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Enhancing UM’s Community for Queer Students

Enhancing UM’s Community for Queer Students Image
Raised toward our $2,500 Goal
24 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 25, at 03:06 PM CDT
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Help UM’s queer students have the experience they deserve!

To ensure today’s queer students find a home at UM, we need your support! Help the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies continue to serve one of the University’s largest populations of minority students by supporting the LGBTQ Arts, Culture and Community Development Fund.  

Created in 2016 to provide financial support for LGBTQIA+ programming during Pride Week and throughout the year, this fund has brought nationally renowned queer artists and scholars to campus and provided community events for UM students. Each year, the fund helps set the table for OUTGrads' annual Friendsgiving dinner in the LGBTQ Lounge, a welcoming, inclusive event that invites queer graduate students to join the UM community.

The Isom Center's LGBTQ Arts, Culture and Community Development Fund helps sponsor events like OUTGrads' annual Friendsgiving Dinner.

 In years past, an annual drag show fundraiser held as part of UM Pride Week attracted huge crowds and kept the LGBTQ Arts, Culture and Community Development Fund healthy. Due to the COVID pandemic, however, the show was last held in 2019. Two years without a fundraiser has decimated the fund’s reserves. We must replenish this important resource so we can support our students’ vision of a more welcoming and inclusive university.  

To ensure today’s LGBTQIA+ students see themselves reflected in programming and have the ability to create a community for themselves, we need your support. 

In the 2019 UM Campus Climate Survey, more than 10% of respondents self-identified as queer, but more recent Gallup polls say that more than 20% of Gen Z, the college students of today and tomorrow, identify as queer. In the UM Campus Climate survey, queer-identified students noted that they often felt isolated and had trouble finding community and resources. 

“I considered leaving (UM) due to the fact the LGBTQ+ community was so hidden compared to all the other clubs,” said one student quoted in the survey’s report. “I couldn't find the people I belonged with until I actively searched for them.” 

The Isom Center is working to make campus more welcoming for these students by enhancing the visibility of student organizations like UM Pride Network and OUTGrads. The LGBTQ Arts, Culture and Community Development Fund is used to provide refreshments for group meetings and to support speakers the student groups wish to bring to campus. The fund will also help sponsor Missy, the University’s new student-created LGBTQ+ literary magazine, which releases its second issue this spring. 

Our students have a vision for a better future and university. The LGBTQ Arts, Culture and Community Development Fund is in place to support their vision and to help them accomplish their goals. Every dollar donated will go to create a more inclusive university today and in the future; and every donation, no matter the amount, will move us closer to that goal. 

The last week of April, we will be celebrating Pride at the university and Oxford, but you don’t have to wait until then to show your pride. Donate now to forever make an impact. 

Choose a giving level


Show your Pride!

The first Oxford Pride parade and weekend of activities was held in 2016. Queer students, allies and community members have made the parade a loving, joyful occasion for UM and Oxford ever since. Please give $20.16 to celebrate this huge step forward in making queer students feel welcome at UM.


Foundations of Pride

The Stonewall riots of 1969, spontaneous demonstrations by the gay community in New York City in response to police aggression, is widely cited as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement. Honor that movement -- which continues today -- with a gift of $69.


Claiming a Space

UM's first LGBTQ organization, Lambda, was founded in 1993. Honor these pioneering advocates with a gift of $93.


Claiming our Rights

The first LGBTQ organization in the United States, Society for Human Rights, was founded in 1924 in Chicago. The group published a newsletter, though all copies of the newsletter were destroyed and its members arrested less than a year later. Still, the seeds for advocacy had been sown.


Let the Parade Begin

The Oxford Pride Parade officially begins at 350 University Avenue. This year's parade is set for Saturday, April 30, at 2 p.m. We hope you'll join us, and honor the occasion with a gift of $350.

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