Reposted from GLAAD.org
New York – Today GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, launched the official countdown to Spirit Day, largest and most visible campaign in the world working to advance acceptance of LGBTQ youth.
Spirit Day takes place on October 20th, and inspires millions around the world to wear purple or ‘go purple’ online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ youth. Each year, Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals. Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, official partners, Dow, Google, NBA and WNBA, NFL, and WWE, and supporting partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Chobani, Comcast NBCUniversal, Kellogg’s, Kirkland & Ellis, Toyota Financial Services, and ZipCar.
“Since its inception, Spirit Day has brought unparalleled attention to one of the most painful issues that disproportionately affects LGBTQ youth – bullying,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Young people are our future, and it’s imperative that we empower them to be the leaders of tomorrow. With updated anti-bullying resources in multiple languages, Spirit Day 2016 is sure to reach more youth than ever with messages of acceptance and support.”
“LGBTQ youth deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. To be comfortable with and proud of who they are. To be free to be exactly who they were born to be, “said Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Target. “Target is excited to be a Spirit Day presenting partner, working with GLAAD to raise awareness around the issue of bullying in the LGBTQ youth community.”
“A child’s true potential should never be diminished by fear,” said John Lake, Wells Fargo’s LGBT segment leader. “We see Spirit Day as a powerful tool to raise awareness of the challenges faced by kids who identify as LGBTQ and to show our solidarity as an ally. We are committed to working alongside GLAAD to help combat bullying and protect LGBTQ youth – an effort that remains at the core of our decades-long commitment to the LGBTQ community.”
To celebrate the countdown to Spirit Day, GLAAD also released crucial anti-bullying resources for educators, parents, and students. GLAAD’s Anti-Bullying Resource Kit provides tools and information teachers the aide in keeping bullying out of the classroom and help both teachers and parents support LGBTQ youth. Additionally, GLAAD released the Spirit Day Kit, which helps people of all ages bring Spirit Day directly to their community, including schools and local media outlets.
Coinciding with National Bullying Prevention Month, Spirit Day began in 2010 after a high school student posted the idea to her Tumblr page following the suicide deaths of several LGBTQ and LGBTQ-perceived young people.
According to GLSEN’s most recent National School Climate Survey, 85% of LGBT students report they have been verbally harassed with 65% percent reporting that they have heard homophobic remarks frequently or often in school. GLSEN also reported that 30% of students missed at least one day of school in a given month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable in their school environment.
Previous Spirit Day participants include The White House, The Empire State Building, Britney Spears, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Shaquille O’Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more. For more information on Spirit Day and how GLAAD accelerates acceptance, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBT acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD