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Illinois Eagle to establish community advisory board

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Illinois Eagle, an online newspaper for the state’s LGBTQ community, is looking for volunteers to serve on a community advisory board.

The Eagle’s mission is to cover the LGBTQ community outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. Illinois’ downstate regions have been without its own media outlet since the closure of the Prairie Flame in 2008.

“There is an active and vibrant LGBTQ community outside of Chicago,” said Tom Wray, founder and publisher of the Eagle. “It deserves an outlet that can serve as a forum, advocate and mirror that focuses on the distinct needs that the community in smaller cities and rural areas.”

The advisory board would ideally consist of at least one person from each of the distinctive regions of Illinois outside of the Chicago metro: Northern Illinois, the Quad Cities region, Central Illinois, Western Illinois, Metro East and Little Egypt. The board should also represent a diversity of race, age and gender identity. Board members would help guide the online publication by recommending where coverage to focus, ensuring accurate coverage of their local communities and serving as a bellweather for their local communities. And they would meet virtually each month.

“Chicago has a wonderful community and a lot of great resources,” Wray said. “But it doesn’t represent all of the state. There are issues facing smaller areas they don’t necessarily have to worry about as much anymore in the city. Especially with the availability of resources and attention to the community.” At the start, the board would be completely made up of un-paid volunteers. However, the board is part of a new effort by the Eagle to grow its coverage and service to the community. Other plans include reaching out to new donors and sponsors to help pay writers and expand the technical capabilities of the publication and to work with local organizations across the state in supporting and hosting events. Those who are interested in volunteering for the community advisory board are asked to email Tom Wray at [email protected], through the Eagle website at https://illinoiseagle.com, or to message the Illinois Eagle through its Facebook page.

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