Interfaith LGBTQ Toolkit provides resources to SE Mich. religious groups

By Benjamin Jenkins

The Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network has partnered with Equality Michigan, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, KICK and Inclusive Justice to publish and distribute an Interfaith LGBTQ Toolkit to 400 Southeast Michigan religious groups. The toolkit is intended to educate these groups in creating a more welcoming environment and advocating on behalf of LGBTQ people.

MUUSJN is a statewide network of people from 26 Unitarian Universalist congregations and their allies who work in coalitions to promote justice and dignity for all people.

Director and founder of the MUUSJN, Randy A. Block, assembled the Interfaith LGBTQ Toolkit with the assistance of many individuals. Block has a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in social work, specializing in community organizing.

The toolkit consists of contacts and information regarding affirming religious groups and congregations; suggested educational tools; and advocacy and civic engagement resources and LGBT community resources such as Affirmations, the Jim Toy Community Center and KICK. In its appendices, the toolkit includes a variety of useful fact sheets and issue briefs for religious groups seeking to better understand LGBT issues.

Block and MUUSJN intend to make their Interfaith LGBTQ Toolkit widely available and continue to update it with useful additional information. Organizations are invited to submit additions or corrections to MUUSJN for updates to the online version of the toolkit.

This project is a result of a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, a permanent endowment built by donations from thousands of organizations and individuals committed to the future of Southeast Michigan. The foundation supports a wide variety of projects benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs.

Since its inception, CFSM has provided over 482 million dollars and nearly 40,000 grants to nonprofits throughout Southeast Michigan.

For more information on the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, go to http://www.CFSEM.org. For an online copy of the Interfaith LGBTQ Toolkit, go to http://www.UUjustice.org.

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