The LGBT Community Collaborative of the Central Coast (LGBTCCCC), a countywide coalition of researchers and community leaders, coordinated an LGBT action summit on February 6th. This exciting event was the culmination of more than two years of efforts to identify and address the needs of Santa Barbara County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents.
Tania Israel of the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara, along with Laury Oaks of the Department of Feminist Studies, conducted the community-based participatory research project on which the Summit was based. Both are also on the Executive Committee of the LGBTCCCC.
Israel was awarded a five-year National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) career development grant focusing on mental health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clients. One phase of the research began with a survey of LGBT perceptions of the community, and the Summit was the culmination to move the findings into community action.
The aim of the Summit was to develop plans to address issues of concern to the LGBT community, specifically the following three that were identified through the survey:
The town hall gathering was an opportunity for people from various sectors of the LGBT community, as well as allies, to come together, network, share ideas, and ultimately create plans to make Santa Barbara County a better place for everyone.
[Tania Israel is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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