RU12? was founded in 1998 by two students at the University of Vermont who believed that Vermont needed a multi-generational, substance-free, queer space open to people of all ages, races and genders. RU12? was all volunteer run until 2002 when the first Executive Director was hired. In 2003, RU12? moved from the first space on the Burlington waterfront to the current location at the Champlain Mill in downtown Winooski. In 2006, SafeSpace merged with RU12? becoming the Anti-Violence Program at RU12?. That same year Equality Vermont also merged with RU12?.
RU12? is now the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) organization in Vermont, and the only LGBTQ Community Center in the state. While our physical location is in downtown Winooski, we have many statewide programs and services. We work in close coalition with many other organizations including Outright Vermont, the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
The RU12? Community Center celebrates, educates and advocates with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Vermonters.
Celebrate: At RU12? our drop-in resource center, free community meeting space, lending library, David Bohnett Cyber Center and community social events are all helping to build community and create increased access to information and resources for all community members. RU12? houses the Vermont Queer Archives, including the Dialogue Project which is a multi-generational multi media project that travels across the state.
Educate: At RU12? LGBTQ staff members and volunteers train individuals and groups about LGBTQ cultural competency, LGBTQ Elder issues, anti-violence issues, HIV, other health issues and more. We provide community members with information on a variety of topics of concern through our drop-in resource center. Our Health and Wellness program provides HIV prevention information and HIV testing to community members in person as well as information on-line.
Advocate: RU12? advocates with and for LGBTQ Vermonters in various settings. The SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program advocates with and for LGBTQ survivors of violence and discrimination. RU12? runs peer led support groups for coming out issues and for transgender social support, and provides support to grassroots groups such as Vermont TransAction, the Transgender Day of Remembrance Organizing Committee, the Queer Community Project of Wyndham County, and more. RU12? advocates with and for LGBTQ Vermonters with the media, in the legislature and in other venues. RU12? is called upon to be the voice of the community, and we provide critical visibility for the LGBTQ community in Vermont.