Community Survey Task Force to meet

Tonight we’ll be holding the first meeting of the Community Survey Task Force, through which we’ll be organizing the work involved with conducting the Alaska LGBT Community Survey (or AKQ, for short).

As I wrote on September 13, the Task Force’s job will be defined more completely during the meeting; but as I see it, its chief functions will be to:

  1. Revise and update the One in Ten survey questionnaire to reflect changes in society that have taken place since 1985, the need for trans-inclusiveness, and new questions/issues that we’d like to address in the survey.  (And perhaps additional smaller surveys.)
  2. Continue to conduct outreach to the LGBT and allied community in all areas of the state, both for complete coverage of our community in all its diversity, and in particular to solicit respondents who are willing to be interviewed about instances of discrimination, harassment, violence, or other forms of bias that they have experienced because they are, or were perceived to be, trans, bisexual, gay, or lesbian.
  3. Coordinate distribution and administration of the survey, data entry, and analysis and writing of the report(s) of our findings.

This will be a community survey in two senses:

  • a survey of the LGBT community;
  • a survey conducted by the LGBT community.

Thus, AKQ will be a collaborative project involving LGBT organizations & individuals statewide, as well as other stakeholders  — our allies — committed to the welfare & social equality of LGBT Alaskans.  But for a high quality survey, it’s necessary to balancing the “community” nature of our work with a credible, reliable research design following solid social science research practices.  We’ll begin sketching this out tonight.

There’s no doubt a lot of people who would like to be a part of this who can’t be there tonight — not only people in Anchorage who have other commitments, but also people throughout the state whose participation will be crucial to the success of our effort.  Up to this point, we’ve had just three of us making contacts and doing the other early work to set something up, and fitting that work into our already busy days. One of the things I most look forward tonight is adding in the help of other people — more intelligences, more hands to do the work, & each of them with their own networks of contacts who can help expand the effort to make it truly a community-wide, & statewide, project; while decreasing the chances that any one of us will become overwhelmed & subject to burnout.  (Something that I’m personally prone to if I’m not careful!)

So if you want to be “in the loop” & help out with this project, in any way, there will be plenty of opportunity.  And if you want to be a part now, don’t hesitate to contact us at to let us know.  We should begin to have more specific information about how you can take part after tonight’s meeting.

About Mel Green

Melissa S. (Mel) Green was the principal writer of One in Ten: A Profile of Alaska’s Lesbian & Gay Community (Anchorage, AK: Identity, Inc., 1986) and coauthor with Jay K. Brause of Identity Reports: Sexual Orientation Bias in Alaska (Identity, Inc., 1989). She also blogged extensively about the 2009 Anchorage equal rights ordinance on her personal & writing website, for which she was recognized by a True Diversity Award for Excellence in Online Media in September 2009. She administers the Alaska LGBT Community Survey website.
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