September 04, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT
Andy Marra, Public Relations Manager
646-388-6575
amarra@glsen.org

Media that would like to request credentials for the Respect Awards Red Carpet press line
should contact
 Slate PR Taryn Black at taryn@slate-pr.com or 310-461-0111

LOS ANGELES, CA – Sept. 4, 2013 – GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, today announced it will honor  Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason; Academy ® and Emmy® award-winning global entertainment company Lionsgate; Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning actor Jim Parsons and his partner, art director Todd Spiewak; and the 2013 Student Advocate of the Year at the 9th annual GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles presented by Target, The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo, to take place at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday, Oct. 18.

The GLSEN Respect Awards, held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of organizations, individuals, students and educators who have made a significant difference in the areas of diversity, inclusion and the safe schools movement, and who serve as exemplary role models.

“GLSEN is the leading national education organization working to end bullying and create safe schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, and we are proud to honor supporters who are committed to a world where young people learn to value and respect all people,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director. “This year, we are pleased to recognize Lionsgate, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak, and our 2013 Student Advocate of the Year, all of whom share our passion and commitment of making sure that every student is able to succeed in school and reach their full potential.”

This year, GLSEN is proud to announce honorees in the following Respect Awards categories:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Linda Bloodworth Thomason is an award winning producer and writer known for creating television series with often Southern and always strong, memorable, female characters.  In 1983, she formed a production company with her husband, director Harry Thomason, and together they have produced more than three hundred and fifty episodes for television.  A former high school English teacher in Watts, Linda is also an award winning writer, who has been nominated for numerous Emmys, from MASH to the critically acclaimed series, Designing Women, to the Emmy and Golden Globe winning, Evening Shade.  As a close friend and supporter of President Clinton, Linda wrote and directed all three of this Democratic Convention films, including the iconic Man from Hope, as well as the 2008 Democratic Convention film for then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.  She is currently adapting her New York Times bestselling novel Liberating Paris, which explores the new South’s struggle with racial and marriage inequality, for the large screen.  Linda is a strong supporter of the LGBT community.  In 1987, her Designing Women script, Killing All the Right People, was the first American television show to address the AIDS crisis.  Recently, she wrote and directed the same sex love story, Bridegroom, a documentary which won the audience prize at the 2013 TriBeca Film Festival.  A staunch supporter of women, Linda established the Designing Women Foundation, which has provided over a hundred and fifty college scholarships to impoverished women in the rural South.      

Chairman’s Award: Lionsgate
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Tyler Perry’s Temptation, Warm Bodies, Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Mud and Arbitrage. Lionsgate currently has 28 television shows on 20 different networks including iconic brands such as the multiple Emmy®-award-winning Mad Men and recent hits such as Orange is the New Black, Anger Management and Nashville. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

Inspiration Award: Jim Parsons & Todd Spiewak
Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak love the opportunity to support causes they believe in and, of course, GLSEN is one of their favorites. Living in Los Angeles with their dogs, Otis and Rufus, Jim’s work on the CBS show The Big Bang Theory, has earned him two Emmys® and a Golden Globe®. Parsons has also been featured in films such as Garden State and The Muppets. He will next be seen in the upcoming HBO film The Normal Heart with Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts and is currently in production on the animated film Home. He has always loved working in the theater and recently appeared on Broadway for the Roundabout Theater in Harvey, and in the stage production of The Normal Heart.

Todd Spiewak has a BFA in Graphic Design from Boston University and has worked extensively in the field designing successful campaigns for clients including American Express, Barnes & Noble, HP, KitchenAid and The New York Times. Recently he and Jim formed their production company, That's Wonderful Productions, and Todd is now actively seeking homes for projects ranging from television series to movies to theater.

Student Advocate of the Year: To Be Announced Soon!
After a nationwide search, GLSEN will present the 2013 Student Advocate of the Year presented by AT&T. This award recognizes a student who has advanced LGBT equality in their school or community, working to ensure that all students are safe and free of bullying, name-calling and harassment.

Emmy®-nominated actress Kerry Washington, star of the hit ABC-TV series Scandal and feature films Django Unchained and Ray, and openly gay LA Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers will serve as Honorary Co-chairs for this year’s gala. They will be joined by a host committee that consists of an impressive lineup of supporters, including Betsy Beers (Executive Producer – Scandal; Grey’s Anatomy; Private Practice); Dan Berendsen (Creator/Executive Producer – Baby Daddy; The Nine Lives of Chloe King); Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer – Arrow; Brothers and Sisters, Golden Boy; Political Animals); Linda Bell Blue (Executive Producer, Entertainment Tonight); Matt Bomer (Actor - White Collar, Magic Mike); Kevin Brockman (Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group); Donald De Line (Film Producer – Pain & Gain; Green Lantern; I Love You, Man); Robert Greenblatt (Chairman, NBC Entertainment); Simon Halls (Partner, Slate PR); Dave Karger (Chief Correspondent, Fandango); Carlos Lopez (Events and Special Projects Manager, The A List); David Phoenix (Interior designer); Shonda Rhimes (Creator/Executive Producer – Scandal; Grey’s Anatomy; Private Practice); and Chip Sullivan (Head of Publicity, DreamWorks Studios).

To learn more about the GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles, visit www.glsen.org/respectla13 or follow GLSEN on Twitter at @GLSEN and the hashtag #RespectLA.  For more information about GLSEN Respect Awards sponsorships, advertising, tickets and contributions, contact Rachel Silander at rsilander@glsen.org or 646.388.6582.

About GLSEN
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.

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May 02, 2013

As you have probably noticed, news headlines have been filled with stories of coaches and athletes talking about LGBT issues. Some stories have spotlighted brave straight allies like GLSEN supporter and star NBA player Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets. Yet, it’s still far too common to read about homophobia in Physical Education and sports, including the story about Alabama high school coach’s anti-gay rant during class.  But tonight, GLSEN is part of a different and uplifting storyline about coming out in the world of sports. GLSEN partnered with USA Network’s sports drama Necessary Roughness that follows the story of one player on the New York Hawks football team coming out as gay to his fellow teammates and fans. Tonight’s episode also includes a PSA with Necessary Roughness actress Callie Thorne calling attention to GLSEN’s work to create safe and affirming Physical Education and sports environments in K-12 schools. The episodes and PSA are part of USA Network’s Characters Unite month to combat hate, intolerance and discrimination and GLSEN is a proud partner of the award-winning public service program created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Tune in tonight at 10/9 central to watch this heartening storyline unfold. And while this story was made for TV, all of us at GLSEN are working hard to ensure that one day this may be a reality for the next generation of professional athletes.

May 03, 2013

GLSEN's Public Relations Manager Andy Marra recently spoke with author Stephen Chbosky who is behind the best-selling book and film "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Stephen chats about what inspired him to write the book, how Ferris Bueller inspired a character, and why students need to read more LGBT literature in school.

Hi Stephen. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to speak with us. How are you? It’s my pleasure. I love the work GLSEN does for LGBT youth. Right now my wife and newborn baby are sleeping. That means I can speak longer and without any interruptions. What inspired you to write The Perks of Being a Wallflower? There was a personal reason that led to me writing Perks. The book was inspired by a really rough time in my mid-twenties. I had a breakdown and the decision was to either write something or go crazy. So I decided to write. I sat down and in a month I wrote half the book. By the end, I had more of an answer for why good people are treated badly and how they react.

It’s only right, true and fair to talk about every part of the high school landscape. And that includes LGBT kids.

Why did you choose to weave gay characters and themes into the story? Of the thousands of books and movies about high school, the subject of sexual orientation is neglected. I don’t know how this issue can be frequently excluded. Discovering your identity is a part of growing up. The character Patrick was originally inspired by my gay college friend. Such a great guy! He was the one who introduced me to the [gay] community and I was both fascinated and honored. It’s funny. When I was a kid, my favorite fictional character was Ferris Bueller. Ferris was so confident, knew all of the angles and could get away with stuff. I kept on thinking about Ferris when I was casting the role of Patrick for the film. And I think the actor Ezra Miller has been an amazing fit for portraying Patrick. What kinds of responses have you received from LGBT youth who read your book? The response has been beautiful and humbling and inspiring. I cannot tell you how many letters I have received from LGBT youth. And I have met so many kids that I lost count. It inspires me all over again every time I meet a new person. We cast an extra to be in the film who happens to be a young transgender guy. He befriended the cast including Emma Watson and Ezra Miler. He was so sweet and became a part of the Perks family. We flew him out for the premiere. And we were really happy to have him be a part of it all. Look, I know the landscape is better, but I also know it’s still tough. And let’s face it: as much as some grown-ups like to believe that being who you are is beautiful, we’ve paid our dues. It’s not the easiest thing if you’re 12 and coming to terms with your identity. Especially in certain parts of the country. Perks has provided a little bit of an emotional life raft for people and it’s been incredibly gratifying. 7% of LGBT students are taught positive representations of LGBT issues in English classes. Why might a book like yoursbe important to read and learn about in class? Perks treats the issue of sexual orientation in school with the same kind of respect and candor as it treats every other aspect found in the book. It’s only right, true and fair to talk about every part of the high school landscape. And that includes LGBT kids. In my book, I talk about family going to church. I talk about what it’s like to have your first kiss and first crush. The issue of being gay is treated exactly the same. It’s very important to me that no young person feels victimized. Being gay should be treated with the same kind of humanity. I also think it’s important for a teacher to send a message to students that LGBT youth deserve our respect and not ridicule. I remember speaking at one school and this young man asked me why I included a kiss between two guys in the book. I explained to him why but made sure to emphasize there’s nothing wrong with two guys kissing each other. The student’s reaction was respectful and I know that attitude partially came from his teacher. Adults have to be the ones that set an example. How can English classes or school libraries better promote LGBT issues in writing among students? I think English teachers should encourage students to write anonymously about what’s going on in their lives. Writing anonymously removes some of the inhibitions and allows people to speak from the heart. I bet teachers would be astonished by the level of honesty and emotional complexity their students regularly experience. And that goes for LGBT youth. And this plea is specifically for the English teachers out there who have promising students: please encourage your students to write even if it’s not in the classroom setting. Any time you spend writing you’re one step closer to that book or screenplay. Whether a budding writer is gay or straight, we need more creative minds out there. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" comes out in theaters on Friday, September 21. Check out the trailer below!

May 03, 2013

  GLSEN recently sat down for an interview with actress Brittany Ishibashi. In a casual conversation, Brittany dishes about her latest role as Anne Ogami on "Political Animals," who inspired her in high school and why schools should be safe for LGBT students.

You're an actress who has worked on some big shows including Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, The Office and Grey's Anatomy. Did you ever imagine going into acting when you were in school?  I've known that I wanted to be an actor since I played a pilgrim in kindergarten, haha! I grew up in a very creative environment. My parents are musicians so I was lucky to have a built in support system from a very early age that nurtured my artistic spirit and really fostered my growth and exploration as an actor Growing up, did you have any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) friends? Did you have a Gay-Straight Alliance or Diversity Club in your school?  We did! And it was a long journey to get there! A sophomore named Tony applied to start a GSA at our school - El Modena High School. He was a few years younger than me. The club was expecting some controversy because of our conservative area but was not expecting the lengths to which the school board and parents would go to prevent this club from forming. After a lot of really disturbing and ultimately very sad attempts to thwart it --Tony succeeded with a federal lawsuit win! And El Modena High School had our GSA! I really respect the courage that took. I am so grateful for and inspired by Tony. Currently, you're playing the role of Anne Ogami on USA's Political Animals. What about this show made you audition for the role? I loved how Greg Berlanti wrote these characters and relationships! He was able to reveal so much about these people in very simple, beautifully crafted moments. I fell in love with the "quiet moments" that happened... You don't see much of Anne in the pilot -- but what you do see is so telling...there were these really juicy nuggets that were so revealing. Ultimately that's what drew me so strongly to this show. I knew that with writing like that, I was in really good hands! Your character Anne is set to marry the dapper Douglas Hammond who has a gay twin brother named TJ. What do you think Anne might say about gaining a gay family member? You know, out of all the Hammonds, I think Anne relates the most to TJ. Being gay or straight isn't the issue. If there is an issue, its his behavior. Yeah, Anne finds it annoying that he'll stop by in the middle of the night unannounced ... that Douglas is constantly bailing him out ... but it's all about control for Anne, and I think ultimately what bothers her so much about TJ is that he is able to wear his emotions on his sleeve -- put it all out there -- and she doesn't know how. She gets the demons that plague him, she sympathizes and understands the overwhelming pressure of trying to live up to a family and public standard. There is this idea of presenting as "normal" in a world that expects the best of you, but harboring these staggering secrets...feeling like you don't belong. I think Anne shares that with TJ. They're both outsiders in a way and really just want to prove themselves on their own. On August 4, you will be attending our "Women Who GLSEN" event to support our work. Why does GLSEN's work to create safer schools for LGBT students resonate with you? It is so important to have a welcoming, safe environment for everybody -- and it starts in the home and in schools. That is such a formative time -- behavior and education is tantamount in creating open hearts and minds. I had a couple friends in high school that would literally hide in classrooms between classes because they didn't want to face the possibility of bullying or judgement. That fear is unnecessary and ruthless. I truly believe and support what GLSEN is doing to encourage a positive sense of self for each member within a school community.   --- Tune in to watch Brittany and the rest of USA Network's Political Animals cast on Sundays 10pm/9pm central. Follow the limited series television event Political Animals on Twitter and Facebook. Did you know GLSEN is a partner of USA Network's "Characters Unite" public service program? Learn more about this award-winning program and its work to promote understanding and acceptance.

February 09, 2012

Who doesn't love a good beat with a positive message? XELLE is partnering up with GLSEN for the release of their third single "Invincible" to support our work to ensure safe schools for LGBT students and their allies.

The ladies of XELLE (JC Cassis, Rony G and Mimi Imfurst) are using the upcoming release of their song "Invincible" to increase awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. And the energetic pop group are going to donate sales of "Invincible" to GLSEN when the single is released on Valentines Day, February 14, 2012 .

Group member Mimi Imfurst initially reached out to GLSEN about supporting our work. The vivacious drag queen (also seen on RuPaul's Drag Race) had this to say about the partnership:

“When I was in high school, it was bullying by my peers and being assaulted by a school personnel that lead to me being outted to my family. I then found myself homeless after being kicked out of my house for being gay.  GLSEN was one of the organizations that supported me during that time.  As a member of XELLE it is important that we give back so no young person has to experience what I did.

XELLE is celebrating the release of their new single this coming Tuesday in New York City. The "Invincible" Release Party is hosted by Season 4 RuPaul’s Drag Race Star Jiggly Caliente and Project Runway Season 9 runner up Joshua McKinley. You must be 21+ to attend the event. There is no cover, but drink sales will benefit GLSEN!

 

Mimi Imfurst made a special video to share with our followers about the partnership with GLSEN and why she cares about our work. Make sure to watch it below!

The "Invincible" music video will also be released exclusively on blog.glsen.org on February 15. Make sure to visit our blog to watch the ladies of XELLE turn it out in support of LGBT students and their allies.

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"Invincible" is XELLE’s third single off their upcoming album Queens. It was produced by Zach Adam and was written by Zach Adam and Toni Nielson.

Make sure to follow our friends at XELLE on Twitter and Facebook!

 

January 27, 2012

Today marks the last day of GLSEN's ninth annual No Name-Calling Week. We couldn't be more happier with the participation. As we mentioned in a previous post, thousands of schools took part including communities like Kewanee, IL; Fort Scott, KS; Asheville, NC and; Mandeville, LA.

But what about when a corporation teams up to participate in No Name-Calling Week?

Cisco Systems has been a leading sponsor of No Name-Calling Week for the past six years. Cisco Systems Vice President and GLSEN Board Member Rick Moran took some time out of his busy schedule to share this thoughts about why the company supports the program, his own experiences with bullying and what to do if a student is bullied.

Cisco Vice President Rick Moran

Thanks for sitting down with us for an interview. Can you share how Cisco first became involved in No Name-Calling Week?

Cisco got involved six years ago, which was before I joined the [GLSEN] board.  I was in NYC and met with Kevin (GLSEN's founder and former Executive Director).  We talked about GLSEN’s programs, and No Name-Calling Week really stood out as a program that I thought Cisco might support.  I reported back to our LGBT and Advocates employee resource group and suggested we rally around it.  Most people didn’t know anything about it, but once they heard about the lessons and resources, they got very excited.

So No Name-Calling Week really grabbed their attention? 

Cisco’s tagline is “Changing the way people live, work, play and learn” and this program touched “learn”.  The members of the LGBT employee resource group got very excited and wanted to help.  They engaged other Cisco employee resource groups to also participate.

Cisco employees at a school for No Name-Calling Week

That's amazing. It's also incredible that Cisco actually participates in the program. What does that usually look like?

Generally, we have 40 to 50 participants.  They wear Cisco t-shirts, introduce themselves, wear a badge and give a lesson.  They find it amazing and gratifying.  The challenge is the education environment is that we have to work a little harder to help the educators feel comfortable with having a non-teacher in their classroom.  But in all of the No Name-Calling Week experiences, we’ve had a great response from schools in Raleigh, suburban Dallas and Silicon Valley.

You mentioned about involving other Cisco employees in the week-long program. Can you share a little bit more about that?

We’ve brought in members of other employee resources groups: Hispanic, People of Color, Women.  We have a lot of employees who are new to the country, especially from the Middle East, as many  of our engineers come from India and Pakistan.  Their kids are bullied, and the culture of the company is to support and help them.

It's very rewarding to hear No Name-Calling Week would resonate with people coming from different backgrounds including immigrant families. It's also interesting to hear you describe Cisco like more of a community than simply a workplace.

Cisco has an interesting dynamic and presence in Silicon Valley.  We have 37,000 employees on campus, but when you add their children and other dependents, we have connections to more 100,000 people.  So what happens at Cisco can really be a force for change.

Cisco employee teaching a No Name-Calling Week lesson

As you know, bullying can manifest itself in different ways. The topic of cyberbullying is gaining a lot of traction and is something that we at GLSEN are paying more attention to. Is cyberbullying something Cisco cares about?

We are a hardware company.  We build networks. There’s a lot that we can do through our technologies, and we are actively looking at the implications of all this in the cyberworld, where the rules are different and the opportunity to do harm is great.

Of course, it's been great to count Cisco as a leading sponsor of No Name-Calling Week. But can you share why the educational event personally resonates with you?

My dad was an educator, which meant we were around teachers all the time, so I had a very different relationship with teachers.  I grew up in a mid-sized town with 5 high schools and 8 middle schools.  I believed that teachers were there to help me, and I went to them when I needed help.

You've watched No Name-Calling Week grow from a small event into one of the largest bullying prevention programs in the country. Why does Cisco continue to lend its support?

Over the years, people have wondered what Cisco is willing to stand behind.  I’m very proud that Cisco has been so willing to stand behind No Name-Calling Week for the past six years.  Seeing other corporations get involved is fantastic -- of course, I’d like for us to be the only sponsor of the program -- but I’m thrilled to see others step forward.  It’s a powerful statement about being willing to take on the challenge of bullying.

Cisco employee teaching at a school during No Name-Calling Week

Thanks to you and Cisco, we've definitely been able to grow the program into what it is today. We just have one final question before we let you go: what advice would you give to a student who is the victim of bullying?

I learned that the most important thing to do about bullying is to tell someone.  Talk to an adult.  It is simply the most important thing you can do.  Get out of the situation as quickly as you can.  It’s ok to run away and be ready to fight another day.  And if you see someone else getting bullied, and you can’t help, get someone who can. Don't ever turn a blind eye.

Thanks Rick for taking the time to chat with us. We also appreciate your support.

January 25, 2012

GLSEN is proud to support the first-ever National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day! We teamed up with more than 35+ statewide and national partners to recognize the amazing contributions GSAs have made and continue to make in schools across the country.

GSA Day was first organized in 2006 by the Iowa Pride Network after Governor Tom Vilsack declared October 25, 2006, "Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance Day" in honor of GSAs around the state that work to improve Iowa school climate. This year, the statewide observance has gone national with a host of support.

This is what GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard had to say about GSA Day:

GLSEN is proud to work with the thousands of GSAs across the country, Iowa Pride Network and fellow National GSA Day partners to recognize the tremendous impact these student clubs have on creating safe and affirming learning environments for all students.

Curious about how a GSA can benefit a student in school? Check out GLSEN's Research Brief  filled with interesting findings on how GSAs are actually beneficial to improving school climate.

The White House is also celebrating National GSA Day. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made a special video for students in GSAs. You can watch it below!

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It's worth noting that issues facing GSAs have not been ignored by the Obama Administration. The U.S. Department of Education issued a "Dear Colleagues" letter outlining the legal rights of students to establish GSAs in school.

GLSEN is no stranger to the White House or Capitol Hill. The White House also hosted a summit on bullying prevention with our Student Ambassadors taking part. And a GLSEN delegation attended a White House reception in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

So what are YOU doing to celebrate National GSA Day?

Here are a few ideas to get involved:

Start a GSA. Does your school not have a GSA? You're not alone and we have the tools if you want to establish a GSA at your school. Take a look at some of the easy-to-read GSA resources that we offer to student leaders. We make GSA organizing a snap with tips, tools and activities. Get the goods!

Be counted. Take part in GLSEN's GSA Census so we can make sure student-led clubs like yours have the resources and support to continue your work in schools across the country. The process is simple and will take less than 3 minutes!

Connect. Join the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page where you can network with other GSA student leaders, exchange tips and find a community of other amazing students working to improve their schools and communities.

Lobby with us. GLSEN is still accepting applications for its Safe Schools Advocacy Summit. The 4-day event in Washington, DC brings together students, educators, parents and community members to learn about how to become effective Safe School advocates. GLSEN covers all of your expenses (travel, accommodations, food, etc) if your selected to come. Applications are due February 1. Apply here!

How are you celebrating National GSA Day? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

 

January 24, 2012

GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week is well underway in thousands of schools all across the country. The nationally recognized event is aimed at addressing name-calling and bullying in schools.

The week-long event was first organized by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing with more than 50 participating organizations supporting the week-long event including the National Education Association and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

DID YOU KNOW? This is the ninth annual No Name-Calling Week. The event was first organized in 2004.

There's been a lot of buzz around this year's event. Media have reported about No Name-Calling Week taking place in communities like Phoenix, Fort Scott and Asheville. Massachusetts went a step further with Governor Deval Patrick designating January 25 as "No Name-Calling Day"  in the Bay State.

Even Boy Scouts America endorsed No Name-Calling Week.

FUN FACT: Schools participating in No Name-Calling Week can download a variety of lesson plans, activities and other suggested resources. There have been more than 27,000 downloads of our materials in the past 30 days alone.

GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week was inspired by "The Misfits," a young adult novel written by James Howe. The story follows four students who have each experienced name-calling and decide to run for student council on the platform of creating a "No Name Day" at school. Ever since, James Howe has continued to support the annual week-long event organized at all grade levels.

Thanks to our friends at Simon & Schuster, James Howe made a video to share with No Name-Calling Week participants and supporters. You can watch his message below.

ARE YOU PARTICIPATING? Let us know if No Name-Calling Week is taking place in your school by sending us a tweet or letting us know on Facebook.

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January 05, 2012

Today we were excited to learn that Changing the Game: GLSEN Sports Project Director Pat Griffin and NCLR's Sport Project Director Helen Carroll were named the 2011 Persons of the Year by Outsports' readers.

Readers of the the popular LGBT sports publication cast a whopping 53% of their votes to both long-time activists. Other finalists included High School LGBT sports bloggers and 'It Gets Better' teams tying at 11%. Rick Welts (a GLSEN 2011 Respect Awards honoree) and the Golden State Warriors earned 10% of the vote followed by  Sean Avery at 9% and Anton Hysen at 7%.

Shortly after the news, GLSEN contacted Pat to congratulate her on the honor. She shared:

I am so honored to receive this recognition and happy that it brings attention to the GLSEN Sports Project. Making sports safe and respectful for LGBT participants has been my professional passion for several years and being recognized for this work feels really great. I am especially happy to share the honor with my friend and colleague, Helen Carroll.

"No one has done more for the equality of LGBT athletes over the last 30 years than Pat and Helen. No one." - Outsports.com co-founder Cyd Zeigler

In 2011, Pat joined GLSEN to launch Changing the Game, an education and advocacy initiative focused on addressing LGBT issues in K-12 school-based athletic and physical education programs. Helen serves as an advisory member of the GLSEN project. She is Professor Emeritus in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the former Director of It Takes A Team! Educational Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sport, an initiative of the Women's Sports Foundation. She is also an accomplished author and speaker on LGBT issues in athletics.

Both Pat and Helen have extensively worked together. The duo was responsible for the groundbreaking NCAA policy focused on the inclusion of transgender-student athletes.

Helen currently heads NCLR's Sports Project working closely with major national sports organizations including the San Francisco 49ers, the Women's Sports Foundation and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Some of her past accomplishments include serving as a national championship basketball coach for the University of North Carolina-Asheville and had been a NCAA Athletic Director for 12 years.

GLSEN reached out to Helen for her reaction to the news. This is what Helen had to say about being named "Person of the Year" alongside her colleague Pat:

It is an honor to be recognized by Outsports and their readers, especially considering the group of strong and courageous nominees. Teaming up with Pat Griffin and establishing a strong collaboration between the  NCLR Sports Project and GLSEN’s Changing the Game, I feel, has been instrumental in the work we have accomplished. We will continue to strive to make the sports world an accepting and inclusive place for all LGBT people.

Outsports.com co-founder Cyd Zeigler had this to say about today's announcement:

 No one has done more for the equality of LGBT athletes over the last 30 years than Pat and Helen. No one. We at Outsports consider them the two most under-appreciated and under-recognized people in the movement. Their work has touched people of every race, gender and age, regardless of sexual orientation. In 2011 they yet again demonstrated their deep commitment to equality and their willingness to do the tough work without the headlines. They are also incredibly nice, warm, giving women. If the rest of us did just a fraction of the good work these two women have done for decades, we wouldn't be fighting these fights anymore.

GLSEN is proud of the lasting contributions both women have made in the world of sports on behalf of all LGBT athletes. Their lasting contributions over the past 30+ years continue to be felt by many. GLSEN is fortunate to work alongside both women through Changing the Game in making sure that future generations of LGBT athletes are treated with dignity and respect in schools across the country.

Interested in teaming up with Pat and Helen at Changing the Game?

Get your school's sports teams involved with our Team Respect Challenge! Visit our website to download the pledge and learn how your school's team can gain a winning edge.

 

January 04, 2012

Today Barnes & Noble announced its returning partnership with GLSEN in support of No Name-Calling Week.The retailer announced its second-year partnership with their release posted below. Barnes & Noble also joins Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Cisco, McDonald's, Allstate Foundation and Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation as institutional partners for the annual event.

Barnes & Noble Announces January is “No Name-Calling Month”

 Barnes & Noble Partners  with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for the Second Year to Raise Awareness on Bullying

New York, New York – January 4, 2011 –Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced plans to once again recognize January as “No Name-Calling Month” in its stores and online at Barnes & Noble.com.  Now in its second year, the month-long campaign is aimed at bringing attention to the national problem of name-calling and bullying of all kinds.  Barnes & Noble stores across the country will bring awareness to “No Name-Calling Month” by placing “No Name-Calling” signage in various locations, and hosting a national Storytime event and other activities. Barnes & Noble.com will feature exclusive video content from bestselling children’s, young adult and adult authors discussing their thoughts and experiences on bullying.  Barnes & Noble has partnered with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), creators of No Name-Calling Week in schools, in this effort to stop bullying.

“Barnes & Noble is pleased to be partnering with Simon & Schuster and GLSEN in this important effort to bring awareness to the seriousness of name-calling, teasing, bullying and cyberbullying,” said Mary Amicucci, vice president of Children’s Books for Barnes & Noble.

“Barnes & Noble is pleased to be partnering with Simon & Schuster and GLSEN in this important effort to bring awareness to the seriousness of name-calling, teasing, bullying and cyberbullying,” said Mary Amicucci, vice president of Children’s Books for Barnes & Noble. “Barnes & Noble has always provided parents, teachers and children with books, magazines and other materials, as well as in-store activities, that engage people in on-going dialogues and inspire ways to communicate with one another.  This campaign is just one more way we can help.”

“GLSEN is honored that Barnes & Noble is a returning partner for No Name-Calling Week,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. “Barnes & Noble has been a tremendous supporter for this annual event that aims to address name-calling and bullying in our schools. We are thankful for their commitment to share the message of respect for difference to students, parents and educators across the country.”

“We are extremely proud to have co-founded No Name-Calling Week with GLSEN eight years ago and we are delighted that Barnes & Noble has joined us once again to help spread the ever important message of acceptance and respect to thousands of students, parents, and educators across the country,” said Michelle Fadlalla, Director of Marketing, Education & Library for Simon & Schuster.

First launched in March 2004, No Name-Calling Week was developed in a partnership between GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. The campaign was inspired by the young adult novel, The Misfits by James Howe, which tells the story of four best friends who, tired of the constant teasing in their middle school, decide to run for student government on a No Name-Calling platform.

During No Name-Calling Month, stores will host Barnes & Noble Educator Appreciation Week from January 14 through January 22. Stores will have No Name-Calling materials available for teachers and educators including book recommendations, tip sheets for organizing No Name-Calling events, lesson plans for elementary and middle school students, bracelets, classroom posters and buttons for educators to use in their classrooms.

Barnes & Noble.com will feature:

  • A No Name-Calling page (www.bn.com/noname).
  • B&N Kids Expert Circle articles with tips and advice on how to deal with bullying (www.bn.com/expertcircle).
  • E-mails regarding No Name-Calling events and special savings offers.
  • Exclusive video content from bestselling children’s, teen and adult authors including Hilary Duff, Richard Paul Evans, Lisa McMann, Laurie Halse Anderson, Ellen Hopkins, Margaret Peterson Haddix and Sarah Pekkanen.  The authors will discuss their thoughts on and experiences with bullying.

As part of this campaign, GLSEN will also produce a National No Name-Calling Creative Expression Exhibit, in which students can submit any type of artistic expression that relates to their experiences with or ideas of bullying.  Over the years, thousands of students nationwide have submitted a variety of poems, stories, essays, drawings, collages, sculptures and songs.  More information about past submissions, as well as about the No Name-Calling Week campaign can be found at www.nonamecallingweek.org and in Barnes & Noble stores.

Simon & Schuster has created a No-Name Calling page (http://pages.simonandschuster.com/nonamecalling/) for parents, teachers, and librarians featuring recommended books, discussion guides, anti-bullying videos from bestselling authors, and a chat board.

 

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 703 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 637 college bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.  Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through BN.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web's largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than two million titles in its NOOK Bookstore™ (www.bn.com/ebooks). Through Barnes & Noble’s NOOK™ eReading product offering, customers can buy and read digital books and content on the widest range of platforms, including NOOK devices, partner company products, and the most popular mobile and computing devices using free NOOK software.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.  Follow Barnes & Noble on Twitter (www.bn.com/twitter), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/bnstudio).

About Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Little Simon Inspirations™, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts®,Nickelodeon’s® Dora the Explorer®, Blue’s Clues® and SpongeBob SquarePants®, and Mirage studios’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at KIDS.SimonandSchuster.com

Simon & Schuster, a part of  CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at SimonandSchuster.com

About GLSEN
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.

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