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First Ever!

Southwest Alabama’s LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment

Project Update


Thank you to our 2023 Southwest Alabama LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment participants!
Official results coming in Summer 2024. Stay updated to hear how we are continuing to take action to create a community where all LGBTQ people and stories are accepted.

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Project Objective

To conduct a highly visible, high-turnout data collection effort focused on LGBTQ+ current and former residents that will inform local NGO program decisions, help to set community actions and priorities, establish goals, and direct future funding allocations.

Data gathered will represent people in 10 counties in Southwest Alabama


Map of counties in Southwest Alabama
Map of counties in Southwest Alabama

The Project Timeline

Our vision for this assessment is to build on the smaller LGBTQ+ health assessment done by Stephen Young, Phd and Mary B. Smith, MSW, LICSW-PIP in 2019, widening the scope of the assessment (from health to comprehensive needs) and soliciting a wider and more racially and socioeconomically diverse participant population.

Using community-based participatory research, the project’s academic team led by UPenn doctoral candidate Mary Smith is developing our survey tool and seeking IRB approval through the University of South Alabama. Twenty-one community partner organizations are guiding the effort and contributing resources for the study. Dr. Sarah MacCarthy, Sc.D. of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health is serving as a consultant.

Participating on the academic team are Dr. Jenna Pfleeger, Dr. Rebecca Sollie, Dr. Franklin Trimm, Dr. Amy Upton, Dr. Natalie Fox, Shey Thomas-Thorn, MPH, and medical students Taran Carrasco and Alana Fortune. The survey will have tracks for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. A survey for K-12 school teachers and counselors is being considered.

The initial timeline of this project has been revised, and as of June 2023, data collection is complete and awaiting analysis by our academic team. Results are anticipated to be finished and publicly available in fall 2023.

Future Directions for Research

The survey may be adapted in the next phase to include:

  • Family members, friends, or allies of one or more LGBTQ+ persons 
  • K-12 educators or counselors

Corporate Sponsors