Tami and I support Equality Utah and its mission of securing equal rights and protections for LGBTQ+ Utahns and their families. We especially support Equality Utah’s work to stop the damaging practice of Conversion Therapy in Utah. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have already made conversion therapy illegal for state-licensed mental health providers. Despite this, conversion therapy is still being implemented in Utah County and Salt Lake County. Read more about what is being done to change this here.
Utah’s tech sector is growing rapidly as job opportunities increasingly present themselves across the state. But currently, women hold less than one-fourth of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math. Without more STEM opportunities for women and girls, women will continue to be left behind in technology professions.
Tami and I attended the United Way of Salt Lake’s 2018 “Power of Your Purse” Event. This annual event raises money to give Utah teachers access to professional development opportunities so they can teach STEM in their classroom more effectively.
Hosted at the Weber State University’s LGBT Resource Center, the Marquardt Peace & Possibility Speaker Series continues to work to improve the university’s culture of tolerance and acceptance by inviting leading LGBTQ activists and advocates to campus. This work aims to nurture a sense of inclusion and allyship. Jane and Tami donated a substantial sum to ensure the project is properly funded to achieve this important goals.
When she spoke at the center, Jane shared, “For decades, Weber State has been the leader in northern Utah in promoting conversations surrounding diversity and the LGBT community. I am so proud of the leadership demonstrated by Weber State, and the opportunities the university is opening for people of all backgrounds throughout Utah.”
The LGBT Resource Center Coordinator, Jayson Stokes, stated the value of their donation in empowering the center to stay open and to eventually expand. It was the first large endowment granted to the newly minted LGBT Resource Center and represents what will hopefully be just the first in a long line of symbolic investments in the center’s mission. Jane Marquardt had previously gifted the university a sum which became the Phoenix Achievement scholarship for Women. Jane is closely associated to the university, a relationship which dates back to the 1980’s when she taught as an adjunct professor there, as well as served on the Board of Trustees.
Since opening in the beginning of 2015, the LGBT Resource Center has organized and cosolidated campus resources available for LGBT students and allies who need them. They also invest in organizations that provide access to legal support for communities in need.