Welcome to the Community Alliance & Action Network! “We are here...” for you!
Our History (and Future!):
C.A.A.N. began in Tim Pierce’s and Eric Schor’s home on a cold March 2005 evening: six people sitting around the dining room table talking about how hard it is for LGBTQ people to connect in the suburbs. The acronym C.A.A.N. came up early in the discussion; we began to realize that there was a lot that we “C.A.A.N.” do to make our lives better. We also realized that we “C.A.A.N.” make our lives more visible and let everyone know that LGBTQ people do live in the suburbs of Chicago.
In April, we met at Joliet Junior College; the seeds of a community center began to take hold. As we met monthly at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Joliet, we created a mission statement:
to build community and personal alliances to alleviate the effects of discrimination due to sexual orientation and/or gender identification.
We began to form committees, and a core group of people willing to dedicate their time and energy grew. From these core individuals, Tim, Paul, Stefanie, Gini and Pete formed the first board with the goal of getting paperwork filed to become a not-for-profit organization and to find space to open the community center. Our board has continued to evolve since then. In August, the State of Illinois granted C.A.A.N. not-for-profit corporate status. IRS paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) organization was filed in August, 2005 as well, and this was granted by the IRS in July, 2006.
C.A.A.N. opened the doors to your community center on February 4, 2006; see our calendar page for more details! We've been busy with community events and involvement: C.A.A.N.’s first sponsored event was the film, Fish Can’t Fly, produced and directed by Tom Murray, and we've already made a name for ourselves with further events and news coverage; check out our archives page for more on past events, and keep checking our calendar page for upcoming events and programs, as well as our news page for current news of C.A.A.N..
What does the future hold for C.A.A.N.? That’s up to you! C.A.A.N.’s slogan is We are here...inventing the future...; our future is in your hands. Is there a program that you would like to see us offer? Do you want to help C.A.A.N. plan its next community center in another suburb? Contact us and be part of inventing the future.