What’s UP?


The UP Center—Uniting Pride in Champaign County

The UP Center was founded in 2009 as an organization to advocate for the equality, wellness, advocacy, and visibility of the LGBTQ+ communities in Champaign County.

Since then, we have been active in the community through support and social groups, community-building events, educational workshops, clothing drives, arts festivals, political advocacy, and more.

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Our Vision

The UP Center of Champaign County will respect the diversity of its members while promoting the well-being of the overall community through advocacy, education, and outreach. In order to achieve its vision, The UP Center of Champaign County will:

  • Acquire and maintain adequate space to meet the needs of the community based on the mission of the organization.

  • Be a comprehensive resource for the community based on the mission of the organization.

  • Analyze the community’s needs and provide opportunities for members to share in the development, implementation, and evaluation of educational, support, and other types of programs and services to meet those needs.

  • Reach financial stability through the acquisition of multiple funding sources in order to hire and support staff while maintaining programs and facilities.

  • Facilitate outreach to and collaborate with the greater Champaign County community to participate in the education and development of the overall community as enumerated in the mission of the organization.

Our Mission

The UP Center is a volunteer-run organization that provides support services to promote the health, well-being, and sense of belonging to individuals who identify as sexual and gender minorities. The UP Center advocates for individuals of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions through education, outreach, and partnerships with the broader community

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Frequently Asked Questions


At this time, the few volunteers we have who have received training to staff the office are not available during daytime hours. In our campaign to rebrand and rebuild, we're hoping to recruit a new group of volunteer staff who can be available during regular business hours to talk to drop-ins, answer phones and emails, and help us with new programming.

In the meantime, our office is open by appointment only. Email us if you'd like to schedule a time to meet with one of our board members or staff on our Contact page.


LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and + captures other identities that don't fall into those listed here.

The other half of this question is a hot-topic for a lot of folks and other community resource centers, and there's not much room on this page to have the conversation.

The short answer is: we decided on LGBTQ+ variation for our needs because it has the best of both worlds. It's brief, but also indicates that there's more than meets the eye.

To read more, check out our post: "Alphabet Soup."

What is acceptable to wear for events sponsored by the up center?

The UP Center supports a person's right to express their individuality; however, we must also address that events sponsored by the UP Center are typically family-friendly, public events. 

Therefore, we ask that all attendees adhere to the law regarding public attire/nudity.

Other than that, the UP Center encourages you to dress in any manner you feel best represents your individuality.

** For more information regarding Champaign city ordinances, please visit https://champaignil.gov/legal/ordinance-violations/ **