FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carolyn Laub
LGBT and ally organizations across the country unite under GSA Network’s
A nationwide effort to combat anti-LGBT bullying and prevent suicide
San Francisco, October 8, 2010 - The Make It Better Project, launched by Gay-Straight Alliance Network in response to recent LGBT youth suicides, is gaining momentum across the country as more than 40 organizations endorse. Actions are planned in 29 locations to remember the youth who have died and call on Congress to pass the federal Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
Inspired by columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better,” video campaign, GSA Network launched the Make It Better Project to give youth and adults the tools they need to combat anti-LGBT bullying and make schools safer for LGBT youth right now. The Make It Better Project includes a website and YouTube channel where students and adults can upload video messages to share what they are doing to Make It Better. You can also follow the project on Twitter and Facebook.
“As a gay youth who has been bullied at school, I am calling on youth and adults around the country to join the Make It Better Project and put a stop to anti-LGBT bullying.” said Isaiah Baiseri, 17, a GSA Network youth activist who spoke out about bullying and suicide on the Dr. Phil show this Wednesday. “Schools should be safe for every student. Please don’t wait until another LGBT youth dies to do your part to Make It Better.”
The Make It Better Project includes a Week of Action, with 29 events planned so far around the country. Visit the Make It Better Project website for a list of events.
On Tuesday, October 12th, members of the 40+ endorsing organizations will unite to call Congress, urging their representatives to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act. October 12th is the anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay 21-year-old who was tortured and killed in Laramie, Wyoming on October 12, 1998.
“Our community has suffered a terrible loss in the past month, as numerous LGBT young people have taken their own lives after relentless bullying, including Raymond Chase, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, and Tyler Clementi, to name just a few. These tragic and preventable deaths have made headlines across the country, serving as a wake up call to people everywhere,” said Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of GSA Network, who launched the Make It Better Project. “We can't afford to wait another day, and lose another life, to the epidemic of anti-LGBT bullying in our schools. This is the moment for all of us -- students, parents, teachers, administrators, community members, and elected officials to do everything in our power to make schools safer for LGBT youth."
The Make It Better Project is sponsored by GSA Network. GSA Network empowers youth to fight homophobia and transphobia in school by training youth activists and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in California and throughout the country.
The Make It Better Project is endorsed by:
ACLU of Northern California
Marriage Equality USA
Transgender Law Center
Safe Schools Coalition
LA Gay & Lesbian Center - Family Services Program
Advocates For Youth
Gender Justice LA
GLBTQ Online High School
Californians for Justice
Youth Pride, Inc.
Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition
Gay City Health Project
Safe Schools South Florida
SF LGBT Center
Our Family Coalition
GSA for Safe Schools
Billy DeFrank Center
Rainbow Health Initiative
Youth Suicide Prevention Program
University of Washington Q Center
Youth Leadership Institute
Friends of Project 10
Break the Cycle
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Family Equality Council
People for the American Way
Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA)
Contact: Carolyn Laub, firstname.lastname@example.org, office: 415-552-4229; cell: 415-235-4556