Walker to continue bullying-prevention efforts on Thursday with additional testimony before Congress
NEW YORK -- GLSEN Board member Sirdeaner Walker received the Survivor Award
from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at their annual Lifesavers
Dinner on Wednesday in New York. The honor recognized Walker's efforts to advocate
for anti-bullying laws, including the federal Safe Schools Improvement Act.
Walker lost her son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover to suicide in April of 2009 after
he endured anti-gay bullying at schools. She has become a tireless advocate
for bullying-prevention efforts that effectively address the kind anti-lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behavior that her son faced at school.
Her advocacy and Carl's story are widely credited with helping to galvanize
the current national focus on bullying prevention.
"I am so grateful for Sirdeaner's partnership and thrilled that her efforts
are receiving this recognition," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said.
"Out of unspeakable tragedy and in memory of her son, Sirdeaner has chosen
to become a uniquely powerful advocate for safer schools for all children. Her
leadership and service are a remarkable gift to GLSEN."
Walker became a national spokesperson for GLSEN in 2009, advocating for the
Safe Schools Improvement Act and similar state and local bullying-prevention
legislation, and joined the GLSEN National Board of Directors in 2010.
Walker continues her advocacy work today by testifying at an anti-bullying
briefing on Capitol Hill. Laura Gottfried, GLSEN's Senior Director of
Programs, will also testify.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national
education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established
in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and
accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive
contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For
information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy,
student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.