In January of 2021, SPECTRUM embarked on Project Excelsior, a landmark capacity-expanding project, which was made possible by a generous grant from the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund. This project was envisioned and planned by our former ED, Jim Parrott, and former Trans Services Coordinator Melissa Kennedy, who spearheaded the grant application process to secure a transformational grant of $279,782.
Thanks to that grant, the Project Excelsior team as well as SPECTRUM’s volunteers, Board, and community partners have made incredible strides to expand our ability to affirm and support the well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ people in Waterloo Region.
From August 2020 – July 2021, SPECTRUM had:
- More than 2000 participants across 796 Zoom Sessions, totaling 344,345 minutes of Zoom sessions!
- An average of 180 Zoom participants each month
- 270 people participated in our RDT pilot workshops
- 178 people attended virtual Pride events
- Through our partnership with OK2BME, 129 counseling sessions were provided for 48 clients between August 2020 and June 2021
In addition, we’ve added seven new programs to our roster, including:
- A 2SLGBTQ+ Book Club in partnership with Waterloo Public Library
- A Queer Crafting Circle in partnership with Button Factory Arts
- A 2SLGBTQ+ Yoga Group in partnership with The Branches
- A 2SLGBTQ+ Mindful Movement dance therapy group
- A Social Networking Group for Young 2SLGBTQ+ Adults aged 25-40
- A 2SLGBTQ+ Youth Peer Support Group for ages 18-25
- A Transgender Peer Support Group for Cambridge
And we’re not finished yet! We know there is still a need for programming for Black, Indigenous, and racialized people, programming for people with underrepresented genders and orientations, and programming for children, parents, and families. We’re currently working with consultants from local Black and Asian communities to help us understand the needs of those communities and how we can create programming and spaces that are accessible and relevant for them.
New SPECTRUM Resources
The SPECTRUM team has also worked hard to create and launch the following resources for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and their allies in 2021:
- Our comprehensive 2SLGBTQ+ Terminology Reference and Media Guide
- A Trans Wellness, Mental Health, and Suicide Prevention Toolkit (developed in partnership with Wisdom2Action)
- A revamped and relaunched Rainbow Diversity Training program
- A listing of crisis resources for 2SLGBTQ+ people
- Our TransNav GPS directory of trans-friendly service providers
- A new edition of the Rainbow Pages directory of 2SLGBTQ+ inclusive businesses and service providers
- A directory of educational resources
And, just wait until we welcome you back to our new physical space which is more than double the size and will be decorated with a mural by Trisha Abe…
We need support to keep going!
We’ve accomplished so much this past year, but there’s so much more than needs to be done! We hope that you’ll include SPECTRUM in your year-end giving to help us continue to keep our doors open and to allow us to provide programs and services that have been life-saving for some members of our community.