Dr. Worthen created The Welcoming Project in 2011 to encourage local businesses in Norman, OK, to display signs to welcome LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) individuals and allies as patrons. She described her motivations for developing The Welcoming Project in a recent  interview with The Gayly. Since its inception, the Project has grown to hundreds of listings in numerous states and countries and also offers annual scholarships to LGBTQ activists across the globe.