Currently, there are more than 442,000 UW–Madison alumni living across the world. Although the UW does not have an estimate on how many alumni and students identify with the LGBTQ+ community, a recent study showed that approximately 4.5 percent of U.S. adults identified as LGBTQ+ in 2017. This indicates a large LGBTQ+ Badger community, which we anticipate will only grow in the future. This diversity helps make the UW a rich, vibrant community — and yet, many LGBTQ+ alumni have reported feeling isolated or disconnected from UW traditions and activities.
Our two-year plan employs a two-pronged approach. Our objectives are as follows:
- Develop inclusive marketing and communications
- Curate spaces for connection
In addition to these program objectives, we acknowledge the importance of our leadership in strengthening internal staff training and support, which includes but is not limited to educational and professional development on diversity and inclusion.
Develop Inclusive Marketing and Communications
Some LGBTQ+ alumni do not feel like a valued audience in Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) communications because they do not see themselves represented — either visually in the marketing materials or thematically in the programming. To improve visual representation and programmatic relevancy, we intend to:
- Update contact information for LGBTQ+ alumni and allies to ensure accurate data and communications
- Represent LGBTQ+ individuals, families, and topics in our communications across WFAA programs and marketing
- Increase collaboration with campus and community partners to develop a system of information sharing as it relates to LGBTQ+ speakers and topics, and partner with WFAA marketing/communications and research teams to ensure the information received is effectively implemented within publications
Curate Spaces for Connection
Historically, places that do not openly identify as LGBTQ+ friendly can be unsafe. Many LGBTQ+ alumni want unapologetic support and clear messages that they are welcome and safe in WFAA spaces. To meet this need and encourage interpersonal connections, we plan to:
- Develop a framework for implementing LGBTQ+ programs and events throughout the year that also allow for alumni and student connections
- Reactivate the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) alumni affinity group and rebrand it as an LGBTQ+ affinity group
- Increase partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations in Wisconsin to show an investment in our LGBTQ+ alumni and friends
- Reestablish the summer brunch, which is a space for alumni to gather and celebrate student scholarship recipients in partnership with campus organizations
- Ensure LGBTQ+ and queer people of color representation within the future formation of the WFAA Diverse Alumni Advisory Council, which will provide a space for alumni to offer feedback and guidance to WFAA leadership
This page provides a brief summary of our objectives and intended tactics, which were developed after extensive research and consideration. Some strategies may use alternative implementation methods to aid in achieving the objectives.