NEW YORK - JUNE 15, 2012 - Today, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will send a delegation of student and chapter leaders to attend the June 15 White House Pride Month reception, by invitation of the Obama administration. Members of the GLSEN delegation hail from IL, NH, TX and VA.
GLSEN student and chapter leaders will be given the rare opportunity to share their personal experiences with anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying with senior-level officials in the federal government, including the President and First Lady.
The delegation will also have the chance to personally thank the President for lending his support to the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act. The Presidential endorsement for both pieces of federal legislation was announced on GLSEN's National Day of Silence held this past April 20.
"I am honored that once again an exceptional group of GLSEN leaders actively working to end anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in our nation's schools will join President Obama, the First Lady and top officials of the administration at the White House Pride Month reception," said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. "The Obama Administration has made strides for ensuring America's K-12 schools are safe for every student, including the President's recent endorsement of the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act. We urge the President to continue building momentum for the passage of these two bills that will positively contribute to the wellbeing and success of our nation's young people."
About the GLSEN delegation
James T., TX
James, a Public Policy graduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas, interned with GLSEN's Public Policy office during his fellowship in Washington, DC. He now serves as the Chair of GLSEN Greater Dallas %96 the local Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Through public speaking and coalition-building measures, James engages with local politicians, school administrations, and other non-profit organizations that share in the mission to provide safer learning environments for all students. James continues promoting safe schools initiatives through community outreach, youth empowerment projects and in-school trainings.
Alex S., IL
Alex is a 17 year old, transgender girl who joined GLSEN for the 2012 Safe Schools Advocacy Summit and helped lobby her representatives for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non Discrimination Act. Identifying as a lesbian, she is a member of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, a leader in her school's Queer-Straight Alliance, and worked as an intern for OutinChi, an LGBT magazine that serves as a media resource on LGBT lifestyle. She is a rising senior in high school, currently works as a staff writer for the ChicagoPride website, and plans to attend college in the DC area.
DJ S., NH
DJ, a 19 year old who identifies as gay, was selected to be a part of GLSEN's 2011 Safe Schools Advocacy Summit in 2011, and met with Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (ME) to lobby for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non Discrimination Act. A former co-president of his high school's GSTA, DJ is a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire and is studying medicine. He has remained as one of GLSEN's most active student leaders as a member of the GLSEN Southern Maine Board. He has given numerous presentations on panel discussions (including ones for the Suicide Prevention Conference of Maine and Maine Center of Prevention of Hate).
Nia F., VA
Having recently joined GLSEN's Northern Virginia chapter, Nia is already an accomplished student leader for the LGBT community. Nia who identifies as a lesbian was a part of the Students of Color Organizing group, which worked to combat cyber bullying and to create a safe space for LGBT students to share their experiences and affirm themselves. She is a rising senior in high school, and plans to apply for a U.S. Army ROTC program scholarship for college.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & 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.