Currently, there are more than 470,000 UW–Madison alumni living across the world. Although the UW does not have an estimate on how many alumni and students identify with the LGBTQ+ community, a recent study showed that approximately 4.5 percent of U.S. adults identified as LGBTQ+ in 2017. This indicates a large LGBTQ+ Badger community, which we anticipate will grow in the future. This diversity helps make the UW a rich, vibrant community — and yet, many LGBTQ+ alumni have reported feeling isolated or disconnected from UW traditions and activities.
In 2020, the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) developed and shared the LGBTQ+ Alumni Engagement Strategic Plan based on extensive feedback from LGBTQ+ alumni. The goals of the plan were to develop inclusive marketing and communications and to curate spaces for connection. WFAA is pleased to report that several of the strategies set forth have improved engagement with LGBTQ+ alumni. These initiatives were supported by our organization’s leadership, who worked diligently to provide space to listen to the voices of alumni and respond to their needs.
Our report on the implementation of this two-year plan is available as a downloadable PDF. While reviewing the information in this report, please note this is not an end to our work toward engaging LGBTQ+ alumni. Rather, this report is part of an ongoing process of creating sustainable change in the level of engagement and participation among alumni. You can also read our full strategic plan, including information about our research and our mission.
Join Our Mission
The Rainbow Affinity Group is a UW alumni group dedicated to using creative, community-suggested programs to assist alumni and students in celebrating and preserving LGBTQ+ identities and values. The group serves to advance the mission of the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the university by advocating for LGBTQ+ participation, access, and utilization of resources.
Want to get more involved? The Rainbow Affinity Group is currently looking for alumni who are interested in leading future social events, supporting student scholarships, and serving in leadership roles. We’re looking for enthusiastic Badgers who want to have fun and make a difference! If you’re interested in learning more or in joining the email distribution list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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