Woodbury, NY (Feb. 13, 2019) – The LGBT Network announced today the funding of thirty (30) grants totaling $7,500 to afterschool gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs throughout Long Island and New York City. The youth-led projects are designed to address the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, who continue to face high rates of bullying and violence in schools.
LGBT Network President/CEO and Founder David Kilmnick says, “Afterschool GSA clubs are vital safe spaces for LGBT youth to advocate for a school environment free from bullying – and sometimes all that stands between them and their ideas is resources. That’s where the LGBT Network’s GSA Mini-Grant Program comes-in – we provide the support and empower youth leaders to stop the bullying of LGBT youth.”
The LGBT Network issues these grants through its GSA Mini-Grant Program that advances local efforts of LGBT youth and their friends by empowering them to address and prevent bullying in their schools. Funded projects include LGBT-themed displays, education and awareness efforts, and historical initiatives, including celebrating the legacy of out gay public official Harvey Milk who was born and grew up on Long Island. A full listing of project descriptions are available at www.lgbtnetwork.org.
The LGBT Network was a critical force in establishing the first GSA club on Long Island in 1998, and since then the LGBT Network has helped start 125 afterschool GSA. Kilmnick says, “The bullying of LGBT youth remains a serious problem in our schools, and GSA clubs are a critical part of addressing this epidemic.” Nine out of 10 LGBT youth report hearing anti-LGBT language at school daily, and nearly one-third report verbal and physical harassment.
This is the third funding cycle of the program that began in 2017 with just four grants, and has grown to 30 awards in just two years. This is the only program of its kind in the nation and only source of financial support for these clubs outside of their schools. The program is supported by private and corporate donations, and is part of the LGBT Network’s broader flagship Safe Schools Initiative that provides over 500 anti-bullying programs each year in schools for both students and teachers.
About the LGBT Network: The LGBT Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is a home and a voice for LGBT people, their families, and support systems. Our community centers help LGBT people to be themselves, stay healthy, and change the world. Since 1993, the LGBT Network has been advocating and pioneering social change where LGBT people live, learn, work, play, and pray.