The Rainbow Delegation Story
The Rainbow Delegation story began in 2010. Started by Matt Mazzei, a student at Fresno State University, the project was a way to show support and provide visibility for the LGBT community and its supporters. The rainbow wristbands were also envisioned as a way to combat bullying both through visibility and by making allies easily recognizable and allowing those needing support to know who was safe to approach.
What started as a small effort soon ballooned into an international campaign. Mazzei and his volunteers worked to set up a website for requests and a system to meet the growing demand.
Within a year wristbands had been mailed to people in 76 countries. Individual and community donations kept the project operating, but it soon became clear that the Rainbow Delegation had morphed into a massive project, and a vital service to people around the world.
In June of 2012, Gay Central Valley, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offered to take over the expanding project in order to facilitate more fundraising and possible financial grants, while utilizing our base of volunteers to do the work necessary for the project to thrive. The project transfer was completed and the Fresno LGBT Community Center, also a project of Gay Central Valley, became the base of operations for the Rainbow Delegation.
On July 25th, 2012, Gay Central Valley unveiled a new Rainbow Delegation website and a new process for purchasing bracelets.
Unfortunately, in September 2017, Gay Central Valley went out of business. As part of this, they selected another organization to support the Rainbow Delegation.
But the Rainbow Delegation remains strong! We are still operating under a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to education and service. The new nonprofit was chosen specifically for their years as allies to the LGBT+ community and their dedication to keeping these bracelets as available as possible.
We hope to keep Mazzei’s vision alive and serve locally, nationally, and internationally, wherever there is need. United, we are strong.