WE Innovate: Intersectional training sheds light and improves support for LGBTQIA+ immigrants
By: Barbara Murock, Immigrants and Internationals Initiative Manager, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, and Beth Szurpicki, Director of Special Projects, Global Detroit
When coming to the US, immigrants and internationals often find navigating social services to be challenging as they learn about a new culture. Now put yourself in the shoes of an individual who is at the intersection of being LGBTQIA+ and an immigrant or international, and finding available services sensitive and specific to your needs can be even more challenging.
Cultural sensitivity training is not new. This innovation, however, is a unique hybrid that incorporates the various lenses through which service providers view their work with the many layers present in the lives of the individuals those providers serve. Furthermore, it is sensitive to the fact that all of those layers impact every sphere of one’s life, and the communities to which they are accepted. The effects of this training and its momentum will no doubt extend beyond the finite interactions during service provision and into the broader community of Pittsburgh.
The training’s planning committee has decided to continue as an ad hoc committee of the DHS IIAC, with goals to monitor progress, be a resource for both immigrant serving and LGBTQIA+ serving organizations, and to provide further trainings.
Check out this related New York Times article: Pride and Self-Love in the L.G.B.T.Q. African Diaspora
If you would like more information about either the DHS SOGIE training for immigrant and refugee leaders and service providers (2015) or the Immigrants and Internationals LGBTQIA+ training (2018) programs and outcomes we would be happy to share PowerPoints and resource materials from either. Please contact the Immigrants and Internationals Initiative Manager, Barbara Murock at firstname.lastname@example.org.