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The Fenway Institute To Train All City Of Cambridge Staff On Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Cultural Competency

The Fenway Institute’s Division of Education and Training is pleased to announce a partnership with the City of Cambridge to train 1,200 City employees on providing inclusive service delivery to all LGBTQ+ residents in the City. Starting in September, expert trainers recruited by the Division of Education and Training will lead 60 three-hour sessions that provide an immersive experience for City employees in the areas of LGBTQ+ terminology, stigma and disparities, and creating welcoming environments for LGBTQ residents and staff.

Since May, staff from The Fenway Institute’s Division of Education and Training have been working closely with leadership from the City of Cambridge to plan this novel training initiative. Just last week, an online learning needs assessment was disseminated to all City staff to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, and current practices related to sexual orientation and gender identity, which will guide the development of the training materials and help inform the City in its future programming.

“We are very excited about the deep commitment and innovative approach of the City of Cambridge to ensure that all employees are prepared to inclusively serve LGBTQ+ City residents and affirm their LGBTQ+ colleagues,” said Dr. Alex Keuroghlian, Director of Education and Training Programs at The Fenway Institute. “To our knowledge, this program is the first of its kind in the United States to pioneer a systematic strategy for enhancing the experience of LGBTQ+ residents and employees in all City operations.”

The City of Cambridge has a history of prioritizing inclusive services for all, including a Human Rights Commission established in 1984 to protect the civil rights of residents and visitors to the City. In 2004 the City voted to establish a GLBT Commission (now the LGBTQ+ Commission), which works to advocate for a culture of respect and monitor progress toward equality for all people with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Trainers on the project represent a number of different Fenway operations, affiliates, and longstanding partner agencies, including the LGBT Aging Project, AIDS Action Committee, the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and The Network / La Red.

Dr. Keuroghlian added: “We have selected a roster of highly-experienced professional trainers with a wide variety of identities and backgrounds, to reflect the full diversity of residents and employees in the City of Cambridge. Our program is designed to interactively engage City staff in the process of understanding the experiences of LGBTQ+ people and learning best practices for serving this community in an effective way.”

This project will offer a model for other government entities seeking to ensure that all residents, including LGBTQ+ people, are fully welcomed and included in all aspects of municipal life.

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