Equality Illinois expands statewide strategy, opens central Illinois office

Mon. August 31, 2015 1:40 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

LGBT group adds central Illinois office and strategic local partnerships

Chicago, IL - Equality Illinois, on Aug. 29, announced an expanded statewide strategy that includes opening a central Illinois office to better serve the needs and priorities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Illinoisans.

According to the Chicago-based LGBT advocacy organization, the expansion will provide more opportunities to engage with allies throughout the state.

"In an environment where marriage equality is secured for same-sex couples, our work to obtain full lived equality is not done," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the largest and oldest advocacy organization for LGBT Illinoisans. "The milestone steps we are announcing today demonstrate our commitment to ensuring all LGBT Illinoisans can enjoy lived equality at home, at work, at school, and everywhere else in their communities."

The Equality Illinois central Illinois field office in Springfield will open in the fall and initially be staffed by a field fellow, who will build relationships with groups and individuals, train and motivate activists, and engage and facilitate educational, outreach, and other opportunities and programming for LGBT organizations throughout central and southern Illinois.

Equality Illinois' first strategic community partner is the Phoenix Center, Springfield's LGBT community center.

"We are excited to partner with the Phoenix Center to deliver our broad range of resources and programming to serve the regional LGBT community," Cherkasov said. "Working together, we will improve the lives of people in central Illinois."

"It makes sense for Equality Illinois and the Phoenix Center to partner as we are doing great work here in central Illinois," said Jonna Cooley, Executive Director of the Phoenix Center. "Our partnership with Equality Illinois will allow us to add resources and trainings to our programming and will help Equality Illinois establish a greater presence in the Capital City. Working together, we can do even more for the LGBT community."

The expanded statewide strategy is being made possible in part by the support of the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation. The balance of the project's cost will be funded by a portion of Equality Illinois' cash reserves.

More information at eqil.org/eqilstatewide