by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's LGBT media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, announced on October 13 an initial list of participants in Spirit Day as well as the launch of its 'Amplify Your Voice!' public service announcement (PSA) campaign featuring celebrity talent and young people speaking out against anti-LGBT bullying.
The PSAs urge viewers to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and direct viewers to GLAAD.org for resource kits offering best practices to parents, teachers, and students. The free kits feature resources from the American Federation of Teachers, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and The Trevor Project, among others.
Celebrity participants in GLAAD's 'Amplify Your Voice!' campaign - a project developed with the American Federation of Teachers - include Chaz Bono, Kristin Chenoweth, Vinny Guadagnino, Rashida Jones, Dustin Lance Black, Sandra Lee, Mario Lopez, Shaquille O'Neal, Amy Poehler, Naya Rivera, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, Ariel Winter, and the cast of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars.
The campaign also features the personal stories of young people from New York's LGBT Community Center (the Center). The Center's Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program is open to LGBT and questioning people between the ages of 13 and 22, and provides them with community support to foster healthy development in a safe, affirming, and drug-free environment.
Videos and resource kits are available at www.glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice.
GLAAD also announced initial participants who will join millions of Americans by wearing purple on October 20, to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and show support for LGBT youth on Spirit Day. GLAAD is working with organizations including GLSEN, GSA Network, and the Trevor Project as part of National Bullying Prevention Month to inspire individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals, and celebrities to wear purple.
Hosts from the CNBC, CNN, E!, The Dr. Drew Show, MSNBC, and The View will be wearing purple on-air. MTV will be turning the on-air logo purple along with their Facebook, Twitter, MTV.com and MTV Act logos.
Companies including American Airlines, AT&T, B|W|R Public Relations, Comcast, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, McGraw-Hill, NBCUniversal, Verizon, Yahoo! and Yahoo! Pride, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP will participate in 2011. Participating companies will be distributing information to employees about wearing purple. Some have also pledged to turn their logos purple for the day.
The Sundance Channel employees will participate and the Sundance Channel social media logos will turn to purple on Spirit Day.
LOGO will air a Spirit Day purple ribbon on the channel to drive viewers to NewNowNext.com to increase awareness against bullying. Additionally, their Twitter (@LogoTV) and Facebook photos will 'go purple,' and pictures of staff, fans, and talent will be posted to Tumblr throughout the day.
Here Media will turn logos on Advocate.com, Out.com, and SheWired purple for the day.
Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN's 'Ally Week' (October 17-21), a week for students to organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate Allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in America's schools and communities. GLSEN has partnered with GLAAD to promote Spirit Day as an event for students to participate in during 'Ally Week.' For more information about 'Ally Week' visit www.allyweek.org.
Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a way to show support for LGBT youth and remember those lives lost to suicide. Millions of teachers, workplaces, media personalities, and students wore purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.
'From Hollywood to corporate America, it's clear that an overwhelming number of Americans today support LGBT youth and believe that no one should be bullied for being who they are,' said GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson. 'On Spirit Day and with our new 'Amplify Your Voice!' campaign, some of the greatest Hollywood, news, and sports voices will be brought into America's living rooms, reminding millions that no matter who you are, you have the power to make a difference.'
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