The LGBTQ Institute brings dedicated programming to The Center on a quarterly basis, in addition to hosting annual events, including an academic symposium and business forum.  Most of The LGBTQ Institute’s programming can be found in and around Atlanta, while the discussions sparked by The Institute are intended to make their way throughout online and real-world communities.  Our associates support the institute's initiatives and ensure quality programming and outreach.


Madison Higbee

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 3.45.00 PM.png

Madison Higbee is pursuing an undergraduate degree in sociology at Georgia State University (GSU). She has always struggled to understand why people often treat others unfairly or poorly, which led her to spend her high school years engaged in community service at venues such as Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education. She feels particularly passionate about social justice issues, and she wishes to further LGBT rights. She spent the past year working with GSU’s Multicultural Center to advance multicultural competency, and she looks forward to working with the LGBT Institute Southern Survey.


Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 3.39.03 PM.png

Hannah Fuller was raised in Wheeling, West Virginia, and is a rising sophomore at Emory University where she plans to study History and Philosophy. Last summer, Hannah worked in Washington, DC, as a legislative intern for Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Florida’s 14th District. While in Washington, she also served as a visitor services intern at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Working for the USHMM sparked her desire to work in nonprofits and museums with the goal of promoting and educating people about important histories and current subjects. At Emory, she has volunteered at the Michael C. Carlos Museum to gain more exposure to the inner workings of museums. Hannah’s summer in DC ignited her desire to become more active in the LGBT community. While working for the Florida Congresswoman, she responded to constituents’ concerns and outpouring after the Orlando Shooting in June. She also attended her first Pride events and witnessed the strong unity of the community.

Nick Foster

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.39.38 AM.png

Nick Foster is an undergraduate first-year student and member of the Honors College at Georgia State University who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Media. He lived in Cumming, Georgia from elementary school until his graduation from Northview High School in May 2016, after which he enrolled at Georgia State and moved to Atlanta to attend the University. Since then, Nick has participated in the production of a Georgia State TV program and conducted an interview based podcast for Georgia State’s Digital Media Group. Currently, Nick is a Social Media and Programming Intern at the LGBT Institute where he hopes that he’ll be able to help facilitate positive social change by bringing attention to the injustices that the members of the LGBT community, especially the members in the south, face daily.

Lew Marisa

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.43.12 AM.png

Lew, Marisa is an undergraduate senior at Georgia State University, studying Public Policy with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership, under the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and has a minor in French. Lew has always had a passion for the LGBT+ movement ever since their formative years as a member of the Decatur High School's GSA (Gay Straight Alliance). Lew is a budding advocate for the LGBT+ community as they are continually getting more equipped and educated, Lew aspires to be a voice for those oppressed by the systematic intersectional inequalities. Coming from a background as the intern for Georgi Equality, Lew hopes to further their career in the nonprofit community while serving a community very near and dear to them.

Samantha Harvel

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.43.29 AM.png

Samantha Harvel is from Watkinsville, Georgia, and is pursuing a degree in History with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. She has always been passionate about defending the rights of others and promoting diversity, which led her to volunteer at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Currently, Samantha works in the Women and Gender Collection, a part of the Special Collections at Georgia State University, where she works with materials donated by local Atlanta advocates. Samantha’s goal in life is to combine her interests in history and social justice and be able to educate the public on LGBT and Human Rights issues. For this reason, she is eager to be working with the LGBT Institute and their research.



The LGBTQ Institute’s Partners are organizations, institutions, and individuals who collaborate on programming and gather with us to explore critical issues to help advance LGBTQ civil and human rights around the world. They serve as our brain-trust for our programming and ensure that we are providing a quality,  global platform in which to highlight on-going work, scholarship, and collaboration. 

LGBTQ Affiliated Collections

The LGBT Institute assists in the cultivation of LGBT affiliated collections. We do this by working with local, national, and international historical projects that seek to preserve and tell the story of LGBT people and their efforts to secure and retain civil and human rights. The Institute will collect visual histories of LGBT past and current activists for The Center's visual history archives, and share them virtually to the public online. The LGBT Institute also assists The Center showcase historical items from affiliated LGBT archives for public viewing.