OutReach's Mission and History

OutReach Mission Statement

To promote equality and quality of life for LGBT people through community building and human services.

OutReach Vision Statement

Our vision is to create a community where the presence and contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people are welcomed and celebrated; where intolerance is challenged and defeated; where justice prevails; and where civil rights of all people are valued and respected.

OutReach's Values

* We welcome, value and respect the presence, contributions and rights of all LGBT people.
* We believe that all forms of oppression need to be challenged and defeated and that equal access to opportunities is the norm.
* We will proactively pursue social change.
* We provide a safe and welcoming environment to staff, volunteers, stakeholders, consumers and all community members.
* We will strive to educate the community-at-large by conveying the realities of the lives of LGBT people and their families.
* We respect human dignity across cultural, ethnic, gender identity, ability, class and sex differences.
* We will act honestly, responsibly, accountably and with integrity in all matters.*
* We will access relevant information and prioritize customer needs in our daily work, organizational planning and decision-making process.
* We will treat our staff, donors, voluteers and customers as the valuable resouce they are.
* We will be leaders and role models in the LGBT community.
* We will act cooperatively and in coordination with other like-minded community organizations.
* We will strive to provide services to all in need regardless of income or educational level.
* We will strive to recognize and respond to community needs

OutReach's History

OutReach's history is rooted in the pasts of several different community organizations beginning with Crossroads of Madison, Inc. which was incorporated in 1969, followed by Renaissance of Madison, Inc. and the Madison Gay Center, which was located at 10 Langdon Street and offered information by phone, drop-in peer counseling, reading materials, and a joint lesbian and gay speakers bureau. After the Lesbian Switchboard closed, the Gay Center was renamed the Madison Gay and Lesbian Resource Center (MGLRC). In July of 1973, MGLRC was incorporated as a non-profit. It moved to several locations over the years, but its services were never interrupted. OutReach and its predecessors have offered the community continuous service for 34 years.

The United was formed in 1978 as a political action organization to defend the Madison's non-discrimination ordinance against the anti-LGB campaign led nationally by singer Anita Bryant and locally by an evangelical minister. After that threat passed, The United identified new battles and issues. After working collaboratively for nearly 15 years, the two organizations merged into a new agency called OutReach, Inc., on July 1, 1998.

Since the merger in the late ‘90’s, OutReach has grown and expanded its services. The organization moved to a new office at the Gateway Mall in 1999 which tripled its space, and offered a larger private social and support group and conference room.

The Earl Greely Memorial Library expanded, adding many new volumes, and a cybercenter was added and upgraded to the David Bohnett Cybercenter in 2008.

OutReach also offers a public meeting space and drop in center in the library area. OutReach’s publications, the Monthly Calendar & Guide and annual Directory have grown and improved as the community needs have changed.

A website was added and upgraded several times over the years. The Speaker’s Bureau now reaches thousands of people in colleges, businesses, churches and civic groups. OutReach has added a youth and senior program, and offered health programs in HIV prevention, smoking cessation, alcohol and other drug prevention, and domestic violence.

OutReach has also partnered with a variety of nonprofit groups such as Diverse & Resilient, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, and others to expand our programs. We have increased our staff, consultants, interns and volunteers to more than 100. We have grown to more fully meet our mission, vision and values.

OutReach expanded it’s services into Rock County in November of 2010. The groups mission is to reach those people who identify as LGBT in Rock County. The group has been meeting twice a month at a local open and affirming church in Janesville.

In June of 2016, OutReach moved to larger offices at 2701 International Lane. In our new space, we can offer groups more and larger meeting spaces.

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