What issues are most of concern to your local LGBTQ communities? How could they best be addressed in your area? During this time of Covid-19, consider hosting an online community forum to help raise awareness and talk about how this issue is affecting people in your neighborhood, town or city. You can invite community members, local decision makers, and other interested groups to share their knowledge and ideas.
Some possible topics include:
- Hate-motivated violence against the LGBTQ communities, particularly that faced most intensely by transgender women of color;
- LGBTQ homeless people;
- Poverty in the LGBTQ community, experienced particularly by women and people of color;
- LGBTQ seniors in your area;
- Resources for LGBTQ parents;
- Supporting queer artists; and
- Anything else that is important in your local area!
Talk to members of your congregation and local community to get ideas about what people are concerned about and passionate to address. You may want to form a small committee to weigh the different ideas and decide on the issue. This same group can then help select speakers, do outreach, and assist with the event.
Once you’ve selected your topic, there are some great resources out there to help you in your planning. Two we suggest are:
- Check out wikiHow’s How to Create and Maintain a Successful Forum for some basic tips and steps on starting an online community forum; and
- American Association of University Women, How to Organize an Issue Forum. This is a brief but helpful resource to give you an overall sense of the planning process.
Planning a community forum allows your congregation to play a vital role in addressing the issues facing your local community. It demonstrates to community members that you care about improving the lives of LGBTQ people and our families. It shows that your commitment goes much deeper than words.