HRC Foundation and more than 16 of the nation’s largest national organizations committed to the well-being of young people are launching Project THRIVE, a groundbreaking multi-year campaign that will focus efforts coast-to-coast on improving the lives of LGBTQ youth at home, in school and in their communities.
This show of force across professions and supported by leaders from the nation’s largest health, education, child welfare, legal and juvenile justice organizations is aimed at addressing with singular focus the persistent challenges and barriers that not only prevent LGBTQ young people from thriving, but continue to compromise their health and safety.
“Despite important advances in improving the lives of LGBTQ youth, data -- including from our own recent national survey of 12,000 LGBTQ teens -- reflect a world where too many young people continue to be targeted by bullies, rejected by their families and discriminated against by their own government simply because of who they are,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today’s launch of Project THRIVE marks the beginning of a groundbreaking joint national effort that will bring to bear the work, research and passion of millions of professionals across the country dedicated to addressing the challenges and disparities our LGBTQ young people continue to face.”
Said Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program: “Even as our community has seen significant progress in recent years, we know that LGBTQ teens in particular are still struggling to feel affirmed, accepted and safe in their daily lives. With Project THRIVE, we are making a historic commitment to strengthen equality and inclusion for LGBTQ young people and, through improved policies and practices nationwide, reduce the disparities they face -- including at home, in schools and in care settings.”
Organizations joining HRC Foundation as partners in the Project THRIVE national campaign for LGBTQ youth include: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Bar Association, American Federation of Teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Child Welfare League of America, Mental Health America, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, National Parent Teacher Association, National Association of School Superintendents, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, Point Source Youth and School Social Work Association.
Project THRIVE, generously supported by IKEA U.S. and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, will target improved family connections, relationships, communities and educational and employment opportunities that support LGBTQ youth well-being and success. This campaign will have a heightened focus on vulnerable populations of LGBTQ young people -- in particular, youth of color, those who are disconnected from school and work, those who are in the child welfare or juvenile justice system, and those experiencing poverty.
Supportive parents, school administrators, teachers, counselors and other youth-serving professionals play an essential role in the lives of LGBTQ youth. This national partnership will inform a variety of HRC Foundation programs for youth and youth-serving professionals, including the HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools and All Children-All Families programs; and its annual Time to THRIVE Conference.