Rainbow Alliance for Youth

The Rainbow Alliance for Youth (RAY) focuses on building capacity, nurturing leadership, and strengthening collaborations to develop comprehensive programs addressing the needs of LGBT youth in Wisconsin and throughout the country.  By integrating LGBT youth programs into mainstream community efforts about prevention, youth, and social justice issues, RAY can focus on LGBT youth as leaders and resources to their community, maximizing their development and risk prevention as well as enhancing communities.

RAY member groups share perspectives of several key aspects of the work of developing LGBT youth in communities.  First, they use an LGBT Youth Development Model.  This model incorporates several innovative concepts and strategies as applied to an LGBT youth population.  It holds that LGBT youth develop through planned and unplanned means and are subject to socially induced stressors that increase risk and challenge resiliency.  It further proposes that youth are a community asset, so community failures in addressing the needs of LGBT youth constitute both a personal crisis for the youth and families involved, and a public cost of lost potential and the consequences of risk behaviors.

RAY member groups all work to address seven program “pillars.” Based on the Healthy Kids Resilience Assessment and other youth development literature, a system has been established that identifies seven pillars, or a framework, of the best programs for LGBT youth. These pillars consist of friends and relationships, group responsibility, engaging experiences for youth, safe space, prevention skill development, links to other community organizations, and a sustainable organizational structure. The discussion and application of program pillars to the ongoing work of each LGBT youth program or organization is the focus of the youth development specialist training.

If you are interested in learning more about the RAY Network, contact , Statewide Program Manager.


RAY Groups


Central Wisconsin – Outreach Youth Central
1105 Grand Ave.
Suite 1
Schofield, WI 54476
Contact: Carley Zartner
Phone:  (715) 355-6867
Toll Free:  (800) 551-3311


Eau Claire – Q2
505 Dewey St. S
Suite 107
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Contact:  Alison Harder
Phone:  (715) 836-7710 x3210
Toll Free:  (800) 750-2437 x3210


La Crosse – GALAXY
LGBT Resource Center for the 7 Rivers Region
230 6th St. S
La Crosse, WI 54601
Contact:  Jackson Jantzen
Phone:  (608) 784-0452


Madison – OutThere (18-24)
OutReach, Inc.
600 Williamson St.
Madison, WI 53703
Website:  www.outtheremadison.org
Contact:  Angie Rehling
Phone:  (608) 255-8582


Milwaukee – Be Y.O.U.
Diverse & Resilient
2439 N Holton St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Website:  www.diverseandresilient.org
Contact:  Anthony Harris
Phone:  (414) 390-0444
Fax:  (414) 390-9980


Milwaukee – D&R Youth Advisory Board
Diverse & Resilient
2439 N Holton St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Website:  www.diverseandresilient.org
Contact:  Anthony Harris
Phone:  (414) 390-0444
Fax:  (414) 390-9980


Milwaukee – Monroe, Inc.
1240 E Brady St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Contact:  Ricardo Wynn
Phone:  (414) 539-3826


Milwaukee – Pathfinders
4200 N Holton St.
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Contact:  Susannah Bartlow
Phone:  (414) 988-6893


Milwaukee – Project Q
Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
1110 N Market St.
2nd Floor (Courtyard Entrance)
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Website:  www.mkelgbt.org/youth
Contact:  Charles Smart
Phone:  (414) 292-3066
Fax:  (414) 271-2161


Neenah / Menasha – Safe Group
Youth Go
213 Nicolet Blvd.
Neenah, WI 54956
Contact:  Alice Zarda
Phone:  (920) 722-1435


North Central Wisconsin – GLBT Partnership
Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin
1800 Appleton Rd.
Menasha, WI 54952
Contact:  Deanna Tappy
Phone:  (920) 216-1777