impacted by the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which will be voted on this Tuesday, November 3.

The creators of the project, photographer Lauren Marek and branding/design company Primer Grey, wrote about We Are HERO on their website: “A YES on Prop 1 is a vote for the rights of our families, friends, and neighbors. This project should tell the world that Houston does not tolerate discrimination. It should remind Houstonians that we take action to counter those who would perpetuate discrimination, racism, fear, and hate. We hope to bring light to the faces of the people for whom this ordinance bears the greatest strength; and to give voice to their stories.”

HERO protects all people from discrimination based on: Race, Age, Pregnancy, Sex, Color, Disability, Military Status, National Origin, Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Genetic Information, Marital Status, and Family Status. You can support the final days of the Houston Unites campaign here. 

Check out some of the great stories here:

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) protects families from discrimination. Vote #YESonProp1 to keep HERO; because everyone should be able to provide for themselves and their families without the fear of being fired from their job, evicted from their home, or being denied service in a public place because of their familial status. HERO protects all of Houston’s residents. http://WeAreHERO.us Since May 2014, 13% of reported discrimination in Houston has been related to familial status. Early Vote Oct. 19-30 / Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 3 // #YESonPROP1 — Morénike is an advocate for social justice, disability justice, and racial awareness. She is an adoptive and foster mother, she fights against HIV-related stigma, and she believes that everyone’s family should feel safe no matter where they go. “Houston is almost the 3rd largest city in the US. We need to step up. I want to know that my family is going to be treated fairly when we go into a business, or my kids are at school; and that if that is not the case, that there is a way to deal with it locally. I want to know that we don’t have to be second class citizens; that this is not the Jim Crow South. I want to know that no matter who my children want to love, the color of their skin, whether they move differently, or speak differently because of their disability, that we can feel safe. We have experienced discrimination and others have too. It’s time for us to change that.” #HouEquality #HouVote #BLM Photography: @laurenmarek

A photo posted by Primer Grey (@thisispg) on

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) protects mothers from discrimination. Vote #YESonProp1 to keep HERO; because everyone should be able to provide for themselves and their families without the fear of being fired from their job, evicted from their home, or being denied service in a public place because they choose to have a family. HERO protects all of Houston’s residents. http://WeAreHERO.us Vote #YESonProp1 >> Early Vote Oct. 19-30 / Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 3 — @cosmopolitician is a mom-to-be, marketing director, native Houstonian and believes that all Houstonians should be treated fairly and equally. “As a proud Texan and Houstonian, I’ve grown up in a place that respects and celebrates diversity and the freedom to be who I want to be. A vote YES for HERO will assure that I will continue to be protected for my life choices, including starting a family and becoming a mother.” #HTownUnites #HouEquality #HouVote Photography: @laurenmarek

A photo posted by Primer Grey (@thisispg) on

“This ordinance is about fundamental fairness for everyone–not only one group or one factor–it’s about nondiscrimination for everyone. Our residents deserve full protections from the local level all the way to the federal level, and I think it’s comforting to know that HERO provides a local access point where people who are discriminated against have an opportunity to voice concerns. Corporate America has actually beaten us to this–they’re ahead of us in this case, and it’s something that’s already been put in place by so many other cities. We need to set the standard; to say, ‘This is the type of city we are. We are the kind of city that is open and equal to everybody.’ That is the kind of Houston I believe in, and that’s the kind of Houston I want us to live in.” Early Voting ends Oct. 30 / Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 3 The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) protects people of every ethnicity from discrimination. Vote #YESonProp1 to keep HERO; because everyone should be able to provide for themselves and their families without the fear of being fired from their job, evicted from their home, or being denied service in a public place because of their ethnicity. HERO protects all of Houston’s residents. We are HERO. — Ed Gonzalez is Houston’s Mayor Pro tem, a Houston native, former HPD, latino, and District H council member. Ed believes in equality for everyone. #HTownUnites #HouEquality #HouVote Photography: @laurenmarek

A photo posted by Primer Grey (@thisispg) on

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance protects people of all religions. Meet Zainab: @zghwari is a proud Houstonian, born and raised in Texas, and daughter to Jordanian & Moroccan immigrants. “As a proud Muslim feminist ‘scarfie’, I believe it’s my responsibility to work toward integrating my community, but more importantly, to teach people what it means to be a Muslim and American simultaneously. And to improve my country, I must lovingly call out its injustices. I’m tired of hearing of racist incidents at the minds and hands of fellow Houstonians. When it’s broke, fix it. Enter HERO. I am most visibly an American Muslim, but uplifting my people means uplifting all my people together, because all of Houston is my people. And HERO protects our people. It thus follows that we must protect our HERO. And Houstonians should protect one another.” HERO protects all of Houston’s residents. Vote #YESonPROP1 Learn more at WEareHERO.us

A photo posted by Lauren Marek (@laurenmarek) on

Iris has served over 24 years of service in the US military and is a decorated officer in a major metropolitan fire department. Iris believes strongly that equality is not limited to any particular demographic but that all people deserve equal rights and protections under the law. — EARLY VOTE TODAY, before Friday, Oct 30 // Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 3 //#YESonPROP1 “Once you leave military service, you are not afforded the same protections as you were given serving in active duty. Houston is home to more veterans than any other city in the United States. Most people’s vision of a veteran stems from Vietnam and Korea era. But veterans come in many ages and demographic standings. They are also young soldiers that have also paid the price for serving their country and need services, both physical and psychological, and reintegration into society. Unbelievably, they face discrimination because of their military past and sacrifice for freedom. It is time for Houston and politicians to show they support their military, not just at parade time, but in the veteran’s time of greatest need and that is why I support HERO. HERO is critical so that our veterans are able to get the protections that are afforded to other military personnel.” The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) protects people regardless of their military status. Vote #YESonProp1 to keep HERO; because everyone should be able to provide for themselves and their families without the fear of being fired from their job, evicted from their home, or being denied service in a public place because of their military status. HERO protects all of Houston’s residents. http://WEareHERO.us/ Photography: @laurenmarek

A photo posted by Primer Grey (@thisispg) on

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) protects senior citizens from discrimination. Vote #YESonProp1 to keep HERO; because everyone should be able to provide for themselves and their families without the fear of being fired from their job, evicted from their home, or being denied service in a public place because of their age. HERO protects all of Houston’s residents. We are HERO. Since May 2014, 6% of reported discrimination in Houston has been age-based. Early Vote Oct. 19-30 / Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 3 // #YESonPROP1 — Deborah Fiorito is a retired former communications executive, consultant, mother, wife, recently disabled, and believes that Houston is tolerant, diverse and open. “I think it’s an embarrassment that Houston does not have an Equal Rights Ordinance. It’s just basic; something every city should have. And if I were an employer looking to come to Houston, I would pay attention to that. The reputation that we’ve nurtured is that we’re tolerant, diverse and open; but the reality is that we don’t have an Equal Rights ordinance. These two realities do not go together.” #HTownUnites #HouEquality #HouVote Photography: @laurenmarek

A photo posted by Primer Grey (@thisispg) on


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