Shining the Light: Engaging with the LGBTQ+ Community


Collaboratory’s Shining the Light series highlights the amazing work of our institutional partners and shares examples of community engagement and public service activities captured in Collaboratory. 

Recognizing that community engagement is an integral strategy through which campuses contribute to and achieve the mission and goals of their institutions, this series is guided by the Benefits of Civic and Community Engagement Primer co-edited by Collaboratory’s own Kristin Medlin and published by our partners, North Carolina Campus Compact’s Community of Practice, Inquiry & Learning (COPIL).

The primer:

  • Assembles evidence of how civic and community engagement (CCE), when done well, contributes to the overarching goals of higher education
  • Highlights the range of CCE activities occurring in community-campus partnerships throughout the state of North Carolina
  • Provides a tool to aid in deepening the practice of engagement, and
  • Makes the case for investment in and commitment to CCE

This installment of Shining the Light features community engagement and public service activities alongside LGBTQ+ groups or individuals.

Reel Queer Youth and Community Co-Presentations during various film festivals

Bodies of Knowledge

Bodies of Knowledge is an LGBTQ-themed event founded in 2008 in memory of Sean Kennedy, a young man who was killed in Greenville in 2007. There are several goals of this biennial event: to create a safer, more understanding community for everyone by offering high-quality presentations about LGBTQ experience in the Upstate and beyond; to change the conversation around LGBTQ lives in the Upstate; to improve the climate of the Upstate for its LGBTQ youth, and promote civil and well-informed discussion around sexuality and nonconforming gender identities in the region.


Queer Philanthropy Circle

Religious Organizations and LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity in Bloomington-Normal

Illinois State University’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and the Office of Student Research (OSR) recently partnered with the Prairie Pride Coalition (PPC), a local nonprofit organization, to sponsor research on the inclusivity of sexual orientation and gender identity diversity within Bloomington-Normal religious/spiritual establishments (churches, mosques, synagogue, etc.)

Downtown Outreach Center Services: The Role of OT with Homeless Youth

LGBTQ Museum/Exhibit

Love is a Drag

Annual event on or near Valentine’s Day, featuring various Drag performances. Performers are found by the LGBTQ Resource Center and the show is open all. Event raises awareness for local venues and provides attendees with an affirming space.

Want to learn more about Collaboratory?

Email [email protected] to learn more about how to leverage Collaboratory to tell your institution’s story of engagement.

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