time to thrive poster, LGBT youthToday, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced the launch of Time to THRIVE, a large-scale national conference to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth.  The first annual conference will take place at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino over President’s Day Weekend, February 14-16, 2014. 

The conference will engage a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches, and youth development staff at places like Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs. Time to THRIVE provides a “one-stop-shop” opportunity for these professionals to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices, and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field.

According to the HRC’s groundbreaking 2012 survey “Growing Up LGBT in America,” 33 percent of LGBT youth say their family is not accepting; LGBT youth are more than twice as likely to be verbally harassed at school; and 63 percent of LGBT youth say they will need to move to another part of the country to feel accepted. 

Young people should feel safe and supported in school, at home and in their community.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in order to achieve ones full potential, there are basic psychological essentials such as safety, belongingness and positive self-esteem.  Without safe, inclusive and affirming environments, it becomes complicated for those who want to ensure our LGBTQ youth are provided an equitable chance to thrive.

Given that a majority of LGBTQ survey respondents feel they must leave their city or town in order to be happy, the conference will be geared for an audience of the adults charged with caring for and supporting our youth as they prepare for a thriving adulthood; it takes a village to support our youth.

To learn more or to register for Time to THRIVE, HRC’s inaugural national conference, please visit www.TimeToThrive.org

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