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Local LGBTQIA+ Organization Launches New Inclusivity Training for Businesses, Churches

The Center Project's Facebook Page

The Center Project, an LGBTQIA+ organization in Columbia, is launching a new inclusivity training program today.

The new program is called BRITE – Building Respect and Inclusion through Training and Education – and was created by members of The Center Project to educate those who seek to create more inclusive communities and environments.

“We were just getting flooded with calls from businesses and organizations and churches, and schools that wanted to know: ‘How can we become a more inclusive environment? What we can do to even get our policies and procedures, our guidelines, so that they don't exclude anybody based on their sexual preference, or their gender,” Tracy Davis said.

Davis is the secretary of The Center Project Board, and a volunteer educator for the BRITE program.

She said the program will cover everything from correct language for LGBTQIA+ topics, to proper pronouns and the distinctions between gender identity and expression.

She added that some presenters, like herself, will share some of their own unique experiences about the pressures of being LGBTQIA+ in Mid-Missouri. And she added that this education is essential to inclusivity.

“Understanding begins with awareness – whether we're in a business setting or at home, in a place of worship or the classroom – greater understanding creates greater empathy,” Davis said. “And it is in this direction, that we find a more inclusive community and a more inviting community.”

BRITE currently has trainings available for universities, faith groups and businesses, and Davis said she is excited to design trainings for more kinds of organizations.

The program is launching tonight at 6:00 p.m. on The Center Project’s Facebook page, and they already have several free community trainings scheduled for the summer.

  • Educators / Teachers - May 1
  • Parents & People Raising Kids - June 5
  • General Community 101 - August 7

Davis said that if an organization or business is interested in setting up a training, they should either email education@thecenterproject.org , submit a request form through The Center Project’s website or call to visit their website or leave a message at 573.449.1188.