History

History

Diverse & Resilient was founded by Gary Hollander in 1995 as a program to build the capacity of LGBT groups in Wisconsin. We have grown to be an independent nonprofit agency that employs 19 staff and serves over 5,000 LGBT people every year.

We do both capacity-building and direct-service work to address the health disparities experienced by LGBT people in Wisconsin.

Our work is focused on six priority areas:  Acceptance, Cultivating Leaders, Mental Health, Sexual Health, Partner & Community Violence, and Substance Use.


Timeline

1995  Diverse & Resilient launches as a program of Sinai Samaritan.

1996  D&R hosts its first one-day conference on the needs of LGBT youth.

1997  LGBT Youth Conference is expanded to a two-day statewide conference.

1999  LGBT Youth Development Leadership Advisory Council is formed to guide youth leadership efforts.

2000  Rainbow Alliance for Youth is launched to create and support LGBT youth groups across the state.

2001  D&R begins training Youth Development Specialists across the state.

2002  D&R incorporates as its own nonprofit agency and moves to the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center on W Court Street.

2003  D&R holds first LGBT Health Leadership Forum in Oconomowoc.

2004  UW School of Medicine and Public Health awards D&R the Healthiest Wisconsin Grant.

2005  D&R launches Safe Schools, Safe Communities conference with partner GSAFE and moves to an office on Brady Street on Milwaukee’s East Side.

2006  D&R team is selected for Public Health Leadership Institute. D&R successfully advocates the department of public instruction to measure health outcomes for LGBT youth.

2007  D&R begins direct-service work to address the HIV epidemic among African American gay and bisexual young men.

2008  Youth health efforts are expanded with programs addressing alcohol and tobacco use by teens.  D&R moves to its current office on Holton Street in Milwaukee.

2009  D&R receives federal support for its programs through Congresswoman Baldwin and Representative Pocan.

2010  Milwaukee Health Department announces partnership with D&R to address rising rates of HIV among young African American men. Centers for Disease Control awards D&R $1.6M for HIV prevention among this population.

2011 Acceptance Journeys program launches to foster acceptance of LGBT people by straight family members and friends.

2012  More HIV services are brought in-house, including HIV counseling, testing, and referral; and two nationally developed community-based HIV prevention programs.

2013  Youth space is added to our office to provide space for program participants to organize events. HIV testing effort grows by 45% to serve over 900 people. New programs are launched, including Imagine More, 414ALL, Healthy Girls, and Safe Dates. We host the first Reviving the Dream celebration to honor the memory of Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin. D&R joins United Way as a partner agency.

2014  D&R prepares for the departure of founding President & CEO Gary Hollander in the coming year.

2015  Founding President & CEO Gary Hollander departs the agency. D&R welcomes new President & CEO Gerry Coon.