Gender and LGBTQ+ Equality & Social Inclusion

All society benefits when diversity is acknowledged and valued and all individuals are supported so that they can reach their full potential. The primary focus of these SIROW projects is gender and LGBTQ+ equality and social inclusion.

Current Projects

The Computer Science Retention and Graduation Diagnostics project aims to better understand persistence and retention trends among female and under-represented minority students at the University of Arizona in order to inform the development of interventions capable of address these disparities. Persistence and retention trends are analyzed across the three-course introductory sequence. WISE supports the data collection and analysis components of the project.

Contact: Jill Williams,

SIROW project team: Jill Williams, Stephanie Murphy

Location: SIROW Main campus, 925 N Tyndall Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721

Family Pride Initiative is a collaboration between SIROW, SAAF,
Charlie Health, Palo Verde Behavioral Health, and University of Arizona Professor of Family Studies and Human Development Russ Toomey and is funded by a 3-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The project aims to reduce disparities and improve outcomes for LGBTQI+ youth in Tucson and southern Arizona by strengthening supports for youth, caregivers, families, and providers. The program will provide counseling, education, and resources for LGBTQI+ youth and their caregivers and families, train counselors and other community service providers, and facilitate broader social change and acceptance of LGBTQI+ youth through a public awareness campaign.


Contact: Courtney Waters,
SIROW project team: Claudia Powell, Courtney Waters, Shannon Fowler
Project partners: Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), Professor Russ Toomey
Location (campus, central, or silverlake park): SIROW Silverlake Park, 




The LGBTQ+ Equity Project is a subcomponent of SIROW’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP). It strives to advance LGBTQ+ equity through individual, organizational, and systems-level change by providing education and tools to enhance providers' capacity to serve and meet the needs of LGBTQ+ young people. The first phase of the project consisted of the development of eight pre-recorded training modules and a Companion Resource and Reflection Guide. During the second phase of the project, SIROW will provide technical assistance to four community organizations and their staff through live training sessions. The goal of the training sessions is for employees across all sectors of the organization to enhance their skills and confidence providing affirming care to LGBTQ+ clients through in-depth analysis, reflection, and discussion of the module content.

Contact: Courtney Waters,

Location: SIROW Silverlake Park 

The Lighthouse Project is designed to link homeless, transitional age youth and young adults who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning and their Straight Allies (LGBTQ+) to a trauma-informed system of care that includes linkages to permanent supportive housing and primary health care, case management services, substance abuse and mental health treatment and a wide array of recovery support services. The University of Arizona-Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW), the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) and CODAC Health, Recovery and Wellness will partner to serve LGBTQ+-identified, transitional age youth and young adults, including those who are veterans, in Southern Arizona, from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds, with a specific focus on those between the ages of 18 and 35 who are chronically homeless. The goals of this project are: 1) to provide ongoing outreach to a minimum of 300 individuals annually and screening to a minimum of 100 LGBTQ+ homeless young adults each year; 2) to annually enroll 60 individuals into needs-based, trauma-informed services, including case management, mental health and substance abuse treatment and recovery support services; 3) to develop and implement a coordinated, comprehensive, trauma-informed System of Care for chronically homeless young adults that is sensitive to and focused on the specific needs of those who identify as LGBTQ+; and 4) to evaluate all project activities to examine the impact of the intervention for participants and the longitudinal improvements to the System of Care.

Contact: Claudia Powell,

SIROW project team: Claudia Powell, Courtney Waters, Shannon Fowler, Julie Luchetta, Jackson Wray, Keith Bentele

Project partners: Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), CODAC Health, Recovery and Wellness

Location: SIROW Silverlake Park 

New Dawn Warrior Women

NEW DAWN-WARRIOR WOMEN is a coordinated effort of the Southwest Institute for research on Women (SIROW), The Haven, and the Pima County Health Department.  It is focused on enhancing and expanding access to affirming culturally tailored substance use disorder(SUD) and co-occurring disorder(COD) harm reduction, and recovery support services for under-resourced Indigenous women from across the state of Arizona and Hispanic women from Southern Arizona.  NEW DAWN-WARRIOR WOMEN will enhance and expand The Haven's Native Ways program, an award-winning program that offers women with SUD/COD opportunities to establish and grow their recovery with a setting and focus that respects the cultures and traditions of  Indigenous people of Southern AZ.  Planned expansion of the Native Ways Program includes providing participants access to

  1. ) an Indigenous peer support staff member who will oversee culturally responsive activities and engagement in events that foster a deeper sense of community and connection for participants receiving services;
  2. ) additional cultural activities (e.g., drumming);
  3. ) The alumni program, which will be available to women who successfully discharge from Native Ways services; and
  4. ) the SIROW-Health Education for Women (SIROW-HEW), an evidence -based intervention and curriculum focused pm making healthy relationship and sexual health related choices; reduction of risky sexual and substance misuse behaviors; and access to reproductive healthcare.

To reach these goals, NEW DAWN-WARRIOR WOMEN will work to create a more affirming system of care through workforce development and outreach to grass root agencies serving Indigenous populations, in addition to providing outreach to behavioral health services and providers of women's health services.

Contact: Brenda Granillo,

SIROW project team: Brenda Granillo, Josephine Korchmaros, Monica Davis, Tamara Sargus, Dora Bezies- Lopez, and Fedora Preston- Haynes

Project Partners:  The Haven and Pima County Health Department

Location: SIROW Central, 3776 N. 1st Ave., STE. 102, Tucson, AZ 85719 


Spectrum+ is a five-year collaboration between SIROW, SAAF, and El Rio Health with funding by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The purpose of Spectrum+ is to provide culturally-driven comprehensive sexuality education, HIV and HCV testing and counseling, substance use and co-occurring disorder screening and treatment, HIV prevention navigation services, and HIV care to
LGBTQ+ Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth and young adults and their peers ages 12-24 in Pima and Maricopa Counties.


Contact: Courtney Waters,
SIROW project team: Claudia Powell, Corrie Brinley, Courtney Waters, Jackson Wray,
Zach Simmons
Project partners: Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), El Rio Health
Location (campus, central, or silverlake park): SIROW Silverlake Park, 






Completed Projects

Completed projects are listed in alphabetical order.

Aging Successfully is a community based, cross-sectional survey of LGBTQ populations in Pima County who are 55 years of age and older. Southern Arizona Pride and the Pima Council on Aging formed a collaboration with the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies (iLGBTS) for the expertise and technical resources needed to conduct a formal assessment of the needs of older LGBT adults in Pima County for these and other services. Dr. Beth Meyerson as a iLGBTS affiliate faculty is Co-PI with Dr. Sally Dodds (ret. iLGBTS). A community based, cross sectional survey was fielded in 2020 with focus on several quality of life domains. A Steering Committee comprised of community and academic representatives guides the project. This is the first such assessment among LGBTs populations 55+ in Southern Arizona and will lay the foundation for others to follow.

Contact: Beth Meyerson,

Project partners: Southern Arizona Pride, Pima Council on Aging, University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies

Location: SIROW Main campus, 925 N Tyndall Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721

Contact: Claudia Powell,

The ANCHOR Project (Accessible Network for Coordinated Housing, Opportunities and Resilience) is designed to link chronically homeless, transitional age youth and young adults who identify with the identities Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Straight Allies (LGBTQSA) to a trauma-informed system of care that includes linkages to permanent supportive housing and primary health care, case management services, substance abuse and mental health treatment and a wide array of recovery support services.

Contact: Jill Williams,

Diving into Task Assignment Bias is a project aiming to develop, implement, and evaluate an intervention aimed at reducing gender-based disparities in the Marine Advanced Technology Education remotely operated vehicle program. (WISE/SIROW conducts curriculum development and evaluation.)

Contact: Rosi Andrade,

A project to promote social inclusion and well-being of chronically homeless women.  

Contacts: Claudia Powell,; Sally Stevens,

UA-SIROW was working with Our Family Services, Open Inn, Wingspan, CODAC Behavioral Health Services (CODAC), and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) to develop and implement “Treatment Empowerment for Adolescents on the Move” (iTEAM); a comprehensive Systems approach for drug/alcohol and mental health treatment for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth (LGBTQ) and their straight allies. Homeless youth, ages 15 to 23, from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds were enrolled in the project.

iTEAM Links

View an iTEAM Community Collaboration poster, Unstably Housed LGBTQA Youth: The Impact of a Community-Based Collaboration.

Read the article about the iTEAM project from University of Arizona News, "UA-Led iTEAM Project Benefits Youth, Young Adults."

Contact: Sally Stevens,

The LGBT Research Cluster was a research study group comprised of UA and community professionals. Activities included: 1) analyzing, interpreting and disseminating outcome findings with regard to data collected from participants enrolled in the Eon Project, and 2) using this information to illuminate critical research questions and accelerate a research agenda with regard to LGBT, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) adolescents and young adults. The Eon Project was a federally-funded, early intervention action-based research project serving LGBTQQ and their straight allies.  A total of 268 participants (ages 13 to 23 years) were enrolled into the Eon Project. Youth participated in a baseline interview followed by an early intervention group-level curriculum targeting substance use, HIV and STD prevention, identity and sexuality, and the development of resiliency and life skills. Enrollees also participated in 3, 6, and 12 month follow-up interviews so that changes in knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors could be examined. The primary assessment used for the Eon Project was the Prism Comprehensive Assessment, an assessment that covered numerous domains of inquiry and included several scales from the Global Assessment of Individual Needs (GAIN). The LGBT Research Cluster was funded by the UA–Institute for LGBT Studies.

Contact: Rosi Andrade,

Managing Tough Times: Women Living in Economic Uncertainty was a collaboration between the Pima County/Tucson’s Women Commission and UA-SIROW. The study team held focus groups with low-income women and interviewed service agency personnel knowledgeable about women who struggle financially. Many challenges were voiced including finding employment, food insecurities, unstable housing, safe and affordable childcare, violence, and transportation issues. These and other challenges were discussed in the findings report “How Women Manage in Tough Economic Times: Coping with Hardship in Southern Arizona” along with recommendations for addressing these issues at both the policy and practice levels. Ongoing advocacy is currently underway with elected officials and others to highlight the findings and promote action to address the issues illuminated in the report

Read the 2014 report, How Women Manage in Tough Economic Times: Coping with Hardship in Southern Arizona.

Dr. Rosi Andrade published "In Mexico, Domestic Workers' Story is Rags to Rags," discussing one of Mexico's most often overlooked populations.

Contact: Sally Stevens,

SIROW was contracted to organize and host an event that increased AIDS awareness among women and girls. This event took place at the EON Youth Center. This project was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services – Office on Women’s Health.

Contact: Josephine Korchmaros,

An educational intervention to improve the well-being of women.

Contact: Sally Stevens,

This research project used online surveys and follow-up interviews to examine the perception of service load equity, relative effort, and perceived value of service work of female and male faculty members across three STEM departments at the UA. The departments included: 1) The Department Electrical and Computing Engineering in the College of Engineering; 2) The Department of Geography and Regional Development in Social and Behavioral Sciences; and 3) Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Science. These departments were chosen to represent the diversity of STEM fields, including social science, life science, and engineering, as well as to reflect a variance of female faculty representation across three Colleges. This project was funded by UA Advance.

The purpose of Spectrum was to provide HIV prevention and education services (including HIV and Hepatitis testing and counseling) and to expand and enhance substance use and co-occurring disorder screening, referral to treatment, and outreach and pretreatment services for LGBTQ+ identified youth and young adults (primarily ages 13-24) from elevated-risk multi-ethnic communities, primarily, Latino, African American and Native American. The project utilized an existing collaboration including SIROW, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), and Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health (Devereux). The primary target population included youth who might not be identified as
having substance abuse and related behavioral health problems or receive needed interventions in culturally responsive ways. Spectrum sought to enhance and expand the continuum of services for participants. All participants received either the SIROW Health Education for Youth (SIROW HEY) curriculum or the SIROW Sexual Health Education-Queer (SIROW SHE-Q), facilitated by staff from the SAAF, Devereux and SIROW.

• View the webinar, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education: The time is now
• Watch the video, "What If...?"

Contact: Claudia Powell,
SIROW project team: Claudia Powell, Courtney Waters, Corrie Brinley, Monica Davis, Keith Bentele, Amy Lucero
Project Partners:  Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
Location: SIROW Silverlake Park, 




Contact: Sally Stevens,

The purpose of The Status of Women in Southern Arizona project was to identify and quantify information about the status of women and girls in Santa Cruz, Cochise and Pima counties. The final report assisted in determining areas of focus for strategic initiatives and grant-making for the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona and to serve as an ongoing, regional resource for information on the needs of women & girls in Southern Arizona. Data sources from over 100 databases were mined to develop indicators in the areas of health, economic status, education, demographics, political participation and leadership, and justice issues. The Status of Women in Southern Arizona project was funded by the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona.

Contact: Claudia Powell,

Funded by UA Institute for LGBT Studies

The Stories in Progress Project highlighted the application of meaningful and empowering narratives to enrich the self-awareness and self-worth of its participants. The project centered on the collaborative development of a curriculum for a trauma-informed workshop series that aimed to foster and sustain positive self-cognition and identity formation by harnessing the power of story and personal narrative. Using a community-based research design, the curriculum for the Stories in Progress Project’s workshop series was developed in consultation with participants who constituted the project’s Curriculum Committee. The project engaged unstably housed LGBTQA young adults in a series of seven weekly workshops at the ANCHOR project site. In these themed sessions, participants had the opportunity to share aspects of their stories and experiences, many of which will involve their gender identities and sexual identities, and were encouraged to apply a positive frame to these stories (e.g., a focus on their endurance, resourcefulness, or bravery).

A University-wide initiative to provide communication and coherence amongst existing student groups, STEM departments, and campus administrators committed to fostering more diverse and inclusive STEM environments on campus.