Monday, May 21, 2012

Who Inspires You in the Quest for Fairness & Equality?

Submit A Nomination For
The 2012 Youth Activism Award!

The Out In The Silence Campaign is putting out a Call for Nominations for the 2012 Out In The Silence Award for Youth Activism. The deadline for submission of nominations is June 30.

The award was established in 2011 to honor courageous and unheralded young people who are leading the way in making schools and communities safe from bullying and welcoming for all, especially in places where silence and indifference have rendered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and their allies invisible, marginalized, fearful, and powerless for far too long.

2011 Award Winners

Grand Prize ($1,500): Farrington High School Gay-Straight Alliance, Honolulu, HI

Impact Award ($750): Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance, a statewide coalition

New Group Award ($500): Equality Club at Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO

For more details about these groups, see an article in The Huffington Post

2012 Award - Call for Nominations

We're now looking for powerful and inspiring young people, and youth organizations, to be considered for the 2012 Award for Youth Activism!

Nominees should be bold and dynamic individuals or groups leading important efforts to ensure that all youth are safe and free from bullying, harassment, and discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, and they should be based in places that don't get the kind of attention and support they need and deserve.

There are no specific guidelines for what might make the most successful nominee, and their activism could range from policy advocacy to protest to creative outbursts for justice and equality heretofore unimagined, unseen and unheard.

Nominees should simply offer inspiring examples of the change that is possible when silence is broken and action is taken at unexpected times, in unexpected places. And we're counting on you to help bring such activism to our attention!

Submit a Nomination, or Apply Yourself, Before the June 30 Deadline!

Just send a brief (one-page max) essay to make the case for yourself, or your nominee, to:

Be creative – links to articles, blogs, videos, etc. to support your nomination are welcome!

Nominees should be youth, or groups serving LGBTQ youth, between the ages of 14-21.

Winners will be announced in November 2012 and receive cash awards totaling $2,500. They will also be featured on The Huffington Post and have a chance to be featured in Out Magazine's OUT100, a list of “the year's most influential people in gay culture.”

Thx for Speaking Out for Justice & Equality for All!

Stay tuned for news and updates:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gay Voices Censored By The Huffington Post

On any given day on The Huffington Post, one might see an article promoting a contest sponsored by Wal-Mart, or Apple, or Google/YouTube, or AOL, or some venture capital firm, or even the HuffPost itself, where participants have a chance to win all kinds of rewards and where, of course, the sponsoring corporations get to look mighty charitable and fine.

But, when we submitted an essay to run on our HuffPost blog calling for nominations for this year's Out In The Silence Award for Youth Activism, we were told that "The Huffington Post doesn't publish blogs that promote cash giveaway contests,” even though a very similar announcement for last year's award program ran without a hitch!

Now, the purpose of the Award for Youth Activism is not to offer boatloads of cash or other prizes as a way to hook unsuspecting participants into the corporate lair.

No, it's simply an effort to shine a little light on bold and courageous young people fighting against bullying and for equality, dignity and respect, and sometimes their very lives, in too-often forgotten and ignored corners of the world?

Small cash prizes do accompany the awards, but it's really a miniscule sum in the scheme of things, meant only as an honorific reward for the incredible, and unheralded, service these young people give to their schools and communities.

Why would The Huffington Post promote corporate give-aways but not allow mention of a little program aimed at lifting up LGBT youth and their allies, particularly when too many bullies still seem to have an upper-hand?

When we asked for an explanation, we got no response.

But, we will not be silenced quite so easily – And we're hoping you won't either!

Will you please help us overcome these “corporate policies” by joining a grassroots campaign to spread the word about the Award for Youth Activism?

And a sharable jpeg:

Thanks for Speaking Out In The Silence!

Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer