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The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County

Organization Mission

We are a community center that inspires and supports LGBTQ+ people by providing critical services, events, activities, and spaces to enhance our community’s well-being. We envision a healthy, vibrant, and diverse intergenerational LGBTQ+ community, safe and secure in their persons, schools, work, and homes, fueled by a spirit of collaboration with each other and the greater community.

The Big Idea 2024:
CampOUT Program for LGBTQ+ Teens

The Diversity Center’s annual CampOUT youth program exemplifies our duty to provide safe, affirming spaces where LGBTQ+ people can gather without judgment. We bring together LGBTQ+ teens for a weekend of activities such as hiking, crafting, dancing, and facilitated discussion that create interpersonal connections and grows the sense of belonging. Embraced in a historic redwood grove, our campsite acts as a haven where participants can express themselves and connect with nature, free from damaging stigmas or stereotypes.

LGBTQ+ identified youth are much more likely to suffer from psychological, emotional and physical health issues than straight youth. We directly increase the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community in Santa Cruz.

It's more than a camp, it is a safe space for queer people to be together and have each other's back. I think that is really important to survive in this world.

2023 CampOUT Participant, Santa Cruz, 14 years old