About OPEN Foundation

“OPEN is the first public space where I came out as transgender. When I engaged with OPEN as a newly out trans person, I felt completely safe and welcome. The support and acceptance I felt was so valuable to me.” - Member

You no doubt understand the pressing need for inclusion and welcoming of all in the workplace, particularly LGBTQ+ individuals when more than 40% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and almost 90% of transgender people have experienced employment discrimination, harassment or mistreatment.

We have work to do to ensure safe work environments and professional support for LGBTQ+ individuals. This is why I am thrilled to share that we have partnered with The Center for Community Stewardship to expand OPEN’s programming and services through the newly created OPEN Foundation. We recognize that there is a gap in professional development and career-building services for the LGBTQ+ community. Can you help us build this?

OPEN has proudly served LGBTQ+ individuals in Dane County for over 14 years. We have a strong track record of providing social, networking, and community engagement. We hosted and/or shared over 55 events for our community in 2022 alone. And there were countless connections made through those events.

But our efforts are only as impactful as the support we receive from the community. This is where we need your help to further empower economic and workplace stability for LGBTQ+ individuals across Dane County and beyond.

Our workplaces and community are stronger when everyone feels welcome, supported, and included at work. Thank you for your consideration!

One last quote I want to share with you is from a member who recently told me, "I joined OPEN to be in the same space with like-minded individuals. It's a special feeling to be accepted and celebrated for exactly who you are!"

I couldn’t agree more.

Heidi Duss [she/they]

OPEN Madison, Board President

PO Box 1646, Madison, WI 53701