Rights Activists Honored


40bf5e4b21b3a2f75edc33f163d2b649Alison Des Forges Award Honorees From Uganda, Syria, Malaysia, Azerbaijan

2015 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism Honorees. Top: Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Yara Bader (Syria), Father Bernard Kinvi (CAR). Bottom: Nicholas Opiyo (Uganda), Nisha Ayub (Malaysia), Dr. M.R. Rajagopal (India) © Jahangir Yusif, Francesca Leonardi (Internazionale), 2014 Human Rights Watch, 2015 Rebecca Vassie, 2015 Nisha Ayub, Paramount Color Lab, Ulloor, Trivandrum
2015 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism Honorees. Top: Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Yara Bader (Syria), Father Bernard Kinvi (CAR). Bottom: Nicholas Opiyo (Uganda), Nisha Ayub (Malaysia), Dr. M.R. Rajagopal (India) © Jahangir Yusif, Francesca Leonardi (Internazionale), 2014 Human Rights Watch, 2015 Rebecca Vassie, 2015 Nisha Ayub, Paramount Color Lab, Ulloor, Trivandrum

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” —Nelson Mandela—

(New York) – Four courageous and tireless advocates for human rights are the 2015 recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said today.

The winners, leading voices for justice in their countries, are Nisha Ayub, a leading human rights defender on transgender rights in Malaysia; Yara Bader, a journalist and human rights activist who works to expose the detention and torture of journalists in war-torn Syria; Khadija Ismayilova, a prominent investigative journalist who has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan; and Nicholas Opiyo, a leading human rights lawyer and founder of the human rights organization Chapter Four Uganda, who has worked tirelessly to defend civil liberties in Uganda. Ismayilova is currently behind bars and on trial on bogus tax and other charges brought in retribution for her reporting.

“The Alison Des Forges Award honors people who work courageously and selflessly to defend human rights, often in dangerous situations and at great personal sacrifice,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The honorees have dedicated their lives to defending the world’s most oppressed and vulnerable people.”

The award is named for Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser at Human Rights Watch for almost two decades, who died in a plane crash in New York State on February 12, 2009. Des Forges was the world’s leading expert on Rwanda, the 1994 genocide, and its aftermath. The Human Rights Watch annual award honors her outstanding commitment to, and defense of, human rights. It celebrates the valor of people who put their lives on the line to create a world free from abuse, discrimination, and oppression.

The four 2015 honorees and two 2014 recipients of the award, Father Bernard Kinvi from the Central African Republic and Dr. M.R. Rajagopal from India, will be honored at the Voices for Justice Human Rights Watch Annual Dinners held in more than 20 cities worldwide in November 2015 and March-April 2016.

Ayub will be honored in Amsterdam; Bader in London and Paris; Ismayilova in Munich and Geneva; and Opiyo in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Father Kinvi will tour North America and will be honored at dinners in New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Toronto. Dr. Rajagopal will be honored in Hanover.

About the Recipients»»»»»»

Article by Human Rights Watch AUGUST 10, 2015

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Helping Hospitalized Children: The Standish Foundation

The New Bullying Prevention:

Another awesome read from ChildLifeMonny as she high lights The Standish Foundation. ❤ #WUVIP :-)

Originally posted on Child Life Mommy:

Shani Thornton is the voice behind Child Life Mommy, a blog about being a mom and a Certified Child Life Specialist. Shani is a true warrior for child-centered healthcare practices and we’re honored she took the time to chat with us about her experiences as a child life professional: 

Please share a little about your background and how you became a Child Life Specialist.

I found out about child life when I…

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Fearless Hearts Mentorship Program


Join the Fearless Hearts Mentorship Program and Thrive in Life with less Fear-Good luck smileyLaunch Special NOW 17-30 Aug 2105! How to Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work for You

It’s not about being just existing in life, it’s about being in control — control of your emotions, control of yourself, control of your life. And with control comes power — power to create whatever life it is you desire.

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San Diego Unified announces ‘strategic plan’ for LGBTQ students


ellenI’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and a more hopeful time….I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission…I suffered for years, My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain. — Canadian Actress Ellen Page —

smilie01SAN DIEGO, California — Created in the spring of 2015 to ensure equity and advocacy for all students, San Diego Unified School District’s new Office of Youth Advocacy recently outlined a long-term strategic plan to address the needs of an ever-increasingly diverse student body across the district.

The plan offers ways to close current achievement gaps and focuses on cultural proficiency; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) training and support; restorative practices; ethnic studies; civic collaboration, and substance use prevention.

“Public education has, for decades, tackled some tough issues around equity and around ensuring pathways of success for all students – rainbow LGTBQ students, students of color, and those with socio-economic challenges, language barriers or disabilities,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten in a press release. “We’re making a promise to students to deliver on equity and it’s not just our words but our actions that will deliver on this promise.”

Marten said the Office has also worked with the district’s Safe Schools Task Force as well as other community groups to gather solutions to existing issues.

“We are now ready to expand our implementation of these important and agreed-upon solutions in a systemic, coherent, systematic, focused effort. We will continue to work with our community agencies and partners in supporting our long-term plans,” Marten said.

Highlights of the new plan, which will go into effect 2015-16, include: Revisions to the district’s anti-bullying awareness policy; annual launch of the Gay, Lesbian & 0031Straight Education (GLSEN) School Climate Survey at all secondary schools; to provide benchmark data for current students; training for all district employees around LGTBQ issues and for compliance with and understanding of Seth’s Law, the FAIR Education Act, and the School Success and Opportunity Act, and to assist with providing resources to students including Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) student clubs and the National Equity Project (NEP); and more.

“We are absolutely committed to providing safe, supportive, and inclusive school environments for all students,” said Board President Marne Foster. smileys-school-129437“I am thrilled and look forward to action plans being implemented for mandatory LGTBQ training for all staff and some of these dramatic things we are doing to support LGTBQ students, including our commitment to having a dedicated staff member focusing on LGTBQ students and improved bullying reporting procedures,” said Board Trustee Kevin Beiser.

Article By Gay San Diego Staff – August 21st, 2015
For additional information on the Office of Youth Advocacy, please contact Dr. R. Vernon Moore at rmoore@sandi.net or 619-260-5433 – (Editor’s note: This post was originally published on SDGLN media partner Gay San Diego.)

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Want to Prevent Bullying? Focus on Early Childhood


smileys-cz-8More attention needs to be paid to identifying, researching, and preventing the roots of bullying behavior in young children.

bullied2How do we prevent bullying? Despite decades of study and numerous programs claiming to be the solution to bullying, few programs have actually been shown to be effective. One of the main issues is that “bullying prevention” is often a misnomer; instead of trying to stop the behavior before it begins, the focus of many programs is on reducing already high rates of bullying. By the time students enter sixth grade, the earliest grade for which nationally representative data is collected, nearly 28 percent reporthaving been targeted in the past year. For younger children, data are far more limited, but suggestive. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence found that 20.4 percent of children ages 2-5 had experienced physical bullying in their lifetime and 14.6 percent had been teased (verbally bullied).

To actually prevent bullying before it starts, we need to focus on how bullying behaviors develop–for those engaging in bullying behaviors and those being targeted–starting in early childhood. cours8 Child Trends recently conducted a literature review and convened an expert roundtable, which NAEYC took part in, to document current understandings of the roots of bullying in early childhood. We identified key contextual factors linked to bullying behaviors, promising and evidence-based programs that help address emerging behavior, and the need for further research.

Research on bullying and early childhood development is limited. When we talk about bullying, the early childhood audience is often forgotten. There remains immense debate in the field about how to distinguish between typical, sometimes aggressive behavior that young children show and the more strategic and deliberate behaviors that define bullying. In preparing their uniform definition of bullying, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defined bullying as being between “school-aged youth,” recognizing that the behaviors observed in young children are often not what we traditionally think of as bullying, sg3agMirmag3ag but are developmental in nature, as children first begin to navigate interactions with peers. Many young children who are aggressive with their peers will not engage in bullying behaviors in later childhood and adolescence. Likewise, being the target of an aggressive behavior does not mean that child will be victimized for life. Still, these early aggressions (and conversely, the early skills of sharing, listening, and empathy) are precursors to later behavior, and it is important to intervene early. More research is needed to understand the trajectory of early aggression into bullying behaviors.

Overall, it is clear that more attention needs to be paid to identifying, researching, and preventing the roots of bullying behavior in young children. It is only when we recognize that bullying behaviors do not simply appear in elementary or middle school, but may be part of a developmental trajectory, that will we be able to stop bullying.

5e228c8242943fe5c33d212d17d885d0Despite the limited literature, four key factors consistently seemed to be related to bullying behaviors in young children:

  1. Parents’ treatment of each other, their children, and others influences how young children treat their peers. Specifically, parents’ use of harsh discipline and children’s exposure to domestic violence are related to increases in bullying behavior, while parents’ positive engagement in their children’s lives, such as through interactive play, reading, and meals together, seems to be protective against bullying behavior. Parents serve as role models for their children, and modeling empathy, concern, and care for others may help deter later bullying. Resources such as those provided by the Making Caring Common Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education can help parents expand their own “circle of concern” and help their children do so, too. (It should be noted here that the majority of current research looks at the behaviors and characteristics of mothers; studies looking at the role of fathers are more limited, primarily because mothers are more likely to be the primary caregiver for young children and more likely to respond to the research. Some effort is being made, however, to address the role of fathers in bullying prevention.)
  2. Young children exposed to maltreatment are more likely to be involved in bullying, both as the target and the aggressor. Not only can maltreatment change children’s behaviors, it has been shown to fundamentally alter the development of young children’s brain structures, which can lead to developmental deficits including in the social and emotional domains. Early intervention is critical to help stem these delays. Adults and Children Together (ACT) Against Violence Raising Safe Kids, an evidence-based program specifically aimed at helping reduce child maltreatment and promote positive parenting strategies, is one approach that shows promise.
  3. Television and other media can contribute to the development of both aggression and pro-social skills. Screen time for young children is one of the most debated subjects among early childhood advocates. Research shows that increased television watching is related to increases in aggressive behavior even if the content is not inherently violent. Conversely, when shows are specifically designed to promote skills such as sharing, empathy, and other pro-social skills–shows like Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, or in past generations, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood–children are more likely to engage in these behaviors after viewing.
  4. ZslytNyOh72J3GlkYa3HnHFkTuli2x_mtTGg66unLisBJMj9ypueHg==

  5. Building young children’s social and emotional skills and promoting welcoming classrooms can significantly reduce aggression. Evaluations of several evidence-based social and emotional learning programs for young children, such as PATHS for Preschool, Second Step, and Al’s Pals, show that helping children understand and control their own emotions, and understand those of others, can significantly reduce conflict and aggression. Even without these formalized interventions, teachers of young children (and parents for that matter) can work to reduce bullying behaviors. The Guidance Matters column in the professional journal Young Children provides a number of resources that can support these efforts…..Learn more »»»

Article By Deborah Temkin / The Huffington Post August 20, 2015

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Is your business being stifled by fear?


SmileyWorkReportsASAP‘Human systems, just like all systems in the world, are energy systems. The way energy is managed throughout the body and the brain has a profound effect on behavior.

A new book that explores the neuroscience of the workplace and the crippling effect of fear is sure to strike a particular chord with some LGBT employees

sleeping-in-classBookstores are over-stocked with tomes on leadership and success in business, but a new publication is one of the first to concentrate on the crippling effects of fear in the workplace.
The Fear-Free Organization – Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture is by Dr Paul Brown, Joan Kingsley and Dr Sue Patterson. It offers a convincing argument as to why provoking fear in employees is likely to stifle productivity and lead to a depressed and demoralized workforce.

The book draws upon real-life business stories and the latest research into neuroscience.

If ‘neuroscience’ sounds dry and academic, the The Fear-Free Organization is anything but. It’s a readable, accessible work that compares organizations to the human mind.

In the same way that fear will trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response in humans, fear at work will provoke similar survival tactics among employees; Instead of working on creative solutions to problems, staff will instead concentrate on coming up with excuses for missed deadlines and covering their own backs.

office-desk-emoticonWhat sort of fear is common at work? The fear of not hitting targets; the fear of not knowing what management are doing; the fear of being thought a slacker; the fear of losing your job or status, or treated unfairly; the fear of the business going bust; the list goes on and on.

Fear in the workplace can lead to bullying, gossip, undermining behavior, hijacking tactics, behind-doors jockeying for status and favoritism. Such behaviors will inevitably have an effect on the health and emotional well-being of staff.

If that sound familiar then you could be working in work environment where fear is running rampant.

As the book explains: ‘Fear-based cultures foster short-term thinking: you become defensive, seek to avoid confrontation or reprisal and focus on eliminating any threats instead of working together to deliver shared targets and outcomes.’

So what’s the antidote?

businessman-smileyNeuroscience informs us that feelings can be broken down into eight basic categories: fear, anger, disgust, shame, sadness and surprise prepare us to deal with danger, while on the flipside of the coin, excitement/joy and trust/love provoke attachment and growth.

Eliminating fear in the workplace requires companies generating excitement, joy, trust and love in staff. Chief among these is trust.

Although The Fear-Free Organization briefly touches upon the value of encouraging diversity at work and the business advantage of having a diverse workforce, it doesn’t, unfortunately, specifically address the fear that many LGBT people may feel at work around revealing their sexuality.

According to research by Human Rights Campaign, just over half (53%) of LGBT people in the US continue to hide who they are at work. They instead use precious energy avoiding questions about their personal life and making sure that their ‘secret’ is not revealed.

Not surprisingly, the cost to individuals in terms of happiness, security and productivity can be immense.

Approached by Gay Star Business, one of the Fear-Free Organization’s authors agrees.

work-school‘Fear is likely to be pervading your internal world if you are working in an environment where you can’t be yourself,’ says Joan Kingsley, a Consultant Clinical and Organizational Psychotherapist.

‘It is difficult to be productive and creative at work if you have to play a role and pretend to be someone you’re not. That takes a fair amount of energy that could be put to better use.

Or, as LGBT advocacy groups, Stonewall, sums it up; People perform between then they can be themselves.

Want to create a fear-free environment at work? The Fear-Free Organization offers several recommendations. Some of the chief ones are as follows:

  • Leaders are responsible for creating the climate, culture and mood within which others will either flourish or fail. They provide a sense of excitement and purpose to the organization.
  • The most important emotion to motivate people in organizations is trust; trust that they are being kept aware of what’s going on and trust in the belief that they will be treated fairly. Fear-free organizations are underpinned by honesty, openness and trust.
  • Individuals should feel welcomed and respected at work; respected as individuals who can make honest mistakes and can expect support for recovering from those mistakes. Growth, after all, comes about through trial and error.
  • People respond to certainty; when there are clear expectations, clarity and commitment to what is expected. Leaders set an organization’s direction and goals – which need to be clearly conveyed throughout the organization.

smileyfacewithcomputer_000But won’t people always feel some degree of fear at work – particulary during tough economic times?

Kingsley says that although fear is ‘hard-wired’ into our brains, and serves a vital purpose when it comes to helping us avoid danger, creating a fear-free organization remains a realistic goal.

‘The fear-free organization is built on relationships of trust. It has zero tolerance for using fear to manage and motivate.

No organization can predict the dangers and disasters that inevitably happen in the external world. However, the fear-free organization creates an environment that fosters trust amongst colleagues.

‘It creates an environment where people are working together to effectively respond to challenges presented by external competition.’

smiley-face-thumbs-up-thank-you-nice-day-thumbs-up-smiley-emoticonThe Fear-Free OrganizationVital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture, by Paul Brown, Joan Kingsley and Sue Patterson, is out now via KoganPage.

Article by David Hudson – 13 August 2015

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Bullying, Cutting and Autism; Breaking Away from Mom; Fears of a Lisp


lets-get-down-to-business-gif“When your purpose meets your passion, you are unstoppable.” – Shelley Zalis, CEO, Ipsos OTX; Founder, The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge

Question from Melissa

AmyWPLEASE HELP ME! So there’s this kid who’s badly bullied in my class. Like SERIOUSLY badly. I try to help him out but I can only do so much. He’s got really bad autism and so he gets bullied so much.

He started to text me about half an hour ago, talking about depression. I told him how needed he was and that he isn’t worthless and stuff, but then he said he cut himself last night and then he said that he’s going to do it now.

I just don’t know what to do. Please help. I think he really has cut himself. Please, I need help!


smiley-face-with-fanTell the nearest adult right now. This problem is too big for a child to solve.

First, he must receive immediate help. The grown-ups in his life need to know NOW that he has harmed himself. Tell your parents and have them contact his parents.

Second, your entire school really needs to pull together on this. As a society, we MUST NOT allow children who are slightly different to be bullied. It simply is not OK on any level.

It is wonderful that you are his friend and that he feels he can talk to you. But one person alone won’t be able to affect this kid’s day-to-day reality. However, one kid joining with another kid and another and another, CAN and WILL change everything.

Once you have reported the self harm, start with one of your friends and say, “What can we do to help Trevor?” (I named him Trevor because it’s a cool name, but go ahead and fill in his actual name.) Then the two of you can go talk to another kid, and so on.

Be an agent of change. You can do this. Deep in their hearts, people DO want to be on the positive side of things. But sometimes it takes a great leader to pull them there. You CAN be that leader.


Get your group together and make an appointment to see the vice principal. Go down to the office and explain that this boy is being mercilessly bullied, and that your school desperately needs increased awareness and action plans regarding tolerance and acceptance of every uniquely wonderful kid in your school.

imagesClick here to familiarize yourselves with the terms, the concepts and the programs you would love to see implemented at your school. Then share the website with the vice principal.

Remember that bullying and its prevention are EVERYONE’S responsibility. You have made an excellent first step through your friendship with this boy. Keep walking.

Article By Louise Palanker | @louisepalanker | Published on Aug 08, 2015

palanker To see more questions and comments click here to continue reading »»»

Here is Brendan Metz at TEDxYouth@FHS with more about understanding autism:

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Love My Haters Prayer


emoticon gif animated smile glitter 56To those who thought I was perfect, well, sorry to disappoint you, but you’re not either. I pledge to not hold you to a standard that I can’t live myself.— Pure Glory —


I love my haters

I send kisses of mercy to all my haters.

I bless those who’ve have to curse me.

I forgive those who’ve wronged me.

I ask for forgiveness to those whom I may have wronged.

To those who’ve rejected my gifts I declare the abundance of gifts to you.

To my enemies who were my friends but are not any more.

I am going to be so outrageously and contagiously blessed that you are going to be blessed as well!
Thank you! I release the revelation of God’s securing love upon those who are jealous of or intimidated by me.

To all those who’ve put time in to destructively criticize me and ruin my reputation, I say thank you thank you and thank you again for the free advertising.

For all the hard labor, covert press releases, and tireless hours of deformation of character; I say God’s blessings of purity, prosperity, and longevity be yours.

To those who are loquacious and pretentious towards me, you get the credit for driving me to the Lord.

20451037-Excited-emoticon-Stock-Vector-smiley-face-emoticonI speak long life to my enemies that they live long enough to see me fulfill my destiny.

I will exceed the opinions and expectations of others including my own, because my expectations now, are of Him, not you. I choose to walk in love with the unloving. I choose to surpass the past. I am determined to not allow the devil, myself, or anyone else, to hold me hostage to my past.

For all those who’ve prophe-lied concerning me. May God bless you to get it right the next time; because what you meant as evil towards me, God designed for my good! I release this with the love God gave to me in Jesus name and Jesus’s authority!

Amen….and the winner is…..

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Courtesy of Pure Glory originally posted Oct 06, 2013

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Garden State Equality’s Andrea Bowen honored with Pride of Essex Award


leslie-knope-gif “Don’t mistake people who don’t understand for people who aren’t willing to learn.” — Georgia Baber — Girl Up Leadership Summit teen participant

Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, center, celebrates following the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationally Andrea Bowen
Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, center, celebrates following the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationally Andrea Bowen

Happy-Smiley-smiley-10682479-390-222It’s been a busy year for Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen.

This weekend, Bowen will celebrate her first anniversary at GSE, having joined the Montclair-based civil rights organization after starting her career as a social worker and transgender rights activist in Washington, D.C.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, center, celebrates following the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationally Andrea Bowen BUY THIS PHOTO

A year in, Bowen describes New Jersey as a complex environment, one with many hardworking individuals looking to make a difference in their communities. Much of the past year has been spent meeting with community activists, including youth leaders, Bowen said.

Buy this image
Buy this image

She credited New Jersey students for bringing issues such as the need for LGBT-inclusive materials in health classes to GSE’s attention.

Bowen said she counts LGBT-sensitive training at schools, working with hospitals to provide LGBT-competent care, and training homeless shelter staffs to develop programs to work with homeless LGBT youth among the initiatives she is most proud of so far.

Essex County officials showed that they are proud of Bowen’s work, too, presenting her and state Sen. Teresa Ruiz with Pride of Essex County Awards during last week’s Essex County LGBTQ Pride Month Celebration.

Essex County Freeholder-at-Large Brendan Gill, a Montclair resident, said that the recognition of Bowen was well-deserved.

“I think she’s continued to hold up the legacy of Garden State Equality as an organization,” Gill said of Bowen. “Under the leadership that Andy has shown, GSE continues to be a real force and advocate for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual issues … I think we’re lucky to have Andy in that leadership role and [GSE] in Montclair.”

Gill told The Montclair Times that Essex County is unique in that it is one of the few New Jersey counties to have a LGBT advisory committee. He said the LGBT advocacy community is a large part of the fabric of Essex County.

Gill credited Bowen and GSE for its civic engagement and advocacy efforts, along with for Monday’s GSE-organized protest outside the Glen Rock office of U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett [R-5], in response to Garrett’s support of the First Amendment Defense Act, which prevents the federal government from taking action against individuals who claim to be acting in accordance with their religious or moral beliefs.

“I was really honored that they were excited about the work Garden State Equality is doing now,” Bowen said of the award. “This is an award that is partially for GSE’s legacy. [GSE founder] Steven Goldstein, [former Executive Director] Troy Stevenson, staff and volunteers built this. I was proud to carry the mantle.”

th_smiliesleepingBowen said she is focused on GSE’s future work. In the coming year, she hopes to address insurance discrimination against transgender individuals, provide better resources to shelters that serve homeless members of the LGBT community, particularly young people, and support LGBT youth in schools.

GSE is conducting an informal survey to see what New Jersey schools are doing to address bullying, establish gay/straight alliances, incorporate LGBT-inclusive health classes, and allow students to use the restrooms for the gender they identify with.

“If, in a year from now, we have changed the policies in schools to be more LGBT-friendly, I’d be a very happy woman,” Bowen said.

Bowen said she was also excited to have the support of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, along with several New Jersey congressional representatives, for the Equality Act, which bans discriminatory practices against members of the LGBT community.

“I can’t wait to see it move through Congress and finally become law,” Bowen said. “In so much of the country, you can get married one day and fired the next.”

Praise for Bowen

MiLGgL7pTSince GSE helped pave the way for marriage equality in New Jersey two years ago, rallying public support has been a challenge, according to Steve McIntyre, a member of GSE’s board. Marriage equality was the clear focus of GSE’s first decade of existence, he explained.

“In the post-marriage climate, it was important for us to get a leader that was completely dedicated to the non-marriage issues,” McIntyre said. “To find a leader like Andy, who is trans herself, and who’s young and energetic and she’s been in the trenches … We’re thrilled with her accomplishments in her first year.”

GSE’s board remains committed to advancing LGBT initiatives through both legislative and judiciary channels, McIntyre said, and is proud to have Bowen’s work recognized.

“We are happy that she is being recognized for the important work she is doing – taking the lead on trans advocacy in addition to youth homelessness issues and eldercare issues in the community,” McIntyre said, referring to the Pride of Essex Award.

In an email to The Montclair Times, Brian Edwards, coordinator of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Center at Montclair State University, lauded the county for honoring Bowen.

“I am a huge fan of Andrea Bowen’s work and commend the Essex County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Advisory Board for recognizing her with a Pride of Essex Award this year,” Edwards wrote. “Andy is a change agent, and LGBTQ+ New Jerseyans are so lucky to have her at the helm of Garden State Equality.”

On the campus of MSU, one of the major focuses for this year has been removing transgender restrictions from student health insurance plans, Edwards wrote. Effective Aug. 15, MSU students will join students at TCNJ, Kean and Rowan in having accessibility to gender confirmation surgery, he said in the email.
The LGBTQ Center is working with campus administrators on developing inclusive policies regarding chosen first names and gender markers, Edwards added.



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Bullying: ‘It’s all a power game.



Good habits formed at youth make all the difference —Anistotle —


Providing basic mediation training to managers would resolve a lot of interpersonal conflict in the workplace

103Adults feel too weak and ashamed to admit they’re being bullied because they think an adult should be able to cope with it,” says Dr Genevieve Murray, a specialist liaison officer for workplace mediation with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII).

The MII is the professional association for mediators in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
While bullying in schools is often discussed, Murray conducted research in schools but focused on staff rather than students. She examined workplace bullying in post-primary schools and says bullying can come from any direction – superiors, peers or subordinates.

Increased levels of testosterone in boys can contribute to greater anger and aggression.

Ideally, all prospective parents should seek professional health screening at least six months prior to a planned pregnancy.

What emerged from her research was that disputes usually started over something small and eventually got out of control. Mediation came too late, if at all, after bitterness and resentment had already set in.

“By that time, there was far too much anger between the two and far too many people involved,” she says.
A member of staff might have withheld information, not given someone credit for their work or shouted at a colleague.

love-song-smiley-emoticonSevere criticism, hurtful teasing, setting unrealistic work targets or depriving someone of responsibility are other ways co-workers bully each other. One of the most common ways, according to Murray, is spreading rumours.

“It’s all a power game. Power is a huge element of workplace bullying. Other reasons are envy and fear.”

Bullying can leave employees feeling depressed, anxious, sleep-deprived, unable to concentrate and socially isolated.

“Studies have shown that workers who experience bullying over a lengthy period may develop symptoms similar to those of post traumatic stress disorder,” Murray says. “People isolate themselves when they feel that uncomfortable. That’s a very lonely space for an individual to be in.”

Interpersonal conflicts

smiley-face-loveIn situations like that, absenteeism increases. Employers might not realise the impact interpersonal conflicts have on productivity, she says.

“When a teacher is out sick due to the stress of bullying, a substitute teacher has to be brought in. Therefore, they’re paying two people for one job. There is also a break in the continuity of teaching. Students would have to adapt to another teacher. What a waste of money and resources. These are some of the hidden effects of workplace bullying.”

It stresses out not only the victim, but the entire workplace, causing a “psychological ripple effect. It affects everyone. Therefore, if mediation was brought in at an early stage, where both people could have at least communicated with each other before it

Early intervention

troubled-old-man-smiley-emoticonMurray says providing basic mediation training to managers – in this case, school principals – would resolve a lot of interpersonal conflict before it becomes bullying and results in a stressful aftermath. They would learn to improve communication, narrow outstanding issues, defuse emotions and set out areas of agreement.
Her research showed that managers frequently mishandle conflict.

“A lot of people find it very difficult. Managers might be good at their jobs, but when it comes to interpersonal relationship issues that arise in the workplace, they can find that very difficult to handle,” she says.

angry-old-man-smiley-emoticon“There are skills and language one uses to come across as a neutral party, even though you know both people very well.”

Murray’s work with the MII focuses on intervention and prevention. She wants to make employers and employees aware of what workplace bullying is, how to identify it and what to do if they feel something is wrong.

She advises employees to learn what they are entitled to and talk to their employers. Often, mediation is written into an employer’s workplace harassment policy, continue reading »»»

Article by Erin McGuire for The Irish Times – Thu, Jul 30, 2015


Bullies: the Reality Show

Tips for preventing and dealing with workplace bullying

We have finally gathered enough evidence from our cyber bullying survey with an added focus on school bullying. With over 200 respondents, the results are sure to shock you. Explore the interesting results from NoBullying’s cyber bullying survey, click here.


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Gmail messages can now self-destruct

The New Bullying Prevention:

Now here’s a feature to get excited with, excellent Gmail :-)

Originally posted on WQAD.com:

NEW YORK — Gmail just went all Snapchat on us.

Dmail, a new Google Chrome plugin, gives you complete control over how long your recipient can view your email.

This can prove a great asset for more secure communications or when discussing personal information.

The Chrome extension adds a “Send with Dmail” button next to the regular “Send” button in any email you compose. This gives you complete control to revoke sent emails.

But wait, doesn’t Gmail allow users to revoke sent emails?

Well, yes and no. Gmail’s “undo send” button only works for up to 30 seconds. Dmail gives you as much time as you like.

You can preset timing such as “in 1 hour” or “in 1 week” and the message will self-destruct accordingly.

If you don’t have a predetermined time frame, pick “never” as your time frame. If you need to revoke it at a later date…

View original 97 more words

Right Writer


LOVE-SMILEY-FACE“One word Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”
— Sophocles —

pointing-fingerI want to take you back to 1993 when I attended “Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology”, I was enrolled in the Business Administration program, first I want to introduce you to one Professor and explain how he came to help me conquer my Fear and Anxiety, well for a short time anyway.

I will try to make this as short and descriptive as possible, I took a number of courses, one of which was “Social Studies”, we were a class of fifty students, the first class we were all just chatting with each other, waiting for the professor to arrive, once he entered the room we all just took random seats. The classroom was set up with five rows of ten seats per row of tables. The professor first introduced himself, after which he then said; now I want to get all your names so when I point at you, I want you to just say your first name only, and don”t speak until I point at you. Knowing that he started on his far right, after he pointed at the student in that chair, she said her name after which he just stood there with his eyes rolling around in his head. After about twenty seconds he pointed at the second student to her right and did the same thing, eyes rolling around in his head and kept going until he reached the end of the first row of ten students.

confused-nerd-emoticonAt this point we were all starting to look at each other strangely, I for one was beginning to ask myself, is this guy for real? Then he moved to the second row and pointed at the student immediately behind the tenth student, and did the same thing, now moving to the left, he just stood there in the same spot, not moving and never saying a word, until he reached the very last student in the back row, number fifty.

Then he finally spoke and said Okay let me see now if I got this right, starting at the very last student in the back row he said his name, and continued moving to the right, pointing at each student as he went saying their name until he reached the first student he started with.

We were all in a state of shock because he got all fifty names “RIGHT”, after he finished he said , once you finish this course, each and everyone of you will be able to do that. You know what the funnest thing is about that story is? I don’t remember his name. :-)

Smiley_Angel_Wings_HaloNow lets move on to my English class, which again had fifty students but not the same students. About half way through the first semester, the English professor gave us an assignment, a oral presentation to be exact. The presentation had to include, a topic of our choice, the assistance of a fellow classmate, it had to be presented with visual effects such as slides with a projector, the student was required to do their presentation in front of the class, the presentation had to be at least thirty minutes long and no more or less than two thousand words. The professor also said she would be posting a schedule with the date and time for each student to do their presentation and she would sit in the back of the class to observe for grading.
Just the thought of getting up in front of fifty other students, having all eyes peeled on me caused me great anxiety, so much that it interfered with my other studies. When I was three days away from my turn to do the presentation, I still had not picked a topic and now very desperate and thinking about just giving up, a classmate whom I hung out with at college suggested I go see the Social Studies professor or guidance counselor. I decided to go to the social studies professor’s office after class that day, told him my dilemma and he said I can help you if you want, just do what I say, I agreed.

downloadHe told me to close my eyes and listen to his voice, then he said now picture the “Michelin Tire man” then he said once you can see him, in your mind push him away, making him smaller until he disappears, it took a while to visualize him but eventually I did, then the next thing I remember is him saying now open your eyes, and you can go now.
I am not sure what he did and he never did tell me, but I felt different somehow and the anxiety was gone, so to make a long story short, the college just recently received a new computer program called “RightWriter”, I believe it’s similar to what we now know as “Grammar and Spell Check”, it was more complicated back then, it wasn’t just clicking an icon, it involved a series of commands, but because no one in the college actually knew how to use it yet, it wasn’t being used.
I now had three days left so I decided to study the manuals that came with the program, and learnt how to use it which also had a compliment of slides.

c271a915deba72d8659e8eaa1db588acIn closing, When the day arrived to do my oral presentation I proceeded with great confidence and scored 98% leading to a request from the Campus Director to volunteer some time to visit all the other classes and teach them how to use the program, I accepted. Follow this link I’m not sure if this is the same program but it looks to be.

Article originally posted July 24, 2014 The New Bullying Prevention by Terry.K


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Top tips on LGBT- inclusive sex edcation


cheating-on-test-smiley-emoticon“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” — Malcolm X —

LGBT young people too often miss out on vital information and support at school. Inclusive sex and relationships education (SRE) can help to remedy their isolation

up-7DRA9P1KRRK8EUUHAll young people should have access to high quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) in school. But all too often this isn’t the case and LGBT young people are missing out on vital information, putting their emotional and physical wellbeing at risk.

More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people say they are not taught anything about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, suggests research by the University of Cambridge for Stonewall. Research by the National Union of Students earlier this year also found that less than a fifth of all university students were taught about LGBT issues in SRE at school.

Stonewall’s School Champions programme works with primary and secondary schools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and to support LGBT young people. Based on the many examples of good practice we’ve seen, here are some top tips on LGBT-inclusive SRE.

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t assume that all students are heterosexual or that there are no trans students in your class. Think carefully about the examples and language used when talking about relationships. Use gender neutral terms such as “partner” and embed examples of LGBT people and relationships. Be explicit in your school’s policy that SRE is there to prepare all students for the future, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ensure all young people learn about LGBT people and relationships

Communication-with-your-teacherAll students should learn about key concepts such as sexual orientation, gender identity and the difference between biological sex and gender. Embed positive examples of LGBT people and relationships and discuss relevant LGBT rights and equality (for example, that LGBT people can marry and have children). This ensures that all students understand the diversity of people and relationships in 21st century Britain and that young people who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity get the information they need.

Include information that is relevant to LGBT young people

Make sure you include specific information where relevant – for example, on sexual health or coming out. At the same time, avoid promoting the stereotype that all LGBT people have certain types of sex and relationships. The easiest way to do this is to talk about the similarities and differences there might be across different types of relationships.

A lot of the information that LGBT young people need to know will be the same as their heterosexual peers (what a healthy relationship looks like). Using LGBT examples will signal that the information you are giving is relevant to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and will help to tackle assumptions about LGBT people and relationships more generally.

Challenge gender stereotypes

Challenge these both in the content of SRE and in the way the lessons are delivered. Think carefully about whether to separate students by gender for SRE. Trans students or those questioning their gender identity may feel uncomfortable or miss out on vital information if classes and lesson content are divided (for example, a trans man who may need to know about cervical screening). If students are separated, deliver the same content across groups. All students will gain valuable information and skills by considering situations from the point of view of different genders.

Encourage students to understand and celebrate difference and diversity

visage_de_smiley_darc_en_ciel_autocollant_rond-ra7f833b0e82744f5953ad8c2b6739b75_v9waf_8byvr_512SRE can be a great opportunity for discussion, for students to learn about difference and to develop respect and understanding towards others. This should include exploring and challenging stereotypes about LGBT people and feed into the school’s wider work on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. SRE is also the perfect opportunity to encourage every student to feel positive and confident about themselves.

Staff will need training, alongside an updated SRE policy to deliver effectively across these areas. As well as Stonewall’s resources and training, the Sex Education Forum and Gendered Intelligence and Allsorts Youth Project look specifically at LGBT relationships and sexual health.

Article by Fran Hall | Jul 18, 2015 – Visit stonewall.org.uk/education for more information



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(n.) a person with a preternatural ability to apprehend the emotional state of another individual. One who feels the emotions of others.

love-laughNow check this one out, mostly out of curiosity, I made a decision that I think I feel good about, but then again……anyway I decided to do something I’ve been procrastinating over for sometime now, I took a series of test form selected websites and completed their Empath Test, and much to my surprise but relieved I may finally have some of the answers to questions and concerns I’ve often wondered about.

When it was first suggested a few months ago that I may be a empath, suggesting I get tested and to be totally honest, my first thought was “how silly” but that have since changed.

So after doing my own research, looking at a few websites that has a mountain of information on the subject, whom was also offering the test (free). I found each and all test were similar and they did surrender basically the same results.

Below is the results for one of the empath test I completed, I will say though, by only answering a series of questions, they were able to analyze me so precise, the results gave me a eerie feeling, on the scary side and startled me because without a doubt, the following is 99% accurate, HOW’D THEY DO THAT? anyway check it :-)


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Why I believe Teaching of LGBT issues are Important and Should be Mandatory in Schools


“The single most power-full element of youth is that they don’t have the life experiences to know what can’t be done” —Adam Braun—


Some have said, I’ve forgotten all about my friends, or warn me not to forget my friends, well that’s not possible now, we are one, on the contrary everything I do, every-time I stick my neck out and speak up for what I believe to be right, Every post I share, I share for a reason, it’s important to me and I think it maybe to you as well, some post take hours depending on how much design and talent is required, some only get half completed because there is a time restraint, yes I read everyone to decide which ones to post, so I do my share of reading.

Moderating a Anti-Bullying website, not an easy or simple task, plus three other related social media sites, the List contains 6 sites total, I don’t do this for any type of personal gain nor am I expecting any future reward other than my own personal satisfaction, “I Love What I Do”.

I started approximately 3 1/2 years ago with a lone facebook page then called “Legislation For Bullying” which is now better known as “The New Bullying Prevention” in case your wondering, right from the start it was never about money and never will be.

Untitled-1I don’t do what I do for me, but rather for you, one thing is for sure though, I have certainly consumed a wealth of knowledge that I shall treasure for the remainder of my days. I can say that at the end of the day same sex marriage will probably not be any benefit to me now, neither will bullying or new harassment & discrimination legislation, once we are finally recognized as a society within a society, will we be free.

I also believe the mandatory teaching of (LGBT) issues & history in schools one day may help show society that teaching about LGBT acceptance is not about teaching about a “sexual lifestyle” rather about their sexual identity and self awareness, to make it easier for them to self identify, embrace self acceptance and enjoy their right to peace & life.

When I first began to realize I was different or strange at a very young age, I new nothing about being “Gay, Homosexual etc” as a matter of fact I had no idea these words existed or what they even meant. So if the solution lays within self awareness and knowing who you are, which may eliminate and or reduce or render sexuality issues non-existence resulting in the ability for all youth to safely learn and be themselves in a safe and accepting school climate, there by the mandatory credit requirement of LGBT issues awareness in all schools, will not only benefit LGBT youth but all youth.

20121127-elton-john-picture-x306-1354042387To begin at a young age would be a important asset to the improvement of life for kids, namely, improving youth relations among one another, increasing grade point averages, enabling more graduates there by increasing the number of entries for college, increasing self-esteem, and also reducing or even eliminating levels of anxiety and depression, not only for today’s youth but for future generations alike producing a more educated and respectful community of youth if given the ability to reach their full potential.

So it’s not about me and I have not nor will I ever be able to forget those who stood with me the last few years “YOU” adults & youth alike, friends and followers, my wish for you is to live life in a safe, respectful & welcoming environment but most importantly the security & safety of future generations of youth to thrive.

In closing my only motive these last few years has been to assist and to shed light on the incredable number of LGBT youth Suicide’s and clear the air on the important issues surrounding the LGBT community, a non violent, law abiding community guided by “LOVE” so as long as I can make a difference and or save one life, young or old, or just make that someone’s day brighter and feel Just a little bit better, that’s enough for me…it makes it all worth while, peace & love.

Article posted July 17, 2015 The New Bullying Prevention by Terry.K

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Justin’s Gift to screen Same Difference, an anti-bullying documentary



Life is a series of pulls back and forth…..a tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band, Most of us live in the middle, A wrestling match….which side wins? Love wins…love always wins
—Mitch Albom—


Justin’s Gift, a nonprofit in the Anoka-Hennepin School District area dedicated to youth and anti-bullying, will screen the documentary Same Difference at an event on July 17.

clipart-big-hug-smiley-emoticon-512x512-e690Same Difference is a documentary project “that shows the difference between learning in a supportive school climate versus an oppressive school climate” by tracing the paths of two gay teens, one of which is Justin Aaberg, a student in the Anoka-Hennepin School District who took his own life in 2010.

The other, Graeme Taylor, came out in high school and found acceptance in a supportive school district.

The film examines the differences in those two stories, and how a supportive environment influences LGBT youth, and how an unsupportive environment, such as the Anoka-Hennepin School District, can have catastrophic consequences. That school district continues to be embroiled in controversy as religious conservatives work to prevent any positive changes in school climate for LGBT youth. It took a lawsuit and a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to get even minimal changes in the district, and even those have been ferociously fought by the Parents Action League, a “hate group” that opposes “the homosexual agenda.”

Same Difference will screen twice on July 17 at the First Congregational UCC of Anoka, with a viewing at 6:30pm and another at 9:30pm. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion. The panelists will include Tammy and Shawn Aaberg, the parents of Justin Aaberg; Katie MacDonald, a close friend of Justin Aaberg; Jefferson Fietek, a teacher who spoke out publicly against own school district’s policies after losing a student to suicide; and Kyrstin Schuette, a former student who was plaintiff in a lawsuit against Anoka-Hennepin.


Tammy Aaberg told The Column that the important thing about screening a film like Same Difference is that people will understand the difference a respectful climate for LGBT youth can make in a school.

809353991_1795044“It is important for those who advocate safety and acceptance for LGBT youth because referencing this film — and the stories of Justin’s and Graeme’s coming out experiences at a young age and growing up in different school districts, but both accepting homes — can help show people that [teaching LGBT acceptance] is not about teaching a ‘sexual lifestyle,’” she said. “It’s about knowing who you are at a young age, being able to talk about it and not be shamed and picked on, but instead to be able to safely learn and be yourself in a safe, accepting environment.”

She added that it can help create a world where “stories for our youth are more like Graeme’s story and a lot less of Justin’s story.”

“With the right administration and policies being made — and actually enforced in the schools — and ALL children being accepted and treated equally, we can have a lot more of our students surviving and thriving like Graeme and not buried in the ground like Justin.”

She hopes it will help residents pay more attention to who sits on local school boards such as Anoka-Hennepin, and spurs support for bills like Sen. Al Franken’s Student Nondiscrimination Act.

Article by Andy Birkey July 14, 2015

The Column is a community-supported non-profit news, arts, and media organization. We depend on community support to continue the work of solid LGBT-centric journalism. If you like this article, consider visiting Give MN to make a contribution today.

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Call For Proposals: Toronto Homelessness Research Symposium


image“Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.” – Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose –


The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, are calling for proposals for presentation at the inaugural Toronto Homelessness Research Symposium:

Connecting Research to Practice:
Developing Toronto’s research agenda to solve homelessness

Monday, October 19, 2015

The event aims to bring together a diverse range of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to inform development of a homelessness research agenda for Toronto. The purpose of the research agenda will be to clearly identify the research questions that will help in developing effective policy and program solutions to homelessness. The research agenda will support implementation and evaluation of the City’s Housing Stability Service Plan, as it transforms the homelessness service system from one that is reactive and focused on temporary, emergency responses to one that is responsive, flexible and focused on permanent, preventative Housing First solutions.

More details | Early Registration

Call for Proposals – Submission Deadline: Friday, July 31, 2015

Online Submission Form




Four themes have been identified to guide the symposium:

  • Preventing homelessness;
  • Helping people to exit homelessness;
  • Creating options for housing with appropriate supports; and
  • Developing coordinated systems responses.

Each theme presents different challenges and possibilities for solving homelessness in Toronto.

Symposium structure

The symposium will consist of a number of concurrent panels, guided by the four themes. Presenters will each be assigned to a panel which will be followed by a theme-specific discussion. There will be a moderator present to facilitate the workshop and assist delegates and presenters to identify future research questions related to each theme area.

The final session of the day will see presenters and delegates come together to share the learnings of each workshop and examine other research avenues for solving homelessness in Toronto. This information will contribute to development of a comprehensive research agenda for the coming five years.

Early Registration »



Who should submit a proposal?

Presenters from a broad range of research, practice, and policy arenas are encouraged to submit a proposal. We also encourage those with a lived experience of homelessness to submit a proposal based on their experience within the homelessness system, or their involvement in research.

Presenters will be placed in panels based on themes with the aim of creating a balance between research and service delivery. If there are specific presenters who you would like to be on a panel with, please nominate them on the proposal form (ideally this person is someone with different experience than you – for example, you’re a researcher and they’re a service provider).


The presentations will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Length: 15 minutes
  • Purpose: To share effective approaches, new research on innovative models, or policy alternatives to solving homelessness in Toronto. Each presentation should briefly address what future research questions may arise from material presented. In addition to presenting research finding, the emphasis in presentation proposals should be on encouraging dialogue and making connections between researchers and policy makers and/or program delivery organizations.
  • Theme: Proposals should fall under one of the four symposium themes. Possible topics for each theme are described below, however the list is not exhaustive. We encourage those whose presentation doesn’t neatly fit within any one topic to submit a proposal, if it relates to an innovative solution to homelessness in any area not identified below.


Symposium Themes

Preventing homelessness

  • Effective program and support models for eviction prevention
  • Effectiveness of rapid re-housing programs and other models of targeted financial supports for at-risk households
  • Characteristics of households at risk of eviction and how to target interventions
  • Shelter diversion strategies
  • Systems solutions for eviction prevention
  • Improving hospital discharge processes to avoid discharging into homelessness
  • Preventing homelessness among youth leaving care
  • Early intervention solutions to prevent youth homelessness
  • Post-incarceration interventions to avoid homelessness

Helping people to exit homelessness

  • Characteristics of long-term homeless, short-term homeless and episodically homeless, and differences in housing solutions and service approaches
  • Housing First case management approaches
  • Housing assessment tools
  • Effective service models for ending homelessness for specific populations (e.g. youth, seniors, families, Aboriginal people, recent immigrants, LGBTQ2S)
  • Housing First in emergency shelters
  • Transitional housing in a Housing First context

Creating options for housing with appropriate supports

  • Innovative models of housing with supports
  • Effective housing support models for specific populations (e.g. youth, seniors, families, Aboriginal people, recent immigrants, LGBTQ2S)
  • Working with landlords and opportunities for supportive housing in private market rental
  • The role of permanent supportive housing in Housing First
  • The role of social housing providers in solving homelessness
  • Strategies for people who are not successful in scattered site Housing First programs
  • Effective approaches to improving housing stability and economic reintegration after homelessness
  • Effective models of high support housing for people with complex health issues
  • Harm reduction and housing

Developing coordinated systems responses

    A grownup female person with long ponytailed blonde hair, looking so dirty, wearing a dark gray ragged sweater over a maroon greased sweater, tattered jeans, graying socks without garter, and black shoes, leans down to check and rummage several garbage material inside a green trash can, beside two tied garbage bags, looking to get some food, she throws a blue tin can at her back
    A grownup female person with long ponytailed blonde hair, looking so dirty, wearing a dark gray ragged sweater over a maroon greased sweater, tattered jeans, graying socks without garter, and black shoes, leans down to check and rummage several garbage material inside a green trash can, beside two tied garbage bags, looking to get some food, she throws a blue tin can at her back

  • Enhancing systems coordination
  • Integrating health supports and housing
  • Long term care models for homeless populations
  • Improving coordinated access points to housing and homelessness services
  • Quality assurance and performance measurement systems for housing and homelessness service systems
  • Training and capacity building for front-line staff
  • Engaging people with lived experience
  • Peer support models of service and support
  • Building public and political support for solutions to homelessness

Submission details

Your proposal will include the following information using the proposal form:

  • Name, position, organization, address, phone, and email
  • Title of your presentation
  • Nomination of the theme your presentation falls under
  • Presentation description (maximum 1 page) (this will be used in the symposium program if your proposal is accepted)
  • Brief biography (1/2 page)
  • Names of any other presenters submitting a proposal who you would like to sit on a panel with
  • Suggested future research directions related to your presentation (1/2 page)

Online Submission Form »

Article by Canadian Observatory on Homelessness – July 10, 2015


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How Bullying Ruins the Lives of LGBT Kids


Chipper-smileyEveryone’s focused on the next LGBT battle — e.g., employment, housing, poverty, transgender rights — but what about our incredibly beleaguered youth?

youthStepping onto Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis to watch the annual Pride Parade this year, you could just feel the crowd’s heightened excitement stemming from the Supreme Court’s ruling for marriage equality just days before. Thousands waved rainbow flags, confetti spilled from tall buildings, and love reigned. Another step toward “a more perfect union,” as President Obama said about the marriage ruling, and truly it was.

As I took in a group of teenagers enjoying the festivities, I couldn’t help but think of all the LGBT kids who don’t have a reason to celebrate, like Nick, a sophomore from a small town near Chattanooga, Tenn., who last year was harassed, bullied, and threatened with death by stoning at his school for simply being gay. It reminded me of Val in New York, who shared, “Girls gave me the death stare … the word ‘faggot’ was repeatedly whispered into my ear and students threatened to knife me if I told anyone.” It reminded me of my friend’s son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who took his own life at 11 after enduring relentless anti-LGBT bullying at his school in Springfield, Mass.

kiMn44oaTWhile we will never know his sexual orientation, we know what words were being used against him.

Amidst all the progress we have made against anti-LGBT discrimination and for marriage equality, our LGBT kids continue to suffer great harm — with greater consequences. According to the latest National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, the leading organization on the state of LGBT kids in schools, the stories of Nick, Val, and Carl are all too representative of the experience of LGBT kids across the country. American schools remain unsafe and unwelcoming for the vast majority of LGBT students, according to the survey. Eighty-five percent of LGBT kids were verbally harassed in the past year, and one out of three skip a day of school because they feel unsafe in the classroom. Most schools don’t have comprehensive antibullying policies, and a majority engage in discriminatory practices. How can our kids learn and reach their greatest potential if they are afraid to show up to school?


All of this has grave consequences for LGBT kids, their families, and society as a whole. According to the GLSEN research, LGBT students as a whole have lower grade point averages, are less likely to go to college, have lower self-esteem, and increased levels of anxiety and depression. LGBT teens have higher rates of suicide than the general population. By failing to support our LGBT and other diverse kids, we are preventing hundreds of thousands from ever reaching their full potential; from being contributing members of society instead of a burden on it; from believing that they could be the next great scientist to find a cure or business leader who will create thousands of jobs or even president of the United States.

Progress is being made in many schools thanks to the hard work of organizations like GLSEN and courageous teachers. Still, as people of the LGBT community, as parents, relatives, and friends of LGBT kids, as school teachers and administrators, as legislators, as religious and community leaders, and as Americans, the responsibility falls to us too. This is a joyous time for LGBT people, but we can’t allow our kids to get lost in this moment. In fact, let’s not forget any kids, no matter their race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, station in life, or any other factor that might make them unique and special. Speak up, get involved, and make a difference. Take an additional step toward creating a more perfect union, something we can all celebrate with pride.




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A photo of a young, gay American went viral this weekend. Here are the best responses—including Hillary Clinton’s

Originally posted on Quartz:

Last week, the internet-famous New York City street photographer Brandon Stanton posted a poignant picture of an unnamed young boy sharing his fears about being gay.

“I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me,” the boy told Stanton for his wildly popular Humans of New York project.

Stanton takes photos of people around New York, and posts the photos on his website and social media feeds, along with a quote from the subject. With 13.8 million Facebook followers, his posts often travel far on the internet. But this one has been exceptional: With more than 600,000 likes, it was shared more than 58,000 times from the Facebook page.

It also caught the attention of a few…

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Why I Love What I Do: Changing Lives One Program at a Time


No matter what happens in life be good to people, being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind -Taylor Swift-

summer-vacation-emoticonOwning a small business can be challenging. Let me rephrase, owning a small business will cause the following side effects: stress headaches, large consumption of wine, inability to explain what happened to your cash flow, sleepless nights, long work days, long work day weekends, an incomprehensible addiction to your email, an obsessive disorder over clients, inability to let go of how many “likes” you get on your company social media page, insurmountable amounts of admin work, and the list goes on…

File-Jun-26-3-17-53-PMMy mantra is: if owning your own business was meant to be easy then everyone would do it. However, not everyone is as nutty as me. I started Bulldog Solution almost 6 years ago. I had a dream to deliver training, team building, leadership programs, and develop social emotional learning programs for schools as well as corporate. Then unexpectedly, I tragically I lost my younger brother to violence. I was devastated, beside myself, hanging onto a dream with a dark cloud over me. One day, a dear friend told me that I should take my pain, take my talent, and focus on developing anti-bullying as well as anti-violence programs. It was a conversation that profoundly touched my soul. That evening, I took all those raw painful emotions and I started writing curriculums, developing lesson plans, as well as designing programs to reduce violence and bullying in schools. I was determined to dedicate my work to my late brother. I told myself: if I could save one life by his story, it would keep him with me and give his life more meaning. So in the next 4 years, I worked and grew Bulldog Solution. It has been an uphill battle with many mistakes, loop holes, and challenges. I learned a ton and I am still learning.

zcXogE5niIt is not until last week that it all hit me. We ran the Chicago Park District bully prevention and group management training for 1,500 people. As I presented to over 200 participants in the first session, I saw how the hard work was paying off. I am making a difference one program at a time. I have these “AHA” moments ever so often, and those are the moments that keep me going. Over the years, Bulldog Solution has grown and sometimes schools don’t want to use us. Some principals think that by using our services they are admitting that they have a problem. They don’t see that we are all about prevention. We are about teaching the social emotional skills needed to succeed not only in school, but also in life. This year we did leadership programs, curriculums on social emotional learning, team building events, teacher trainings, meeting facilitation, and digital citizenship workshops. We are client focused. We are about providing the schools with what they need for success without adding work to their plates. My work is meaningful, I see it. I hear how I have touched lives, and every time I am so grateful! I am passionate about what I do and my goal is to make an impact. But, it was only recently that I saw it all come to life.

File-Jun-26-3-23-44-PMThis year, we brought in a teen as part of our internship program. Taylor is a beautiful, smart, funny, and a driven young woman. She spent two years in our Bully Proof/Leadership program and we helped to change her life. Believe me, I worked with her and she did not like me (to say the least) our first semester together. Honestly, she gave me the evil eye each day I saw her. Over the weeks and within two years, she shifted. Taylor became a leader and she opened up. She put down her guard and shared. It was in those moments that I saw her beauty, her struggles, and her true self. So now, we brought her into Bulldog and she’s helping with programs. She was on the Chicago Park District Program, and we all were teary eyed with pride watching her be a Bulldog. She truly shined as a facilitator. These are the moments that I hold close to my heart. These are the times when I know that this business is worth the fight. It is in these programs when I get the opportunity to see my staff shine, when we connect with the audience, when we teach them, that I can see that we are making a difference.

61LwcEaM3aL._SY300_I will leave you with this: If you believe your work is worth fighting for, don’t give up. You never know who you are impacting or how many lives you might be changing.

Be Brave*Be Strong*Be a Bulldog – If you like what you read, please like Bulldog Solution on Facebook and visit our websiteArticle By Kortney Peagram, June 29, 2015


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How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? 3 perspectives from around the world

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about — and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch — but more important, listen — to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

Julia Takata TED-Ed Club presentation

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. “Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], ‘How I could change myself?’” says Takata, a student in the…

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Call for teaching of LGBT issues to be mandatory in schools


th_emoticons_aduA NEW campaign to make the teaching of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues in schools statutory has been described as one of the “most inspiring” since the referendum.


weight-room2school-bus-smiley-emoticonLiam Stevenson, 36 and Jordan Daly, 20, met after the referendum vote last year, having been involved in different branches of the Yes campaign.

Yesterday the two came together to call for an end to something that had affected one of their lives drastically, while the other had not even previously considered it.

The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign calls for the statutory teaching of LGBT issues in all schools across the country, due to statistics showing disproportionately high rates of self-harm and attempted suicide amongst LGBT students.

According to the statistics from LGBT Youth Scotland and campaign group Stonewall, 54 per cent of LGBT students who have experienced direct homophobic bullying are regularly deliberately self-harming. One in four of those who are bullied attempted suicide at least once in their time at school.

tie2-310x165The petition to the Scottish Parliament demands a reform of the mandatory school curriculum, recommending the teaching of the equal rights movement, sexualities, gender identity and a more comprehensive sexual health education.

If the Scottish Government follows through on the reforms, it will be the first government in the world to have LGBT education as a statutory requirement. The only subject that Scottish schools currently must cover by law is religious education.

Father-of-one Liam had not previously had any involvement in gay rights issues. It was only after meeting Jordan, who told Liam he was gay, that the 36-year-old became aware of the struggle LGBT children face every day in schools.

at-school-smiley-emoticonInspired by the referendum campaign, the pair decided it was “no longer enough to just write to your MSP” and are now making their first foray into the political world.

“Had it not been for the referendum I wouldn’t have realised that you can actually get out and make a difference yourself,” said Jordan. “There would have been no TIE campaign.”

“Despite not getting the Yes vote another Scotland is still possible – we just have to shape it ourselves,” said Liam.

“The campaign gave me the confidence to go and stand up at meetings and approach subjects like this.”

As a youngster, Jordan was frightened to be gay, and tried to change his sexuality, even contemplating suicide, because he felt he could not speak to anyone about it.

s9911The situation Jordan faced is not uncommon. Fifty-three per cent of LGBT students feel unable to talk openly to any adult within their school about their sexual orientation, and 71 per cent regularly play truant.

When Jordan told Liam he had considered suicide as a teenager, the 36-year-old had to go to the bathroom to compose himself. Although he had read the statistics, he didn’t expect to hear about it first-hand.

Moved by his account, Liam decided to join with Jordan in trying to change school life for future students.

Since the launch, Scottish Greens co-Convenor Patrick Harvie, human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar and Unite’s Bryan Simpson have all backed the TIE campaign, as have leading LGBT groups.

Encouraging others to sign the petition to make teaching of LGBT issues mandatory, Anwar said the freedom to love who you want was “one of the most fundamental human rights”.

“When people are being murdered because of their sexuality, or forced to live a lie for fear of attack, it is essential that our schools take the lead in exposing and tackling such discrimination,” he said.

Cat Boyd and Jonathon Shafi from the Radical Independence Campaign and Common Weal’s Robin McAlpine have also spoken in support of the movement.

McAlpine described the campaign as one of the “most inspiring to have emerged from the recent political awakening of Scotland”, while Boyd said that “education absolutely must be accessible to everyone”.

Jordan said: “Education is one of the big last dominoes which need to topple, and I would like to see Scotland being the first to set an example and tackle this.”
The petition will be live online for six weeks before it goes to a parliamentary committee at Holyrood in August. More than 300 people signed it on the first day.


The National Union of Teachers conference backed a resolution calling for moves to tackle homophobia in schools


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Christian Webb, joint winner of Stonewall’s “Young Campaigner of the Year”



‘I wanted to make a cultural change’ – So So Gay talks to Christian Webb

christian3It’s been an incredible 12 months for LGBT rights all things considered. Its barely a month since Ireland made history by being the first country to legalize equal marriage by means of a popular vote, in addition to the wave of excitement that swept the world this weekend when the US Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that legalized equal marriage all 50 states of America. That said, even though equal marriage has been enshrined in England, Wales and Scotland for over a year, it doesn’t mean that the battle for the LGBT equality has been won. Indeed, there seems to be a very real danger of some sections of our community being lulled into a false sense of equality by the progress Untitled-1that we have made in recent years. There are still very real problems both facing and within the community, most definitely in the realm of trans issues; activism is just as, if not more, important in 2015. We caught up one with a new breed of young activists making a real difference for LGBT people – Christian Webb, recently jointly awarded Stonewalls Young Campaigner of the Year alongside fellow activist Sirina-Monique Pescod-Sebastian.

Jon B talks with Christian Webb, joint winner of Stonewall’s ‘Young Campaigner of the Year’. In part 1 Christian talks about his award and work to date.

Article by Jon B. So So Gay Magazine – 30 JUN 2015


Gok Wan crowns Stonewall Young Campaigners of the Year


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{Bonne Fete} “Happy Birthday “Canada”

The New Bullying Prevention:

Have an Awesome Day one and all

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:


Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

canadianflagCanada Listeni/ˈkænədə/ is a country in North America consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. At 9.98 million square kilometres in total, Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world’s longest land border shared by the same two countries.

The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonies were established on the region’s Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various conflicts, the United Kingdom gained and lost North American territories until left inCanadian-smiley-facethe late 18th century with what mostly comprises…

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Make A Change Canada to Host Live Streamed National Extravaganza This October 8, 2015



Celebrating 10 Years of Making Change in People’s Lives

Personal Note: I would like to personally introduce “Make A Change Canada” the organization that helped me get my idea flying in the right direction, my idea was solid but the complete skills I lacked, this is where ‘Make A Change Canada”, assisted with Making my change.

On a Scholarship, Nov 2013 I enrolled in their “Web Essentials/Web Advanced program”, graduating in May 2014 thank_you_happyfacewith a certificate in “Web Design and Technologies” the rest is history, my gratitude is endless to all the staff and volunteers of “Make A Change Canada” and a personal thank you to Executive Director for “Make A Change Canada/Faire un Changement Canada” Madame Anne-Marie Edgar, many successes. Terry.K

welcome-sign-two-smileys-theatrical-curtains-40835295NELSON, BC–(Marketwired – June 10, 2015) – In honour of our 10th anniversary, Make A Change Canada will be hosting an extravaganza on October 8, 2015, broadcast live from the Shambhala Performance Hall at Selkirk College in Nelson, B.C. The extravaganza will feature prerecorded appearances by individuals who have benefited directly from our services. We will be contacting our current and former students, as well as community partners, volunteers, supporters, and other important individuals who have been instrumental in furthering our organization, to ask for their involvement.


The live extravaganza will feature success stories from graduates of Make A Change Canada‘s Business Abilities and Web Essentials/Web Advanced programs. Through story and song, this will be a celebration of people from across Canada overcoming their challenges, and a celebration of the organizations and people who support them.

“The true success stories you will hear at the live extravaganza will not only inspire you, they will demonstrate the innovation, creativity, and determination of individuals who have been successful in embarking on a new or revitalized career despite facing considerable hurdles,” said Anne-Marie Edgar, Executive Director of Make A Change Canada. tanzend_0062“To date over 1900 clients have participated in the Business Abilities and Web Essentials/Web Advanced programs. Eight staff members support the delivery of our programs, and I know they join me in congratulating our dynamic program participants in their achievements.”

One of the first graduates to volunteer his story for the event is Patrick Jarvis, owner of Ancient Hermit Drums. “I plan to get the camera and some fellow drummers out in the yard, and we will jam it up,” said Jarvis. “Business Abilities from Make A Change Canada helped me get my business further off the ground than I ever could have myself, and I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the extravaganza,” Jarvis added.

stand-up-emoticon-comedyMembers of the media and current and future program participants, aspiring entrepreneurs, career practitioners, funders, and supporters are invited to join us in this live extravaganza in celebration of our 10th anniversary.

SOURCE: Make A Change Canada/Faire un Changement Canada – June 10, 2015 14:58 ET



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