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Rainbow Caucus

The Rainbow Caucus is a place for LGBTQIA+ folks in the conservation community to come together for support, activism, and fun.  Rainbow Caucus is designed to be a safe, strong, and brave place for celebrating queerness as it intersects with conservation and cultural heritage work. While we love our allies, this group is intended only for individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Although we are AIC affiliated, we are an independently run group that communicates through Google Groups and is moderated by its members. This helps us maintain our privacy.  Our communications and identities are never shared with AIC without explicit request from the membership.

Still with us?  Want to be a part of our wonderful rainbow?  Scroll down for more information on joining our group.


The founding of this group relied on the tireless work of our working group members Riley Cruttenden, Elena Bowen, Terra Huber, Megan Creamer, Danny Gonsowski, Leith Calcote, Abed Haddad, and Nora Frankel.  We were formed as an initiative and with support from the Equity and Inclusion Committee.  Thanks also to the BIPOC Caucus for sharing their process, which helped us craft our Mission and Vision statements. 


Create an inclusive and intersectional group that supports and uplifts the professional and personal success of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people in the field of conservation, from pre-program students through establish professionals.  This will be achieved by:

  • Networking and support

  • Outreach

  • Visibility and advocacy 

  • Professional development

  • Advocating for change to ensure equality and safety

  • Create a response structure for queer/homo/trans-phobic incidents

  • Be an accomplice in a response structure for BIPOC (and PWD) folks in whatever ways are appropriate

  • Creating a safe community

Rainbow Caucus is designed to serve queer conservators from the AIC member community and non-members from, working in, or studying in North America. We encourage AIC membership, but it is not required and we understand that it is not always possible or practical for everyone to join.

Vision Statement

We envision the AIC and conservation community to be a space where all people are safe, respected, and provided equal voice, opportunity, and pay regardless of their sexual or gender orientation or presentation.  No person should fear professional, personal, or social harm by publicly acknowledging their sexual or gender orientation.

Guidelines and Expectations for Rainbow Caucus

This group was formed to have a private online space that encourages and supports other 2SLGBTQIA+ members of our profession. As a passionate and engaged group of colleagues, we expect everyone to communicate with good will and civility whether we are discussing workplace environments, publications, or music playlists. Moderators reserve the right to remove group members who break the privacy, respect, and etiquette of this group, details of which are described below.


  • As with the AIC Terms and Conditions, your data will not be used, sold, or shared by the moderators or owners of this group.

  • This is a Google Group, run as a Web Forum, so security and privacy of this group relies on Google’s terms and conditions. Google Groups Privacy Notice can be viewed here.  

  • Information or contact information shared within messages or discussions should not be shared outside this group without express prior consent of all involved or named. Check and change your own ‘displayed name’ to as needed.

  • Names and email addresses used in this group may not correspond with professionally used contact information. Please respect people’s boundaries or needs to have this be the case. Each member can view and see all ‘displayed names’ and connected email addresses of all members.


  • Always refer to someone by their provided names, pronouns, and identities.

  • We are a diverse group with many identities, experiences, and levels of knowledge.  Please communicate with the best intentions, and give others the benefit of the doubt.  Terminology and language are constantly evolving, and emotions can run high when discussing sensitive topics.  Mistakes happen, and they can be moments for all sides to grow.

  • Deliberate and continued breaches of respect will be brought to the moderators, and may result in removal from the group.  Bullying, abuse, harassment, and willfully offensive language are not tolerated.

  • Respect the purpose of this community: while we are brought together by so much more than conservation, please remember that this is ultimately a professional community.  We hope everybody feels comfortable, open, safe, and casual, but let’s not forget ourselves entirely - all emails are catalogued in the Google Groups page.  Be mindful- you can’t unring a bell!  We are here to share successes, challenges, constructive feedback, questions, goals, community building, and support.


  • Clearly state the topic of your post in the subject line. This makes it easier to refer back to past discussions.

  • Respect our inboxes. Do not send brief personal messages such as “I agree” or “thank you” or administrative questions to the entire group. Send those responses and questions directly to the individual you are addressing. 

  • Entire threads cannot be deleted in Google Groups, but individual messages can.

How to Join

As a professional networking and affiliation group that is related to our work with AIC, the Rainbow Caucus will generally abide by the AIC Terms and Conditions for Community Groups. Please read them here.

By joining and using this community, you agree that you have read and will follow the AIC guidelines linked above, and the guidelines and expectations below that are specified for this group. You also agree to reserve discussions, shared files, and content to those best suited to this group’s purpose, and the platform of Google Groups.

To join, please send the following information to  This information goes directly to the Rainbow Caucus moderators, and is not shared with AIC. The Rainbow Caucus moderators are Nora Frankel, Terra Huber, and Riley Cruttenden.

1.    Full name (chosen or given, your choice):

2.    Do you identify as LGBTQIA+?  This is not a group for allies, this is only for individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ (A yes or no answer is fine!).

3.    Are you currently a member of AIC or have a profile on the AIC website? The answer to this question will not affect membership to this group. It will be used to gauge the makeup of the group.

4.   Briefly, why are you interested in joining?

5.   Please acknowledge that you have read and accept our terms and conditions of participation as stated above to ensure the safety and wellness of group members.