The GLBTQA interest group came together in the fall of 2008 in response to a faculty policy debate around a motion that NCE support a resolution that the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education not hold meetings at colleges that were not in compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act’s prohibition of discrimination against citizens on the basis of sexual orientation. Although NCE leaders opposed the resolution and faculty were divided over the resolution, NCE faculty at the May 2009 meeting unanimously supported the recommendations of the interest group to actively move forward with efforts to sponsor awareness, education, personal support and curriculum development around safety, respect and equality of all community members with regard to sexual orientation. The interest group received an NLU faculty development grant in the summer of 2009 to advance these goals during the 2009-2010 academic year.
Over the last two years the group has engaged in a wide range of work. It has expanded membership to include students and University staff, developed and made available to students and faculty an extensive set of support resources, reported to the Diversity and Inclusion Council on matters of diversity policy, conducted a resource session at the EFI Professional Development Day, created a faculty/student Web site, sponsored a community seminar on human rights in higher education with the Illinois Safe School Alliance, as well as made presentations and workshops around issues of equality for faculty and students at NLU, at other universities and at the International Conference for Teacher Education and Social Justice.