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Community Board

In Fall 2010, GenCen created a Community Board to strengthen the connections between the university and the broader community around issues related to gender and sexuality globally.

Roles of Community Board Member Organizations

  • Attend an average of 2 meetings per academic year
  • Help deepen relationships between academia and the activist community through internships and student engagement activities
  • Provide advice about programs and activities on campus
  • Are included on GenCen listservs and activities on campus
  • Attend talks, symposia, and speaker events of interest on the MSU campus
  • Participate in the annual GenCen Reception
  • Advise and participate in the development of outreach and community-based activities and partnerships involving GenCen

GenCen Community Board Member Organizations

If you would like to join GenCen's Community Board, please send us an email at gencen(at), and let us know the organization you work with (and briefly explain how your organization works with gender and/or sexuality issues). We are always happy to forge new connections and strengthen our community partnerships!

The organizations currently serving on the Community Board are:

Alternatives for Girls

Alternatives for Girls logo

Alternatives For Girls (AFG) is a Detroit-based nonprofit serving homeless and high-risk girls and young women. Since 1987, AFG has provided critical services to the girls and young women they serve, including safe shelter, street outreach and educational support, vocational guidance, mentoring, prevention activities, and counseling. The goal is to empower the girls and young women they serve to make positive choices. Their mission is to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives.

Go to Alternatives for Girls website >

CARE (Capital Area Response Effort)

CARE logoThe purpose of CARE is to assist survivors of domestic violence in breaking the cycle of violence, power and control in their relationships. The mission of CARE is to reduce family violence and draw on resources of various community groups to intervene in domestic violence situations. Through the program, staff and volunteers are on-call to assist those who are survivors of domestic violence. The CARE Program was developed specifically for the purpose of assisting victims of domestic violence immediately following an act of violence. Their response is immediate and intense; staff or volunteers respond by pager to the home of a Survivor within 30 minutes of the assailants' arrest (and only when an arrest has occurred). CARE staff and volunteers provide empathetic listening, education in the dynamics of power/control, and tools for empowerment. CARE assists survivors in developing a safety plan, obtaining shelter (if necessary), and accessing available community resources. CARE responds when an arrest has been made in the city of Lansing, Lansing Township, East Lansing, Meridian Township, and Michigan State University campus. CARE accepts volunteers for their response program and more information is available on their Facebook page. 

Go to CARE website >

Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team (CASART)

The Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team (CASART) is a multidisciplinary team that collaboratively responds when a sexual assault is reported, and seeks to improve community responses and services for survivors of sexual assault.

In the summer of 2004, Lansing SART began as a collaborative effort between the SANE Program at Sparrow Hospital and the MSU Sexual Assault Program with a grant from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) that afforded additional support to help oversee and facilitate the development effort. SART development efforts steadily evolved. The Lansing SART adopted the name CASART, the Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team. CASART then became a sub-committee of the Capital Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinating Council (CADSVCC).

Go to CASART's website >

Child and Family Charities

Child and Family Charities.jpg
Mission: To strengthen and support children, families, and individuals as they evolve and grow in a changing community.

To be a leader in human services, recognized for excellence in practice, collaboration, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations.

Child and Family Charities has been protecting and strengthening families in mid-Michigan. Initially established as Associated Charities of Lansing, the purpose of this private, nonprofit organization is to professionally and compassionately address the needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children and youth and their families, assisting them in overcoming crisis and the tough obstacles families face in a constantly changing society.

Go to Child and Family Charities Website >

Equality Michigan

EqualityMI.jpgEquality Michigan (EQMI) is Michigan's statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) political advocacy organization. Formerly the Triangle Foundation, EQMI has been Michigan's premiere LGBTQ anti-violence and political advocacy organization for over 25 years and counting.

This site's primary goal is to connect victims of individual incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, and violence, including intimate partner violence, to the support, referral, and navigational services they need to achieve justice.

To learn more about systemic anti-LGBTQ incidences and experiences in MI, media and agency representatives can use this site as a resource to obtain accurate information about the lives, inequities, and experiences of MI's LGBTQ communities. This site also serves to link system and institutional providers to a range of EQMI provided LGBTQ-specific trainings intended to improve and address the needs and service policies, practices, and procedures experienced by LGBTQ consumers.

Go to EQMI's website >

Firecracker Foundation

Firecracker2.jpg The Firecracker Foundation provides child survivors of sexual trauma and their families with high quality, consistent holistic healing services like individual mental health therapy, trauma sensitive yoga therapy and caretaker support groups.

Therapists qualified to treat pediatric sexual trauma survivors are contracted to provide services out of their current practice locations for children ages 18. Yoga classes for teen survivors between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age and children under the age of 12 are taught by instructors trained to provide trauma sensitive yoga therapy. In partnership with St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Caretaker Support Groups are offered in 8 week sessions for parents and legal guardians of child survivors of sexual trauma.

Therapeutic services are provided at no cost to children whose families are unable to afford care elsewhere.

Community members are invited to participate in Darkness to Light and advocacy training semi-annually. Volunteers, board members, contracted therapists and yoga instructors are required to participate in background checks and training to protect the children and families seeking healing within this community.

Go to Firecracker Foundation's website >

GLUNA (Greater Lansing Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA)

GLUNA.jpgGreater Lansing Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA (GLUNA) is one of more than 100 chapters in the US and over 1000 chapters in UN member countries around the world. UN Association members are internationally minded people who recognize and support the essential role the United Nations plays in the contemporary world.

UNA-USA is a voluntary membership organization whose primary purpose is to help educate the public concerning the many invaluable services the UN provides governments and their citizens. Members advocate for their political leaders' support for the vital programs and essential activities of the UN.

Greater Lansing UNA was organized in 1959 by internationally experienced leaders in the community, many of whom were affiliated with Michigan State University. In recent years the chapter has actively partnered with other community organizations including Michigan State University, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Peace Education Center, Zonta Clubs, various faith communities, and others to support UN initiatives at the local level.
Membership is open and encouraged for all who share the vision of a better world for all as described in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please visit the "Join Us" page for more information.

Go to GLUNA's website > 

Ingham County Women's Commission

Ingham County Women's Commission LogoThe role of the Ingham County Women's Commission is to advise the Ingham County Board of Commissioners with regard to the impact of the Board's actions and policies relative to women, and to research and recommend better ways of meeting the needs of women through County resources. The Women's Commission works with the Equal Opportunity Committee in recommending methods of overcoming discrimination against women in County employment, civil and political recognition of women's accomplishments and contributions to Ingham County.

Go to Ingham County Women's Commission website >

Lansing Area AIDS Network

Lansing Area Aids Network logoThe Lansing Area AIDS Network is dedicated to the delivery of services and programs designed to meet the needs of those living with HIV and AIDS and to help prevent the further spread of the virus. They strive to respond effectively, knowledgeably and compassionately to the challenges brought about by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Their values include a client-centered focus encompassing education/prevention advocacy and care, the integrity of their services and use of their resources, acknowledging everyone's right to have their basic needs met, the importance of volunteerism, the belief that everyone has the responsibility to respond to the pandemic, facing the unknown with hope, and an affirmation of diversity in their Board, staff, volunteers, clients and community.

Go to Lansing Area AIDS Network website >

Lansing Association for Human Rights


The Lansing Association for Human Rights (LAHR) is one of the oldest LGBTQIA advocacy organizations in Michigan. Established in 1979, the organization has witnessed the progress and the set-backs in the work toward social, political and economic equality. LAHR has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights of LGBTQIA-identified folks, and even though gains have been made, there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Our mission is to pursue justice and equality for LGBTQIA peoples through community-led advocacy, connection and education. 

Mission: LAHR pursues justice and equality for LGBTQIA peoples through community-led advocacy, connection and education.

Vision: An equitable Michigan that values all people.

Go to LAHR's website >

League of Women Voters of Lansing Area


The League of Women Voters of the Lansing Area is a non-partisan political organization that never supports or opposes candidates or political parties. The LWVLA works to increase understanding of major issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy, based on careful study and member agreement. The Lansing League registers voters in schools and at events in the tri-county area. They also inform voters through Vote11, candidate forums and printed voter guides. They hold informational forums on issues affecting democracy, public health, the environment and education. LWVLA is linked to the state and national League.  

Go to League of Women Voters of Lansing Area website >

Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence (MCEDSV)


MCEDSV is a statewide membership organization whose members represent a network of more than 70 domestic and sexual violence programs and over 200 allied organizations and individuals. We have provided leadership as the statewide voice for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the programs that serve them since 1978.

MCEDSV is dedicated to the empowerment of all the state's survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Our mission is to develop and promote efforts aimed at the elimination of all domestic and sexual violence in Michigan.

Go to MCEDSV's website > 

Michigan Women's Commission (MI Department of Civil Rights)

MI Women's Commission logoThe 15-member board, appointed in three-year terms by the Governor, works to improve the quality of life for Michigan women, including providing support for female veterans, fighting human trafficking, assisting women business owners, and encouraging young women to become strong leaders. The Michigan Women's Commission helps to improve the quality of life for Michigan women by studying the status of women; directing attention to critical problems confronting women; recommending methods of overcoming discrimination against women; helping women develop their skills and continue their education; reviewing and providing advice concerning women in areas such as employment, health, education and business; and recognizing women's accomplishments and contributions to the state.

Go to MI Women's Commission website >

Michigan Women Forward


Michigan Women Forward (formerly The Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame) displays cultural and historical exhibits on the accomplishments of Michigan women and maintains a library of materials on this subject. Their mission is to inspire and engage adults and children by celebrating Michigan women's history, promoting educational opportunities, and honoring the accomplishments of Michigan women. The Center is also home to the Belen Gallery in which the work of Michigan women artists is shown. In addition to overseeing the museum, the Michigan Women's Studies Association periodically sponsors an academic conference to bring more visibility to women's roles in history and current issues in women's studies.

Go to Michigan Women Forward's website >

MSU Safe Place

MSU Safe Place logoMSU Safe Place is the only relationship violence shelter on a college campus in the nation. The primary purpose of MSU Safe Place is to ensure the personal safety, welfare and dignity of those who experience relationship violence within the MSU community. Goals include: (a) Providing temporary and safe shelter, advocacy, support and referrals for MSU students, staff, faculty or their partners, as well as members of the Greater Lansing community, who experience domestic violence, including minor children of those who are abused; (b) Increasing community awareness about relationship violence in the hopes of improving prevention efforts and community responsiveness to this issue; (c) Offering a learning environment for members of the community, through volunteer and internship opportunities.

Go to MSU Safe Place website >

NorthWest Initiative

Northwest Initiative logoThrough community engagement and mobilization, NorthWest Initiative advances the development of healthy, vibrant communities by building capacity to identify needs and formulate strategies to create change. NorthWest Initiative was founded in 2000 to improve the overall health of residents of the north and west sides of Lansing. Our dedicated staff members provide a range of services, information and referrals to individuals with a wide range of needs including access to health care, produce, transportation, and housing. NWI Outreach provides health and wellness services for the community, and leads community improvement and advocacy initiatives on issues of concern to residents. Program partners include residents, neighborhood organizations, local nonprofit organizations, human service agencies, Experience Works Program, and departments of Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, and Spring Arbor University.

Go to NorthWest Initiative website >

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan logoThe mission of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan is to protect and enhance the ability of affiliates to deliver reproductive healthcare services by affecting policy makers through electoral and non-electoral activities. PPAM works with its national and local Planned Parenthood sister organizations to fulfill our shared trifold mission of Health Care, Education, and Advocacy. PPAM is the statewide voice of Michigan Planned Parenthood affiliates and patients. Based on our mission, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan believes... in fighting for justice, tolerance, diversity and against injustice and intolerance; quality family planning health services should be universally accessible and affordable; family planning decisions should be voluntary and confidential and include a full range of reproductive options for everyone; each individual, regardless of age, has a right to complete and accurate information about sexuality and reproductive rights; the citizenry should be educated and informed about reproductive health issues in order to advocate for them and related issues; in advocating for policies that support strong families so that every child will be a wanted child; in prevention first, intervention second, and purposeful intention always; there are no easy ways to reduce unintended pregnancy, the need for abortion, and premature parenthood but that the best way is through comprehensive education and quality medical services; the citizenry should have information about positions of elected officials and candidates. With a proud tradition of legislative advocacy and on-the-ground organizing, the PPAM team members leading these efforts are located in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit. We are committed to ensuring that women and families in our state have access to the quality, affordable healthcare they need and deserve.

Go to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan website >

Refugee Development Center

Colorful octagon and text logo for Refugee Development CenterThe Refugee Development Center (RDC) is a grassroots organization offering formal and informal learning opportunities in an open and inclusive setting. The RDC opened in 2002 because the Greater Lansing community identified service area gaps for newcomer populations seeking self-sufficiency. The common denominator in the gaps identified revolved around education, and hence, the mission of the center was born. Today, the RDC helps serve as the link between newcomer populations and the private, public, and faith-based communities of Ingham County and the Lansing area.

Go to Refugee Development Center website >


Salus Center

The purpose of Salus Center is to create space for Salus Centerlearning, teaching, community, support, and service. In addition to being a place where folk can gather a variety of resources, Salus Center is a gathering place where everyone is welcome, necessary, and essential to/for the whole. 

Go to Salus Center's website >

SIREN/Eaton Shelter (Charlotte, MI)

SIREN/Eaton Shelter LogoThe mission of SIREN/Eaton Shelter is to promote the elimination of domestic violence and homelessness by providing temporary housing, support, advocacy, education, and information to the community. SIREN/Eaton Shelter is committed to holding batterers responsible for their actions. SIREN is also committed to seeking opportunities to raise public awareness about homelessness and domestic violence in the community and providing clients with information about resources in the community in order to facilitate their making an informed choice about their options. SIREN/Eaton Shelter provides the following services: Confidential 24-hour domestic violence crisis line; Emergency shelter and transitional housing; Supportive Counseling for residents and non-residents; Weekly support/education group for adults and children who have experienced family violence (residents and non-residents may attend this group); Information and referral to needed resources. SIREN also offers the following services to both domestic violence survivors and homeless families: Emergency shelter and transitional housing; Case management and referral to needed resources; Life skills instruction; Food, clothing, furniture, and household item bank.

Go to SIREN/Eaton Shelter website >

South Asian Women's Association of Greater Lansing

SAWA LogoThe South Asian Women's Association (SAWA) of Greater Lansing is a public charitable 501(c)(3) organization based in Lansing, Michigan. SAWA's mission is to provide a forum to further South Asian women's interests through intercultural dialogues and initiatives. Their vision is to build a strong, proactive social network of women and others interested in South Asian cultures. SAWA's objectives include: advocacy for domestic and relational violence and abuse, building inter-/intra-cultural initiatives, and public policy and advocacy.

Go to South Asian Women's Association of Greater Lansing website >

South Lansing Community Development Association

South Lansing Community Development Association LogoThe Association's mission is to create and sustain a strong, healthy, vibrant South Lansing community, where citizens feel connected to each other, demonstrate ownership in their community, share knowledge and resources, and work together toward positive change. South Lansing CDA's priorities are guided by the voices of the community. They provide programs, resources, and advocacy to achieve goals identified by stakeholders. To date, these include: Strengthening place attachment and pride in South Lansing; Empowering residents to improve their neighborhoods; Sharing the economic and environmental benefits of buying local; Improving access to healthy foods and nutrition information; Protecting and enhancing urban green spaces; Promoting active living by design; Increasing awareness of broad-spectrum community resources; Facilitating community dialog on issues of mutual interest; Encouraging stakeholder participation in community problem solving; Collaborating on citywide community development initiatives; Advocating for policies that stimulate community and economic growth.

Go to South Lansing Community Development Association website >


Vote Run Lead logoVoteRunLead trains women to run for office. And win. With more than 33,000 women trained to run for office, VoteRunLead is the largest and most diverse campaign and leadership program in the country. They work to equip women with the right know-how, trainings, and how-to’s to help them enter politics with a purpose. VoteRunLead believes that by empowering women to run as they are, they will build a campaign based on their own passion, their own ideas and their own values.

Go to VoteRunLead's website >

Women's Center of Greater Lansing

Women's Center of Greater Lansing logoThe Women's Center of Greater Lansing is a private nonprofit organization that provides support services to women in the Lansing area, having served over 5,000 women since 2005. The Women's Center is dedicated to helping women realize their potential, support each other, achieve economic self-sufficiency, and develop emotional and physical well-being, regardless of income level. The Women's Center works closely with MSU, LCC, Eve Shelter and Safe Place, the two local domestic violence shelters, and with a women's homeless shelter. The center offers career counseling and resume preparation, individual counseling, and a wide variety of support groups and workshops. The center is committed to providing valuable, innovative resources and services in an atmosphere that fosters mutual support, insight and growth for women of all backgrounds and ages as they strive to realize their own unique potential.

Go to Women's Center of Greater Lansing website >

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Questions or comments? Contact us - we're here to be a resource for you!

Center for Gender in Global Context
International Center
427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 206
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517-353-5040
Email: gencen(at)

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