About Garden State Equality

Teach & Affirm

Teach & Affirm is a program to improve the lives of LGBTQ youth by creating safe and inclusive learning communities across the state. Under this program we are working with families, educators, and school administrators to address issues faced by LGBTQ youth. We provide an assessment of the current school climate; policy assistance on issues of gender, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation; tailored professional development trainings on a variety of topics related to LGBTQ students; LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum workshops for educators; anti-bullying and other workshops for students; and community events such as parents’ nights, as well as advocacy for students and families.

Map & Expand

Map & Expand seeks to address one of the great civil rights challenges of our time: making sure health services meet the needs of the LGBTQ community. Part of this is about training, and under this program we are providing needs assessments, policy assistance, and professional development trainings to healthcare providers. Our trainings in this space focus on developing cultural competencies and sensitivity in working with LGBTQ patients and clients. Additionally, we understand that LGBTQ people need to know where we can go to receive care that is sensitive to and appropriate to our needs. To that end we are working on developing a statewide needs assessment for providers that will allow us to identify health care providers that know how to treat us, and literally map out where they are in the state.

Pledge & Protect

Our Pledge & Protect program works to address the needs of the LGBTQ older adult population. Based on census data and figures from the Williams Institute, we estimate that there are at least 125,000 LGBTQ New Jerseyans over the age of 65. This population is expected to double by the year 2030.  After a lifetime of discrimination and stigma, LGBTQ older adults face higher levels of poverty, greater health disparities, and higher levels of social isolation than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Garden State Equality is committed to addressing the needs of our community members as they age. Under the program we are working with professionals serving the older adult community, providing needs assessments, policy assistance, and professional development trainings to health care providers, housing facilities, and other senior focused organizations. We are also partnering with Monmouth University School of Social Work to conduct a statewide needs assessment, beginning with statewide focus groups comprised of LGBTQ older adults.