Highland Park –
The Ruth Ellis Center will be able to continue the advocacy work begun in 2011 through a second $100,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation. The grant will fund REC’s work in the Out in the System Leadership Program, which leverages the influential voices of lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning youth to become involved in civic engagement, social action and advocacy training with a specific emphasis on the Children’s Welfare System.
The Out in the System Leadership Program is a continuation of last year’s Out and Upfront: Youth Leadership and Advocacy Project, where youth were able to educate members of the Detroit Public Schools’ board about the negative effects of bullying on young people. The board voted to integrate LGBTQ sensitive language into its anti-bullying policies. The youth also worked with Detroit City Council and provided education to the Michigan state legislature.
In addition to continuing the advocacy work initiated in 2011, REC will use the grant funding to develop a sustainable community coalition of LGBTQ youth equipped to advocate for safe and respectable environments, policy change and education for youth who are involved in the Child Welfare System.
“The disproportionate representation of LGBTQ youth within our nation’s Children’s Welfare System and homeless and runaway systems is the greatest example of homophobia within our Country,” said Laura Hughes, Ruth Ellis Center executive director. “The Arcus Foundation grant will allow us to develop a contingent of highly-trained youth advocates who can tackle issues of inequality. Our ability to help encourage change at the root of these issues will make an incredible impact on the health and independence of youth as they transition out of foster care and other support services.”
Highland Park –