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0000017c-83f8-d4f8-a77d-b3fd0cf60000On August 9, 2018, the dedication and ribbon cutting were held for the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences in downtown Evansville. The facility will house numerous health professions programs for the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana and the Indiana University Medical School Evansville campus. The programs will work side by side to create a transformational approach to health care and medical education.

Online map to help connect LGBT community to welcoming businesses, employers

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A University of Southern Indiana professor is mapping out Evansville’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender-friendly businesses.

USI assistant professor of psychology Amie McKibban isn’t a stranger to the idea of inclusivity. She started USI’s Safe Zone training workshops, which teach participants about the issues confronting the local LGBT community.

Anxiety is one of those concerns, McKibban says, particularly when approaching businesses for employment, treatment or perhaps, a big investment.

“Let’s say you want to go with a partner to buy a wedding ring, but you're not quite sure what jeweler to go to. Having that resource and that asset to say, 'we welcome you,' reduces a lot of stress and unknown for our gay and lesbian community," McKibban said.

In response to these concerns, McKibban is developing a grant-funded, online map that will pinpoint the LGBT-friendly businesses in town.

She says the transgender community has their own set of concerns, like finding a welcoming healthcare provider or a store that will let them use the appropriate changing room.

“So what we hope in the end is that will provide a sense of relief as well as direction for our community members," McKibban said.

So far, nearly 10 businesses have signed up for the program. McKibban plans to publish the Interactive map online in early October. Businesses interested in being on the map can take an assessment at mapevansville.com.

McKibban said participants will also receive a window decal to display outside their establishment.

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