ANNIVERSARY

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ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Celebrating AGLBICAL'S Inaugural Year

Reprint of ALCA Quarterly Newsletter Article (2005)

By Michael Lebeau

ALCA's newest division, AGLBICAL (Association of Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Issues in Counseling of Alabama, is celebrating its one year anniversary.  Founded by longtime ALCA members, Glenda Elliott and Frank Hrabe, AGLBICAL has had a very active and productive inaugural year since its official formation in July 2005.

 


Gaining initial exposure within the ALCA organization in May 2004 as the focus of the Current Issues Committee, and later as an official Interest Section, AGLBICAL has sought to raise awareness among its members of the struggles and challenges of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (glbt) community.  Moreover, it has implemented a very deliberate and concerted effort to provide accurate and helpful resources to counselors needing support for their glbt students and clients.

 

At the 2004 Fall Conference in Huntsville, 10 content sessions were presented to acquaint members with glbt issues and concerns.  There was much positive feedback from counselors in a variety of settings who expressed gratitude for the long-overdue resources they required to help them more effectively address the needs of their students and clients regarding sexual orientation.

 

 

 

In October 2005, AGLBICAL held its first meeting as an official ALCA division.  Donna Melder, AGLBICAL's first President, presided over the meeting, which took place in Birmingham.  At the meeting, AGLBICAL officers, committee chairs, and members focused on upcoming activities and organizational plans.  AGLBICAL identified, as part of its strategic plan, four main goals: 1) To present a statewide workshop, 2) To provide services and resources to counselors, 3) To create and maintain a website, 4) To increase membership to 100 by 2007.

 

In January 2006, AGLBICAL published its official website on the internet.  Visitors to www.aglbical.org have the opportunity to not only learn about the activities of the division, but to gather a wealth of helpful resources and information related to the needs and concerns of glbt individuals and the counselors who serve them.

 


 

At the 2005 Fall Conference in Birmingham, AGLBICAL featured an information table and sponsored several content sessions on glbt issues in counseling.  At the conference, AGLBICAL founder and active member, Glenda Elliott, won the Wilbur A. Tincher Award for a Humanitarian & Caring Person.

 

In April 2006, at the American Counseling Association Convention in Montreal, AGLIBIC (The national organization) presented ALCA President, Paul Hard, with the official AGLBICAL charter and gavel.

 

Plans are currently underway for a statewide conference to be held in February 2007.  It is the intention AGLBICAL, through a collection of notable guest speakers, seminars, and workshops, to offer a comprehensive training opportunity for Alabama counselors in all settings who work with sexual minorities.

 

 


Over the past year, in the course of their activities, AGLBICAL officers and members have taken very seriously the statement of purpose of their organization.  The mission of AGLBICAL is: 1) To promote greater awareness and understanding of sexual minority issues among members of the counseling profession and related helping occupations, 2) To develop, implement and foster interest in charitable, scientific and educational programs designed to further the human growth and development of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clients and communities, 3) To protect from harm glbt individuals by language, stereotypes, myths, misinformation, threats of expulsion from social and institutional structures and other entities, and from beliefs contrary to their identity, 4) To provide educational programs and resources to raise the standard of practice for all counselors who serve glbt clients and communities.

Membership in AGLBICAL is open to all ALCA members in good standing. Counselors working in schools, colleges, agencies, institutions, or any variety of settings are invited to join. Counselors working in mental health, rehabilitation, education, corrections, and private practice are invited to join.  Membership is open to any counselor who has an interest in learning more about glbt issues. Counselors may join ALBICAL because they have glbt students or clients and seek resources to better serve them. Counselors may join AGLBICAL because they want to be allies or advocates for glbt people. Counselors may join ABLBICAL because they believe in human rights issues. Counselors who join AGLBICAL may be glbt or straight. No assumption is made regarding the sexual orientation of any AGLBICAL member.


 

 

 

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A L G B T I C A L    Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama