On Saturday, May 12, 2018, NC State’s GLBT Center was honored at InsideOut’s Twelfth Annual Awards Banquet and Gaiety. InsideOut, a Durham-based non-profit funded and led by youth organizers across the Triangle area, serves LGBTQI+ youth and their allies with the mission of creating community, providing resources and supporting youth gay-straight alliances and queer-straight alliances across the state of North Carolina. During the awards banquet, the GLBT Center received the “New Game in Town” Award to recognize the outstanding work of the Queer Youth Leadership Summit (QYLS).
In its inaugural year, QYLS engaged thirty-six youth leaders and organizers in a transformative day-long conference experience that provided an opportunity to grow in their leadership development, advocacy and awareness of issues impacting marginalized communities. Attendees participated in educational opportunities that provided them with tools to create more equitable and just spaces within their local communities. These tools included the creation of personal action plans centered on their short- and long-term goals.
Receiving this recognition exemplifies the increase in community outreach for the GLBT Center. QYLS organizers sought to expand partnerships with community organizations such as the LGBT Center of Raleigh, LGBTQ Center of Durham, El Centro Hispano, Bull City Schools United and InsideOut. Support from these organizations allowed for an increase in youth participation, community-building and advocacy. As preparation begins for next year’s summit, QYLS will strengthen these existing partnerships and develop new partnerships with community youth organizations.
Preston Keith is assistant director of the GLBT Center.