The Western States Center's Uniting Communities project focuses on proactively bringing together the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community and communities of color to address racial justice and LGBTQ equality. In early 2008 Oregon seemed likely to face two anti-gay ballot measures in the November election. Throughout the year, the Uniting Communities project worked with four organizations based in communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities to provide training and technical assistance to address LGBTQ issues. They also brought these groups together to network, strategize and learn from each other's experiences.
Building off of the work in Oregon, Western States Center compiled a Toolkit with exercises to examine the obvious, and not so obvious, barriers that organizations need to clear to become inclusive of LGBTQ members. The Toolkit also contains 10 case studies that highlight the successes groups across the country have had in breaking new paths towards inclusiveness and culturally specific engagement.
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