LGBTQ+ youth are powerful, resilient, and inspiring. They are also vulnerable. Four in ten LGBTQ+ youth say the community they live in is not accepting of LGBTQ people, and 26% of LGBTQ+ youth say their biggest problems are not being accepted by their family, trouble at school/bullying, and fear to be out/open. (HRC) Youth in our suburban and rural communities are especially in need of our support.
Over the last year, acceptance of LGBTQ+ people, especially LGBTQ+ people of color, has palpably decreased. Here in Clackamas County, The Living Room and the youth we serve have felt this climate change personally. Our youth report a noticeably decreased intervention on their behalf from adults in their schools and communities when faced with bullying, harassment, or a lack of support. As an organization, we face increasing barriers to entering Clackamas schools to help maintain and establish GSAs, which are critical to reversing this trend.
Established in 2009, The Living Room (TLR) works to improve life for LGBTQ+ youth ages 14 to 20 in Clackamas County. We focus on serving youth in suburban and rural communities using a two-pronged approach:
- With a blend of peer-delivered services and youth-adult partnerships, TLR supports LGBTQ+ youth through direct programming and annual events.
- Drop-in: TLR provides regularly-scheduled peer-mediated safe space for queer youth and their allies in Oregon City, Sandy, and Estacada
- GSA Summit: Annual January conference with workshops and break out sessions for Clackamas County GSA’s and their advisors
- Alt Prom: A safe alternative for our queer youth and allies to celebrate prom
- Pride: Annual pride picnic and participation in Portland’s Pride parade
- TLR seeks to increase acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth in the county through a combination of community education and partnerships with school administrations, including support of and advocacy for local GSAs in county middle and high schools
To continue this work, The Living Room is looking to expand our Board of Directors in 2018! TLR’s Board of Directors is an all-volunteer, hard-working board and therefore entails some specific requirements for its members:
- A time commitment of 3-5 hours per week on average
- Attendance at Board of Directors meetings the fourth Thursday of every month
- Attendance at one youth drop-in per quarter and interaction with youth at events
- Attendance at fundraising events and TLR-sponsored activities (GSA Sumit, Alt Prom, Pride activities)
- A meaningful-to-you financial contribution annually
- Adherence to legal mandatory reporter requirements
As TLR continues to grow, there are specific needs for members with expertise in the following areas:
- Fundraising, grant writing
- Youth programming and services
- Volunteer program development
- Bookkeeping, financial management
- Networking, public relations, social media
- Human resources, operations knowledge
- Event planning
Interested in becoming part of The Living Room’s Board of Directors? Here's a glance at our Board of Directors applicant process:
- March 21, 6:00 to 7:30pm: House Party! Come meet our board in a casual environment where you will have the opportunity to learn more about TLR and becoming a board member.
- March 28: Application Deadline and Background Check. If you are interested in becoming a member, applications will be emailed to you for completion. They must be received by this date to be considered. The application process includes a state background check.
- April 9 to April 28: Interview. Each candidate will be interviewed by a sitting board member.
- May 1: Volunteer Training, 6:00 to 7:30pm: Each prospective board member must go through volunteer training. This allows an intimate knowledge of TLR programming, what is expected of our volunteers, and prepares you as a board member for attending drop-ins and other youth-involved events.
- May 9 or 16, 6:00 to 8:30 pm: Oregon City drop-in. Each prospective board member must attend at least one drop-in. This will give you a glimpse into our programming and experience with our youth. We believe it is vitally important that our Board of Directors has active knowledge regarding the youth we serve.
- May 24, 6:00 to 7:00pm: Board Meeting. Attend a board meeting and see the Board of Directors in action. This is a great opportunity to see if you are a good fit for the board and the board is a good fit for you. Come ready to ask and answer questions regarding what it means to be part of TLR’s Board of Directors!
- May 24: Vote. The Board of Directors will take an official vote and let you know via email within a week regarding your Board of Director membership.
- June 16-17: Pride Tabling. As a new board member, you will be required to pair with a current member and take a turn at our booth at Pride in June. This will give you a chance to get to know the board, hone your knowledge about TLR, and represent your organization.
- June 28: First Board Meeting as an official board member!
If you are interested in being a part of The Living Room community as a board member, please follow the link to our quick interest form. If board membership is not for you at the moment, you are also welcome to complete the form to indicate interest in committee membership or volunteering.