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Uniting Communities

Our Uniting Communities Project brings together racial justice and LGBTQ equality.

The Uniting Communities program supports organizations to advocate for LGBTQ justice, which includes:

  • Providing an analysis of how their mission intersects with LGBTQ justice;
  • Ensuring that the organizational culture and internal policies are inclusive;
  • Coaching their leaders and members to be allies and public advocates;
  • Reflecting LGBTQ justice values in their programs.
UC 2012 Sept Convening group

We are stronger when we work together. A movement that includes multiple issues and identities ensures that we advance collectively.

Since 1988, more than 27 cities in Oregon have passed anti-LGBTQ laws. By 2013, Oregon had 35 anti-LGBTQ measures on the ballot; one of the highest number nationwide. Race is increasingly being used as a wedge between communities by the Far Right. One of the strategies in the Right’s playbook is to portray people of color as more homophobic and transphobic than Whites. This is accomplished by intentionally hiring high profile people of color to be the spokespeople of anti-gay campaigns.

In response, the Center created Uniting Communities to counteract this wave of intolerance in our region. Communities of color and the LGBTQ community have a great deal in common - being targets of discrimination and leaders for positive change. It is critical for communities of color to proactively support LGBTQ justice to improve the conditions for LGBTQ people of color. Additionally, LGBTQ people of color will be better served if organizations based in communities of color aim to be inclusive.

Since 2008, we have worked with 15 organizations using a cohort model. The focus of these groups has included everything from immigrant rights to tribal sovereignty. We've trained their staff and membership to better serve their LGBTQ constituents.

Some of our successes include:

UC multi stateIn 2013, we launched an 18-month long multi-state cohort to work with the following organizations in Nevada, Oregon and Washington. 

To see the list of groups go to "Our Communities".

The cohort model enables these groups to learn from and support one another in addressing the intersection between race and LGBTQ justice. The Center provides coaching, group training and program development consultation with the goal of creating an inclusive organizational culture and incorporating LGBTQ equity into future campaigns.

Check out our Uniting Communities column in Street Roots, a local Portland street paper:



#weRpowerful #out4socialjustice
Final - we live here
Julio Salgado / juliosalgado.com

A cornerstone of social justice is that we are able to define for ourselves the issues that affect our communities the most. Despite inspiring wins for marriage equality, LGBTQ people of color continue to fight multiple attacks of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. These attacks are made worse by the isolation and invisibility that can surround LGBTQ people of color in their families, communities, organizations and social justice movements.

Ten organizations from the Uniting Communities program collaborated to work on a social media campaign we call, Coming Out for Social Justice - We are Powerful. See artwork, blogs, and calls to action from the campaign here

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