The LGBTQ Representation and Rights Research Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the first academic program in the United States focused exclusively on the link between the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and the legal and political rights afforded to those groups.

Our Mission

  • Conduct and encourage research on the relationship between the presence and political representation of LGBTQ individuals and equality.
  • Nurture, connect, and inspire a cohort of scholars focused on questions of sexual orientation, gender identity, representation, and rights; in North Carolina and beyond.
  • Generate a dialogue among students, activists, community members, and faculty to support LGBTQ advocacy and generate understanding.
  • Pay testimony to and build on the Carolina tradition of pursuing engaged research and bringing the highest level of scholarship to bear on the question of how to protect and enhance equality, democracy, and civil rights.

Our Work

  • Gather data on the representation of LGBTQ officials serving in government, from mayors of cities to officials in multi-national assemblies.
  • Compile a comprehensive compendium of national laws as they relate to the rights of LGB, Trans, and Queer communities.
  • Conduct targeted research on LGBTQ representation and rights by region or theme.
  • Bring domestic and international speakers to UNC’s campus.
  • Hold academic workshops leading to a series of policy papers.

We disseminate knowledge to a wider audience through: 

  • Publication of research findings
  • Newspaper opinion-editorials
  • Public talks and lectures


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