- GSA is committed to having a positive impact in the communities where we hold conferences.
- LOCI is a way for each GSA conference to engage with a volunteer-led community service event
- We are kicking off this initiative at #Dros23 by working with the Broadway Youth Center, an integrated health and social services organization that serves the Chicago LGBTQ+ community
Local Outreach Community Initiatives (LOCI):
The Genetics Society of America is committed to supporting the communities of the host cities of our conferences. This new year, we are excited to reconnect with our GSA community in meaningful ways within and beyond our existing programming. The GSA membership has created a caring and supportive environment and we hope to expand this environment to those where we hold our conferences. One of GSA’s pillars is to “Support the genetics community in engaging and communicating with the public.” Beyond communicating our science to the public, we as a society can work directly with fellow non-profits that share our values, through Local Outreach Community Initiatives (LOCI) during our conferences.
Attending a conference can be a relatively insular experience. Outside of visiting restaurants and maybe a sight or two, much of our time is often restricted to the conference center. The GSA Conferences Committee and staff, pioneered by former ECLP members Molly Matty and Gavin Rice, wish to create a way for attendees to engage and connect with the local community of the host city in a way that supports their growth. Instead of trying to initiate our own programs, which may miss the mark in serving the local community, we have chosen to work directly with local organizations, asking them what would be most helpful. For #Dros23 we are working with the Broadway Youth Center, a part of Howard Brown Health, one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) health and social service organizations. The first GSA LOCI event will include putting together hygiene kits, a professional clothing drive, and direct monetary donations to Broadway Youth Center (see details below).
We hope to expand these initiatives and projects to more conferences in the future, working with local organizations that are well-versed with the social and developmental needs of the host location. This shall allow conference attendees to connect beyond our shared science, while leaving a positive impact on our host city. These events can be anything from helping clean up a beach or park to tutoring students from disenfranchised backgrounds.
We are grateful to the Broadway Youth Center for their assistance in planning the #Dros23 LOCI. Here’s what we have planned for #Dros23 in Chicago:
- Hygiene Kit packing event: In-person conference attendees can help assemble hygiene kits. All of the supplies will be provided. Join with other attendees and connect right at the start of the meeting.
- Professional clothing drive: If you or your labmates have professional clothes that are unused, or used but clean, bring them to #Dros23 to be donated to the Broadway Youth Center.
- Monetary donation: We recognize that people may not be able to participate in person but would still like to be part of this initiative. We have set up a donation page where you can select GSA LOCI from the dropdown list in the Donation Fund section. Please note that 100% of the donations are going to the Broadway Youth Center.
How you can participate:
- Sign up for #Dros23 LOCI when you register.
- If you are attending #Dros23 in person, please spread the word locally in your department about the professional clothing drive if you have extra room in your luggage.
- Let others know they can donate to Broadway Youth Center at the GSA website.
For more information, please visit GSA LOCI.