Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Joins Over 15 Leading Organizations to Form the Choose Kindness Alliance

by HRC Staff

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is excited to join with over 20 partner organizations across the country to form the Choose Kindness Alliance. Together, in partnership with ABC, ESPN and The Walton Family Foundation, the project aims to build a culture of intentional inclusion and mental wellness that prevents bullying for young people everywhere.

The Choose Kindness Alliance is designed to foster collaboration and innovation among thought leaders in an effort to help them expand their reach and impact with youth, families, educators and coaches. Founding members of this growing Alliance include: AAKOMA Project, Act to Change, Ad Council, Anti-Defamation League, Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children's Hospital, Facing History & Ourselves, Get in the Game, GLAAD, GLSEN, Hispanic Federation, Human Rights Campaign Foundation — Welcoming Schools, Kevin Love Fund,, Lions Clubs International, Harvard University’s Making Caring Common, NAACP, National School Climate Center, Positive Coaching Alliance, and Special Olympics.

The importance of the bullying prevention work that Welcoming Schools and our partners are engaged in nationwide is invaluable. Now more than ever, we need to build and expand support systems and get resources into the hands of youth-serving professionals and parents to create environments of love, affirmation and safety for every child. We simply want kids to thrive by being who they are without harassment or fear. That’s why we’re proud to be a part of the Choose Kindness Alliance in partnership with ABC, ESPN and The Walton Family Foundation, and look forward to our continued bullying prevention work ahead."

Cheryl Greene, Director of HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools

The Choose Kindness Project builds upon critical bullying prevention programming that ABC and ESPN have been leading over the past decade. The research is clear: we have to do more to help today’s youth and families navigate these difficult issues. By teaming up with the country’s top thought leaders in bullying prevention, intentional inclusion and youth mental wellness, we’re committed to working together to help parents and caring adults create the futures they imagine for their children."

Kevin Martinez, Vice President of ESPN Corporate Citizenship

This is a sensitive and challenging time for LGBTQ+ youth. According to the Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health, 73% of LGBTQ+ youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety while 58% reported experiencing symptoms of depression.

Studies clearly demonstrate the harms for LGBTQ+ youth mental health when they are denied affirming and protective school environments:

  • LGBTQ+ students in schools with LGBTQ+ supporting clubs and sexual orientation & gender identity resources often report feeling safer and are less likely to report depressive symptom, substance use, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in comparison with students in schools lacking such resources.

While 86% of LGBTQ+ youth report they have been targets of bullying, harassment, or assault at school, studies have shown that bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ youth contribute to high rates of absenteeism, dropout, adverse health consequences, and academic underachievement.

Here’s more detail on what the Alliance will do and what to look for in the coming weeks:

  • Elevating Best-in-Class Resources for Caring Adults: Dedicated accounts on Instagram @TheChooseKindnessProject, Twitter @ChooseKindness and Facebook @TheChooseKindnessProject will feature vetted resources, inspiring stories and research to support parents, teachers, coaches and other caring adults.

  • Engaging Parents at Home: An interactive campaign launching this fall that will engage parents and respond to the needs of caring adults who want to build a more intentionally inclusive and kind world for their children. Actionable tips will help establish trust, model empathy and foster open communication. This campaign is the first among a series of timely communications planned over the course of the next year to help parents take critical steps on the journey to raising kind and inclusive children.

HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is a comprehensive, nationwide bias-based bullying prevention program that provides LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive professional development training, lesson plans, booklists and resources specifically designed for educators and youth-serving professionals. Our program uses an intersectional, anti-racist lens dedicated to actionable policies and practices. We uplift school communities with critical tools to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.

Are you a parent or educator looking for LGBTQ+-specific bullying prevention resources? You can find helpful information on this page: