By Natalie Zarowny
A.L.P.H.A.S, or ‘African American Lesbian Professionals Having A Say,' just popped up in the area this April.
But they're already making a big impact when it comes to equal rights for everyone in the Quad Cities.
"We wanted to empower ourselves to do something in the community that empowered African Americans as well as just the LGBT community," said Natoshia Leshore, director of A.L.P.H.A.S.
The forum hosted this evening is called 'Know your rights, know yourself.'
"I'm here to show my support for equal rights," said Alton Lucas, an attendee at the event.
The problem, event leaders said, is some folks in the LGBT community might not know what their rights are.
"Say you get discriminated against, something happens to you at work or at school, you can actually, you have all these rights sort of at your hand," said Cyndi Torres, with Lambda Legal in Chicago.
According to organizers, Illinois is actually one of the best places to live in terms of identifying as LGBT.
"The state of Illinois actually protects LGBT, gender and sexuality as a protected class," said Torres.
Two of the three forum sponsors are based out of Chicago.
Leaders with Lambdas, a legal organization, and Affinity Community Services, an advocacy group, said it's important for big city groups to take the time to visit smaller places like the Quad Cities.
"We also can't overlook that not everyone lives in a large, populated city, but it doesn't mean that the needs are less," said Kelly Susan Saulsberry, with Affinity Community Services.