Guest Post: Bilingual Presentation on LGBT Community on Oct 2

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MaryMortenIn October of last year, in partnership with The LGBT Community Fund of The Chicago Community Trust, Morten Group began a project the likes of which hadn’t been attempted in nearly a decade: conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of the entire Chicagoland LGBT community.  The LGBT Community Fund, established in 2010, needed this information in order to guide the development of their grantmaking strategies, and we were determined to provide them with the most accurate community portrait possible.

With a goal of at least 1500 unique participants and a timeline of less than three months, our research team - led by Dr. Keisha Farmer-Smith, principal investigator, along with myself – had no small task ahead of us. We used a four-part research strategy: online surveys (in English and Spanish), paper data cards (in English and Spanish as well as Chinese, Korean, Hindi, and Vietnamese, thanks to a partnership with Chicago i2i), focus groups, and interviews. From the beginning, we maintained a commitment to representing the diversity of our Chicagoland LGBT community during data collection. For example, we designed many focus groups to ensure participation of underrepresented community members such as high school students, senior citizens, trans and genderqueer individuals, and undocumented residents. Community partner organizations played a major role in recruiting participants.

Just before Christmas, after 11 weeks of fieldwork, data collection ended, with over 2,000 unique participants. The results were in some ways foreseeable but in many others quite surprising. The finding that stands out most: when asked about the top current issue in the LGBT community, 66% of respondents chose healthcare - far more than any other listed issue, including marriage equality.

In June, we rolled out the data for the first time in a public forum at Howard Brown Health Center in Uptown. The next one, coming up in October, will be held in Pilsen, and will have portions conducted in Spanish as well as English. We hope that you will consider attending, or spreading the word to others. All are welcome!

The event will take place at the National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th St. in Pilsen) on Tuesday, October 2, 6 – 7:30pm. Click here to register.

If you are unable to make it to the forum, but would like to take a look at the results, we encourage you to visit the Morten Group website to download the research summary report. If you have any questions about the project or the forum, please contact Jessica Kadish, project coordinator,

See you in Pilsen on October 2! ¡Nos vemos en Pilsen el 2 de Octubre!


~Mary F. Morten, President, Morten Group