Local vets organize website to support LGBT militaryAround the City Thursday, April 7th, 2011
On Friday, April 1, the newly-created Military Acceptance Project (MAP) launched a new website, militaryacceptanceproject.org, designed to provide information, resources and support to service members regarding the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
Former Marine Corps officer Kristen Kavanaugh co-founded MAP with colleagues and faculty from the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, San Diego Academic Center.
“At first, all we knew is that we wanted to support service members through the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Kavanaugh said. “After talking with military leaders about the implementation process, it became clear that the services had no way to directly learn and address the questions and concerns of the lesbian, gay and bisexual service members most impacted by the repeal.”
The MAP team organized a focus group with 15 local LGB service members. The team used this forum to gain a better understanding of the groups’ questions, concerns and ideas of how best to support them before, during and after the repeal. Their input formed the foundation of the new website and the organization’s mission.
The site includes articles, training materials and other information about the Department of Defense and each branch of the military’s implementation plans and progress. An anonymous research poll, a blog and personal stories allow service members to actively be heard and participate.
“The repeal is just the beginning,” adds MAP team member and former Marine Corps infantry officer Nick Borrelli. “Ultimately, we want to support any service members who may be marginalized for any reason. Acceptance is consistent with our values of honor, courage and commitment.”
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