The Valley Stands Up is an independent civic group created in 2016 to unite our diverse communities in the Lower Connecticut River Valley area through outreach, organizing, and advocacy to support the dignity and human rights of all.

When a sign advocating equality and human rights for all was defaced in East Haddam in the aftermath of the 2016 election, forty people responded to an emergency call for action.  They assembled in a Chester couple’s home and debated what to do.  Determined to show that such acts would not be tolerated in our community, they mounted a peaceful march of over 350 people from Chester to Deep River.  They called the march “The Valley Stands Up.”

The organization holds a monthly general meeting, open to the public, and hosts regular community events to promote its mission. The Valley Stands Up carries out its work through six committees:

Community  Organizing and Advocacy Team

The Community Organizing and Advocacy Team (COAT) organizes and expedites educational forums, community conversations and special events while strengthening personal ties and energizing members in their support and advocacy for the dignity and human rights of all.


The Finance Committee provides guidance for financial stability of The Valley Stands Up and makes recommendations for fundraising.

Legislative Action

The Legislative Action Committee advocates legislation that honors the mission, values, and ideals of The Valley Stands Up.

Rapid Response

The Rapid Response Committee initiates a prompt local response to community, regional, or national events warranting the action of The Valley Stands Up and maintains a log of hate, bias, or intimidation incidents in our River Valley towns.

Steering Committee 

The Steering Committee, made up of individuals elected by the general membership, carries out the business and logistics of The Valley Stands Up, coordinates between the committees, and organizes and runs general meetings.

Website and Social Media

The Website and Social Media Committee promotes the mission of The Valley Stands Up using a wide area of creative media.