Lavender provides direct representation, advocacy, and referrals, with a priority for serving those with low income and our LGTBQ youth. As LGBTQ people continue to experience disproportionate rates of poverty and violence, Lavender works to address the root causes of these issues through compassionate legal representation. We strive to provide a safe space for everyone in the LGBTQ community to access legal representation and related advocacy.
Iowa has some phenomenal initiatives focused on policy change, civil rights, education, and social support—all for the advancement of LGBTQ equality. Yet there was a gap: no organization was devoted to providing direct, specialized services to people in the LGBTQ community. For example, trans youth who needed a name that conformed to their gender identity and LGBTQ couples who needed help in adopting a child had nowhere to turn that was both accessible and outwardly safe. Executive Director, Attorney, and Founder, Kendra Weston, had already been reflecting on this concept for a couple of years, but the turbulence and proceeding pain of 2020 became the impetus to begin this new endeavor. Upon seeing there was no specialized legal assistance for the community, they founded Lavender Legal Center based in Cedar Rapids, IA in October 2020.