Our LGBTQI Advocacy Institute provides the education and resources needed to help build the leadership of all LGBTQ New Yorkers. Participants will be provided with the training needed to understand the theoretical and programmatic components of effective organizing, along with the tools needed to implement a successful campaign in local communities.
The goal of the program is for individuals to identify local challenges in their community and create solutions through developing programs, community building, and policy change.
Individuals accepted into the LGBTQI Advocacy Institute will take three courses over a two-year period. After completing their first course, participants will engage in alumni programming. The programming includes monthly meetings and training to support and foster projects.
Each of the three classes will:
be taught by season advocates;
take place online - due to COVD-19;
follow core curriculum and include readings; and
be 100% tuition free (thanks to our generous donors).
Featured Alumni Project:
Community Organizing Track
The Community Organizing training provides participants with an understanding of core organizing concepts by studying campaigns and movements throughout history. Each class highlights a practical organizing strategy which contributes to building a robust toolkit for participants. The course ends with each person presenting an outline for a grassroots advocacy effort they can implement in their community.
Virtual Campaigns Track
The Organizing in the 21st Century: Virtual Campaigns training provides participants with an overview of what technology can do for mobilizing communities. Each class focuses on different tools and techniques in engaging people via virtual campaigns and programming. The course ends with each person presenting an outline for a virtual campaign that they can implement.
Rapid Response Track
The Rapid Response track trains participants on how to identify, engage, and implement a rapid response campaign or program in their community. Each class focuses on how to authentically engage community. The course ends with each person presenting an outline for a rapid response project that they can implement.
The LGBTQI Advocacy Institute is highly competitive and select candidates on their dedication and service to community rather than academic or merit based accomplishments.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, live in the state of New York, and demonstrate a commitment to improving their community.
Applicants who identify as Black or POC, Transgender/Non-binary, young people and/or women are highly encouraged to join us.
2023 Spring Semester:
Community Organizing Track
Saturday, April 1, 2023 - Saturday May 6, 2023
10:00AM-12:00PM each Saturday
Alesha Alexcee: I use She/They pronouns. I am passionate about youth advocacy in the form of ending youth homelessness on a national and systems wide scale. I am also a proud member of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness at True Colors United. I have been a speaker at various conferences to talk about the issues facing youth experiencing homelessness as well. When I’m not doing advocacy work, I love talking about film and have an extensive knowledge of the subject. I enjoy live comedy, both improv and stand up. I am very happy that I have been accepted into the LGBTIQ Advocacy Institute, and I can’t wait to meet my fellow peers and the instructors.
JC Carlson (they/them/theirs): As a Student Affairs professional specializing in LGBTQIAA+ life on campus, I have always been passionate about my commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. I proudly serve on several councils and consortia designed to ensure that our LGBTQIAA+ students are supported and thrive. My lifetime of activism began in the 1980s attending ACT-UP and Queer Nation rallies. Feeling the direct impact on LGBT+ lives throughout the Reagan years and the George H.W. Bush years that followed, I became politically active at a young age. In 2011 I began as an anti-violence hotline volunteer and rape crisis counselor. This work was the direct result of being a longtime survivor of hate violence and sexual violence with nowhere to turn. I was fed up with being a victim and wanted to heal. I healed. Finding new ways to support my community is my mission. Fighting for equality and justice is my passion.
I’m Brandon Cunalata Bailon. I graduated from Brooklyn College this Spring 2020 with a bachelor in Secondary Education, concentration in English. During my time as a student teacher for grades 9-11, an afterschool coach for k-4, and a program coordinator for CUNY The City University of New York. I have noticed how my students in all grades use Queer/LGBTQIA language amongst themselves. My lower grades would use Queer terminology to insult one another or express dislike or confusion towards an unknown topic they weren’t familiar with. My CUNY students used Queer terminology to linguistically express how they have been affected in society and say who they are. There has been this gap in terminology that is not properly implemented for many teachers and students to understand how to use Queer/LGBTQIA language. We should guide our students when they use Queer /LGBTQIA language instead of shaming and social exclusion.
Manuel Greer (he/him) is a queer trans-masculine person who lives in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about community-based participatory research as well as the idea that lived experience is expertise. He is a recent new addition to United Way’s Systems Integration Project’s Equity Review Board and Community Voices Network. Manny is also a consultant for L.E.G.I.O.N. (League of Equity for Gender In Our Neighborhood). Manuel was a co-chair and co-investigator for the University of Rochester’s Trans and Gender Diverse Research Community Advisory Board. As an educated white trans-masculine person, he recognizes privileges he has and recognizes a duty to provide platforms. One of his goals is to form a regionally diverse advisory board of Transgender and Gender Diverse folks to have the conversations directly with doctors, clinicians, therapists, and other providers, on how to make their practices more inclusive.
My name is Phoenix. My pronoun is Phoenix. I am a peer, artist, creator among things.
My passion has always been helping others. I have a background in doing community work that is inter generational. As a person who lives with a number of disabilities it’s important to me that accessibility is implemented and provided on all platforms. With my lived experience I want to make sure that me and my peers voices are heard.
In my free time I love vibing out to music, creating playlist for every mood you could
think of and using my time to elevate on a holistic level.
Carol Scott: I am a paralegal in the Bronx Legal Services Public Benefits and LGBTQ Advocacy Unit, where I help clients obtain government resources including rental assistance, cash assistance, SNAP (food stamps) , Medicaid and Medicare. In BC (before COVID) times, I was part of our remote intake team at Callen-Lorde, a New York City health center serving the LGBTQ community, and I remain committed to increasing our outreach to my queer siblings. My activist campaign experience includes a decade long effort to end discrimination against LGBTQ people in the United Methodist church, and 3 years fighting the detention and deportation of immigrants. My immigration work included a social media campaign aimed at Thomas Decker, then acting head of ICE in NYC, in support of a Guatemalan family living in a Sanctuary church. I am eager to learn new skills for online organizing, as so much of our work has gone virtual.
Jin Kwak is a gender nonconforming organizer and former sex worker. They recently started working for the New York City Anti Violence Project as a Community Outreach Specialist for people in the sex trades. Jin is working on a campaign around a resource center for sex workers.