Acclaimed Author and Columnist Charles Blow to Speak at HRC’s National Time to THRIVE Conference

by Elliott Kozuch

Washington -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced that author and New York Times columnist Charles Blow, whose writing bravely explores issues of social justice, politics and equality, will be a featured speaker at HRC’s annual Time to THRIVE conference.

HRC’s Time to THRIVE, the nation’s premier conference for K-12 educators, professional counselors and other youth-serving professionals on LGBTQ youth safety, inclusion and well-being, will be held April 28-30 in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association.

“Charles Blow has made a career of using his powerful voice to raise urgent issues of race, class, gender and sexual orientation, while holding accountable the powerful whose actions disproportionately affect the lives of the most vulnerable among us,” said Ellen Kahn, Director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program. “His decision to come out as bisexual in his brave and honest memoir is an inspiration to so many, and we are honored to have him join us at Time to THRIVE.”

In his column for the New York Times, Blow tackles hot-button issues such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. His critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, in which he movingly related his struggle with coming out as bisexual, won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize, and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.”

Blow is also a commentator on CNN, and taught a seminar on media and politics at Yale as a Presidential Visiting Professor.

Other special guests at HRC’s Time to THRIVE include Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Miss America contestant Erin O’Flaherty, Out of Iraq stars Nayyef Hrebid & Btoo Al Lami, transgender advocate Jazz Jennings, and members of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council -- including Jazz’s mother, Jeanette.

HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference features 72 workshops by more than 45 national and grassroots organizations dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ youth. Special conference guests and additional speakers.

HRC’s Time to THRIVE is the premier national convening of educators and youth-serving 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. Time to THRIVE will take place April 28-30 in Washington, D.C. with Toyota and AT&T as the presenting sponsor. To register, visit


The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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