Staff Spotlight: Michael Crawford, Director of Online Programs

Freedom to Marry has a dedicated and diverse staff working each day to secure the freedom to marry nationwide, and we want to help you get to know each of us a little bit better. This week, we hear from Michael Crawford, Freedom to Marry's Director of Online Programs. Michael works in our New York office, where he leads our digital team in by contacting our supporters via email, managing our social media and blog, and overseeing online work from the state campaigns. Previously, Michael co-founded and co-chaired D.C. for Marriage, the campaign to win the freedom to marry in Washington, D.C. He has also worked at the Human Rights Campaign, Energy Action Coalition, and The Bilerico Project.  

1) Where are you from, and what brought you to New York?

I'm originally from Houston, Texas and I lived in Washington, D.C. for a long time. I came to New York to work with Freedom to Marry. I was one of the leaders of the D.C. marriage campaign, and Freedom to Marry's assistance was valuable every step of the way. When the opportunity to lead Freedom to Marry's digital program came up, I took the leap.

2) Your social media and new organizing skills have helped to bolster campaigns for marriage in Washington, D.C., clean energy, and now the freedom to marry nationwide. What have you learned about the importance of new media through these campaigns?

The key thing to remember about digital organizing is that it is not about the tools. It's about the people and making it easier for people to take effective action that helps us win. I'm of the belief that online and offline programs should be integrated into a cohesive strategy that advances the goals of the campaign. I have experience working in field, digital, classic communications and content creation. All of that has helped me to see the value of every team member of an organization and to have great respect for the volunteers who put in time and money to our organizations accomplish their missions.

3) What do you like to do in your free time?

What free time? Seriously though, I'm a nerd through and through. Outside of marriage advocacy I spend time studying at the Kabbalah Center and seeing lots of theater. Both of those are two of the reasons I love New York. Of course, I am always digitally connected and spend lots of time online even outside of work. I am that person who's tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming and Tumbling at every waken moment.

4) What has been your favorite "freedom to marry" moment - a time in the movement that has particularly resonated with you?

The best times are seeing or hearing about couples getting engaged or getting married. The pace of the marriage movement is pretty hectic and we work a lot of hours. Seeing couples celebrate their relationships by getting married makes it all worthwhile. Seeing Richard Dorr and John Mace get married after 62 years together, was the best possible reward for the work that we do every day.

5) Why does the freedom to marry matter to you?

I do this work because I want to hasten the day when LGBT youth don't have to wonder if being openly LGBT will negatively effect their lives. I want those kids to grow up never doubting that they deserve every single thing their hearts desire.

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