Creating COLAGEr Space in your Community:
COLAGEr Space is a space that provides community through connecting folks with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) parents. Our members include those who are multiracial and those with disabilities; those who are adopted and those who were conceived through donor insemination; those who have grown up with LGBTQ, straight, and single parents, more than two parents, those whose parent(s) transitioned genders, and those who just had a parent come out.
There are many successful ways people create COLAGEr space. Some groups are created for whole LGBTQ families and put on social events throughout the year. Our chapters often provide an ongoing social and support group for a specific ages of youth. Other groups focus on providing support for new parents. There are two structures you can use to create COLAGEr space with the support of our organization. There is always the option of starting as a community group and then officially affiliate as a COLAGE chapter.
Community group: This is a great option for people who want to do more casual organizing in their community:
- Read through our Guide to Creating COLAGEr Space in Your Community for tips and steps to creating your group.
- You have access to all our resources for free.
- If you want support, we are here for you! Contact us by emailing our National Program Director Robin Marquis at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at (206) 549-2054.
- We are developing a place on our website were we you can list your groups contact information and events! We will point people in your direction and act as a National networker.
- These groups can’t use our logo or name and get to come up with their own name. We encourage you to let people know you are connected to COLAGE.
- There is no paperwork or mandatory reporting back to our organization, although we love to know what you are up to!
Official COLAGE Chapter: This is a great option if you have a dedicated team of leaders who want to create an ongoing structured group.
- Read through our Guide to Creating COLAGEr Space in Your Community for tips and steps to starting you Chapter. We will provide you with our Facilitators Toolkit and Curriculum.
- These groups go through an affiliation process with us by signing and adhering to our Affiliation Agreement.
- The chapter may use our name (i.e. COLAGE Los Angeles) and logo.
- We will mentor the leaders in facilitation and provide curriculum for gatherings.
- We support chapters in outreach and development.
- We provide an email address and a page on our website (example).
- All adult volunteers must go through a background check.
- We require quarterly reports with an attendance list that shares demographics of the group and the impact on participants.
- COLAGE requires a 20% portion of all fundraising done for the chapter (outlined in our Affiliation Agreement).
- These chapters must serve youth within the age range of 8-18 and adhere to our mission, vision and values statement.
Why start or join a community group or COLAGE chapter?
These spaces change lives. One of the greatest challenges reported by youth and adults with LGBTQ parents is a sense of isolation, alone-ness, or feeling that “they are the only one.” When folks with LGBTQ families get together, regardless of what we actually do or say, it’s a positive experience that can’t be underestimated. Participants in COLAGE often share that being able to connect with others who have similar families, backgrounds, and experiences not only increase their family pride and self-esteem, but allow them to see themselves as part of a supportive and dynamic community and to find their place in the LGBTQ movement.
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