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GLSEN 25th Anniversary Documentary
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN and Target Team Up for 25th Anniversary Documentary Featuring Students, Educators, Volunteers Who Have Improved School Climate for LGBT Youth
NEW YORK (June 2, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, has partnered with Target to produce a mini-documentary highlighting the work of students, educators and volunteers who have improved school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth across the country. The production is a part of GLSEN’s 25th anniversary celebration and debuted last night at the GLSEN Respect Awards – New York.
The mini-documentary and related 30-second spot were directed by award-winning filmmaker and member of GLSEN’s Board of Directors Kimberly Reed, in partnership with Erin Judd and Mikko Timonen of NO FRAMES production company. It features several interviews with students and educators who have worked with GLSEN throughout its 25-year history, as well as leaders from GLSEN’s 39 Chapters in 27 states. It takes a look back at what the school climate was like for LGBT youth in 1990 and what those involved with GLSEN expect it to be in 2040, 25 years from today.
“GLSEN has been a driving force in creating safe schools for all youth over the last 25 years, but none of that would have been possible without the support of a wide variety of corporate partners, especially our friends at Target,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s executive director and also an award-winning filmmaker. “We are grateful to Target for their funding of this retrospective and for their support of GLSEN’s work in student leadership and educator trainings. Together, we have been able to change school climates for LGBT youth and are excited about what the next 25 years will bring.”
“Target and GLSEN share a belief that all children deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in a safe environment,” said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer for Target. “The voices and stories of the students and educators in this documentary show how far we’ve come as a nation and give us hope that all students can reach their full potential and be proud of who they are.”
Recognized as the first transgender feature filmmaker, Reed is also known for her storytelling on The Moth. She created the film and co-wrote the libretto for the chamber opera As One, which depicts the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, and premiered at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Reed is a passionate advocate for LGBT rights and is best known for her film Prodigal Sons, which landed on multiple Best of the Year lists and garnered 14 Audience and Jury awards, including the esteemed International Film Critics' FIPRESCI Prize.
GLSEN is a vital source for insight on education policy, extensive and original research findings, and LGBT issue experts on topics including transgender and gender non-conforming youth; student leadership training; LGBT-inclusive curricula; and federal, state and district policy and legislation. The organization works with a broad network of youth, educators and policymakers around the country, including an educator network of over 13,000 teachers and administrators, 4,000 student-led Gay-Straight Alliances, and 5,000 students, educators and school personnel trained by GLSEN every year.
GLSEN provides unmatched research, like its National School Climate Survey, and has sent a Safe Space Kit to every middle and high school in the country. Its national days of action, GLSEN’s Day of Silence, GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week and GLSEN’s Ally Week, engage tens of thousands across the world.
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, 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.