In 1990, Joyce and Jack Wiley founded a support group for gay and lesbian youth that later became known as Quad Citians Affirming Diversity (QCAD). Joyce led that organization until 2017 when it was passed to Western Illinois University-Moline. During that time Joyce served hundreds of LGBTQIA youth and adults and was a strong advocate in supporting the efforts that led to the establishment of civil rights laws protecting the LGBTQIA population in the Quad Cities.
Wiley made impassioned pleas at city council meetings and the states' capitals. She accompanied same-sex couples to county buildings, long before Iowa made gay marriage legal, only to watch them be denied marriage licenses.
In no small part to Joyce, Illinois and Iowa offer discrimination protection for gays in areas of employment and housing, with Illinois extending it in 2005 and Iowa following suit in 2007. Locally, Davenport enacted the protection in 2000, followed by Moline in 2002 and Bettendorf in 2004.
When Joyce Wiley spoke about gay rights, she spoke from the heart. She is greatly appreciated and we thank her for her years of dedication.
MISSION AND HISTORY
Quad Citians Affirming Diversity is the longest running organization in the greater Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities region that provides education, advocacy and support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/gender non-conforming community.
Quad Citians Affirming Diversity seeks to bring gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight people together to learn from each other and to create an inclusive community through support, education, and advocacy.
Founded in 1990, QCAD provides a safe space and support people of all sexual orientations and gender identity/expression. Initially, QCAD focused primarily on creating an affirming community for youth. Realizing the community needs, we later expanded to provide support, education and advocacy across all ages including programming for youth, young adults, adults, and seniors. What started as a safe place for the LGBT+ community and allied youth to relax and know they are accepted, became the area's leading organization in LGBTQ+ issues.
QCAD started the new millennium as a leading voice to create social change; the passage of three ordinances extending civil rights protection for sexual orientation in Davenport, Iowa (2000), Moline, Illinois (2002) and Bettendorf, Iowa (2004). Changes achieved locally were extended statewide when Illinois extended civil rights protection to individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity in 2006, Iowa followed in 2007.
QCAD's advocacy and education work remains broad in scope and is aimed at creating the public awareness and support needed to create an all inclusive community.