Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity Logo

Mission & History

Mission & Vision

Our mission

We empower students of diverse sexualities and genders to inspire sustainable change; lead higher education colleagues in relevant and inclusive practices; and advance knowledge of sexuality and gender through advocacy and expansive programming.

Our vision

We re-envision an educational climate that centers the needs and experiences of systemically disadvantaged students and affirms and encourages sexuality and gender diversity.



We provide opportunities that are considerate of varying intellectual, physical, and financial capacities and levels of college readiness


Through intentional collaboration, we liaise for various social justice efforts to build sustainable coalitions and strengthen relationships across difference.


We uplift the voices of systemically disadvantaged students and colleagues as well as act as accomplices to all those participating in anti-oppression work.


We emphasize the importance of culturally relevant academic experiences and expanding understandings of students’ integration into campus life.


We vow transparency in our processes, take ownership of our limitations and commit to continuous self-work. Through this modeling, we expect and challenge our colleagues and partners to do the same.


We situate ourselves in this work with determination to annihilate systemic barriers, combat deeply ingrained beliefs and practices that negatively impact our communities, and conduct our work with urgency toward an inevitable revolution.



MBLGTACC Attend image of workshopRoze R.B. Brooks and Justin Drwencke introduced the Institute at MBLGTACC 2017. (Photo: Ed Negron)

The history of the Institute—founded in 2016—is in the making.

The Institute represents a new chapter in the broader, prouder history of a movement of students dedicated to building queer success in the Midwest. Over the past 25 years, MBLGTACC has become a destination and refuge for LGBTQIA+ and ally students to engage with their peers from around the region and the nation. Today, it is the largest LGBTQIA+ college conference in the United States, and it remains entirely student-run.


As the MBLGTACC community grew in its first fifteen years, many challenges and opportunities emerged. The financial and logistical demands of hosting the conference rose. The demographics of attendees became increasingly diverse. Ensuring consistency in program quality, leadership preparedness, and financial management became a significant undertaking. And, beyond the confines of MBLGTACC, our nation’s leaders approved measures to limit our freedoms and perpetuate a culture of shame, intimidation, and discrimination, making the conference more necessary than ever.

In response to this evolution, participants and organizers established an oversight committee at the 2007 conference (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities). Their charge? To guide multi-year visioning, evaluate conference operations, and select future conference host campuses. That body, which continues to provide oversight and advice, consists of members representing the current conference, the previous year’s conference, and the following year’s conference, as well as popularly elected delegates from each U.S. state in our region represented at the conference.

Under this framework, MBLGTACC continued to grow in size and logistical sophistication. In 2015, the Oversight Committee authorized the incorporation of a nonprofit organization and recruitment of a professional, volunteer staff to assume these responsibilities. Read more MBLGTACC history.


The Institute was formed in 2016 with a directive to guarantee adequate consultation and support is provided to campus planners and to ensure consistency in the quality of the MBLGTACC experience; to guarantee diversity, equity, and inclusion; and to grow the capacity of the organization beyond the annual February conference.

The future awaits. Will you join with us?