Our mission is to advocate for, support, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
We envision a healthy, vibrant, and diverse LGBTQ+ community in Santa Cruz County, free from fear, hatred, and prejudice and safe in their persons, work, and homes; fueled by a spirit of collaborative leadership that fosters the sharing of resources, talents, and gifts with each other and with the greater community.
The first gay and lesbian movement started organizing in the early 1950’s. The Mattachine Society in LA (1951) and Daughter of Bilitis in San Francisco (1955) are two examples. In the early 1970’s, LGBTQ+ communities around the country were beginning to emerge out of the anti-war and feminist movements. Universities across the United States began to register a new type of student organization called Gay Alliances.
In Santa Cruz, LGBTQ+ folks rode on this wave of radical change and in 1975 organized our first annual Gay Pride Festival. Fifteen years later, in 1989, a real building was leased to offer a home and resource center to the LGBTQ+ community under the name The Santa Cruz Lesbian and Gay Community Center (later filing DBA (doing business as) paperwork to be known as the Diversity Center). The Diversity Center has been a major part of LGBTQ+ life on the Central Coast ever since.
Each year, we reach approximately 8,000 individuals through our programs and educational events. We reach about 20,000 through our outreach.