Rainbow Extension 3.0

Project Overview

Building supportive communities through Extension programming

According to the 2013 Williams Institute report, there are 368,700 individuals in Illinois who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Research shows that LGBTQ individuals experience amplified risk for poor physical and mental health and that building community supports can buffer these outcomes. This project will engage Extension educators statewide to survey the needs, barriers, and social climate experienced by LGBTQ individuals in their communities, to better address the physical and mental health disparities faced by LGBTQ individuals and work toward building more supportive and affirming communities.

Research Team

  • Co-Principal Investigators: Ramona Faith Oswald, Professor and Interim Head, Human Development and Family Studies; Anne Silvis, Extension Program Leader, Community and Economic Development
  • Collaborators: Annie Hobson, 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator; Laura L. Payne, Professor and Extension Specialist, Recreation, Sport and Tourism; Lisa Diaz, Extension Program Leader, 4-H