winwinner Wednesday: RU12? Community Center

The RU12? Community Center in Burlington, VT is a powerful force for equal rights in the green mountain state. Its mission is “to celebrate, educate and advocate with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Vermonters.”

The idea: Create a place where LGBTQ Vermonters could meet, learn, and organize for greater equality. RU12? has a drop-in resource center, a free community space with a lending library and a cyber center. Its staff members and volunteers train people about LGBTQ cultural competency, Elder issues, violence prevention, health issues, and more. RU12? also provides important programs such as the SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program and peer-led support groups to help with coming out and transgender issues. And RU12? advocates on behalf of the LGBT community in the media and the legislature as well.

How it started: RU12? was founded in 1999 by two students at the University of Vermont who believed that Vermont needed a multi-generational, substance-free, queer space open to people of all ages, races and genders. The organization moved from its first location on the Lake Champlain waterfront to their historic building on Elmwood Street in 2003. RU12? continued to grow, and in 2006, SafeSpace merged with RU12?, as did Equality Vermont. RU12? is now the largest LGBTQ organization in Vermont, and works closely with many organizations including Outright Vermont, the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The winwin: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Vermonters have a place to go to learn about LGBTQ issues, celebrate their identity, receive help and support, and form a community to affect change. For the rest of the state, RU12? (and its partner organizations) shine a light on LGBTQ issues to encourage a shift toward greater tolerance and equality for all Vermonters.

How they used winwin apps: This year on May 22nd, RU12? will host its 11th Annual Queer Community Dinner & Auction. With comedian Ian Harvie performing and items up for bid from JazzFest tickets to birdhouses, the event promises to be a fun night for a worthy cause. RU12? is using winwin apps to register attendees and manage the auction.

More info: For more information on RU12 and its offerings or to volunteer, visit www.RU12.org.

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!

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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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