Antioch University Los Angeles’s Undergraduate Studies Internship Program hosted an online event entitled “An LGBTQ+ Conversation Honoring Pride Month” on June 15th. The purpose of this event was to learn about the mission and advocacy work of some of Antioch’s partner organizations. AULA’s Internship Program has a long list of partner organizations that provide students with unique internship opportunities, at the event attendees heard from three of these organizations: Queer Works, Being Alive, and Outwords Archive.
Queer Works was founded by Jacob Rostovsky, an alum of Antioch University Los Angeles’ Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. During his time at Antioch, he did an internship at Being Alive, and his final project led to the creation of Queer Works, which strives to reduce disparities experienced disproportionally by trans, non-binary, & intersex individuals including homelessness, joblessness, mental health, and medical challenges, higher rates of suicide, and higher rates of poverty. Jacob said, “Queer Works would not have been born if not for Antioch,” and is excited to now provide internship opportunities to current Antioch students.
Being Alive, the organization where Jacob did his internship, was also present at the event and discussed their history and mission. Executive Director, Jamie Baker, shared that Being Alive started during the height of the AIDs crisis to help HIV+ individuals navigate their sickness and often their passing. During this time nine out of ten people diagnosed with HIV ended up passing away. They now provide a variety of services including mental health services to over 14,000 clients a year. Their goal is to help completely eliminate HIV. “We want to see ourselves run out of business,” says Jamie Baker.
Bliss, Director of Operations for Outwords, shared how their organization was founded to collect and document stories of LGBTQ+ elders to make sure queer history is preserved and available to the public. They have now collected 226 interviews which are all available for free on the internet. This year their collection goals include a focus on trans and non-binary individuals, as well as members of the BIPOC community.
All three of these partners provide interns a chance to contribute to their organizations at every level. Through our internship program, undergraduate students are able to work directly with the LGBTQ+ community, providing important services and growing their own skills in the process.
Lauren Instenes is Antioch's Social Media and Community Manager. She recently completed her MA in oral history from Columbia University and is a passionate storyteller who uses digital media to amplify voices and stories that often go unheard. You can find her most recent work at midwestqueerspaces.com.