Statewide Community Advisory Group

Diverse Voices Advising Equality Illinois

The Equality Illinois Community Advisory Group consists of 35 LGBTQ individuals and allies from across the state to engage with Equality Illinois in the policy development and agenda building necessary to secure and advance LGBTQ equality, social justice, and intersectional action in Illinois.


With members from all corners of Illinois–Carbondale to Chicago, Rock Island to Charleston–and from a wonderful diversity of backgrounds and experiences, the Community Advisory Group informs, advises, and challenges us about opportunities for and obstacles to lived equality and inclusion in every part of Illinois. In addition to advising Equality Illinois, advisory group members have made broadcast appearances, been interviewed for news articles, and written columns about LGBTQ issues in the news.

The Community Advisory Group grew from the summer listening tour of Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson in 2016 that took him to 12 communities throughout the state. He heard troubling tales about a lack of access to affirming healthcare, the treatment of LGBTQ people in our criminal justice system, and the need for an inclusive educational system.

The Community Advisory Group contributes to Equality Illinois’ understanding of these and many more issues that LGBTQ Illinoisans experience every day. And, at a time when many LGBTQ individuals are feeling isolated, anxious, and frustrated about policymaking, Equality Illinois is dedicated to ensuring our policy agenda is developed through the consistent and ongoing engagement of many voices, perspectives, and lived experiences.

The group was launched in November, 2016 after Equality Illinois called on interested stakeholders to apply for positions on the panel. Group members serve for about a year, but they may re-apply for a second year of membership.

For more information about the Community Advisory Group, please get in touch with Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy Mike Ziri.