University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Lecture: LGBT Social Attitudes & Political Behaviors

Thursday, March 3, 2016
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

The Out to Lunch Lecture Series continues the semester with a presentation by John Bonelli, entitled, "LGBT Organizing and Coalition Building in Connecticut: History and Reflections from the Field."

Synopsis: This presentation will involve a discussion of effective progressive coalition building efforts to advance LGBT civil rights in Connecticut. John Bonelli has been a community organizer and activist on a range of LGBT, HIV/AIDS and progressive issues. John will discuss his 1989 campaign for elected office as an out-gay candidate, the community organizing and coalition building that led to the run, and the obstacles to victory. In addition, attendees will explore the value of coalition building to advancing a post-marriage equality agenda. Most recently he has been part of a community based effort in Hartford to develop a comprehensive LGBT issues platform to advance at the local and statewide levels.

Biography: John Bonelli, MSW graduated from the UCONN School of Social Work in 1990. He has been a community organizer and political activist since his undergraduate years at Trinity College in Hartford. He ran as an openly gay, progressive candidate for Hartford City Council in 1989 as part of the People for Change (PFC) slate of candidates. Mr. Bonelli was the statewide Co-chairperson of the CT Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, a member of the Legislative Electoral Action Program, the Policy and Community Organizing Director for the CT Positive Action Coalition (HIV/AIDS issues) and staff person, consultant, volunteer or MSW intern for various electoral campaigns. He has been a campaign organizer, fundraiser and volunteer coordinator. Mr. Bonelli has been an adjunct faculty member and advisor at UConn, Hunter and Fordham Schools of Social Work. During the last academic year, he served as the UConn SSW Community Organization Sequence Co-Chairperson and supervised three independent studies that addressed issues of mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, and police community relations and race. He possesses a rich knowledge of community organization strategies, membership recruitment efforts, and campaign development. He worked over seven years at the New York City based HIV prevention research group- Project ACHIEVE/New York Blood Center-as the recruitment and community relations coordinator. In addition he served as the recruitment and community relations consultant at the Cornell Clinical Trials Unit at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City for a study on PREP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) as an HIV prevention tool. Presently, he is the Field Education Coordinator at the UConn School of Social Work in West Hartford, CT and a Leadership and Organizing Consultant.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunches.

For the list of upcoming speakers and themes, please visit


Rainbow Center (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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