HRC Celebrates the Legacy of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by Ianthe Metzger

HRC partners with organizations in 32 cities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a trailblazing pioneer whose vision and fearlessness continue to inspire and empower millions people around the world every day.

“Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of a man who moved America,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a warrior for love and compassion, who, in the face of violence and persecution, pushed his fellow citizens to view each other not as enemies, but to embrace each other as brothers and sisters.”

“Dr. King taught us that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Griffin continued. “With so much work left to do on the road to full equality, we must keep those words closer than ever before.”

In honor of  Dr. King’s legacy, HRC will be working with members and supporters nationwide to address the challenge of LGBTQ youth homelessness in 32 communities. The consequences of homelessness, particularly for LGBTQ youth who remain particularly vulnerable, are far reaching and can last a lifetime. In fact, of the nearly 2 million young people who are affected by homelessness each year, consistent research shows that up to 40 percent of homeless youth identity as LGBTQ, even though they make up on 5 to 10 percent of the overall youth population. These young people cite running away from home or being rejected by their families because of their LGBTQ status as the two most common reasons for being homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. Furthermore, growing up without the critical family and social safety nets so many children rely on often results in catastrophic consequences for economic stability, educational attainment, mental and physical health, and life expectancy.

For a meaningful service experience, hundreds of volunteers will take part in a range of activities: from organizing donation drives of clothing and toiletries; to assembling care packages of travel-sized hygiene items, school supplies, and winter accessories; to minor renovation projects.

Altogether, in our biggest effort yet, HRC is partnering with 36 health & human service providers across 32 cities and regions. They are the Alabama Alliance to End Homelessness (Anniston, AL; Birmingham, AL; Huntsville, AL; Montgomery, AL; Tuscaloosa, AL; and Tuskegee, AL; ); Immerse Arkansas (Little Rock, AR); Lost-n-Found Youth (Atlanta, GA); Lifeworks (Austin, TX); Time Out Youth (Charlotte, NC); Broadway Youth Center (Chicago, IL); Lighthouse Youth Services and Christ Church Cathedral (Cincinnati, OH); The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland, OH); Urban Peak (Denver, CO); SunServe (Ft. Lauderdale, FL); Grace Place (Houston, TX); Neighbor2Neighbor (Kansas City, MO); Casa Youth Shelter (Long Beach, CA); Children's Hospital Los Angeles: Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine (Los Angeles, CA); BAGLY: Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Youth (Boston, MA); United Way of the Capital Area (Jackson, MS); Covenant House (New Orleans, LA); The Hetrick-Martin Institute (New York, NY); Zebra Coalition (Orlando, FL); Sanctuary Palm Springs (Palm Springs, CA); Native American Connections and Mulligan's Manor (Phoenix, AZ); New Avenues for Youth/SMYRC and Q Center (Portland, OR); Haven House (Raleigh, NC); San Diego Youth Services (San Diego, CA); Our Space (San Francisco, CA); Avenues for Homeless Youth, The Bridge for Youth, Hope 4 Youth, and Arise Project (Minneapolis, MN); and Casa Ruby, SMYAL, and Thrive DC (Washington, DC). Businesses, schools, and places of worship are supporting these efforts.

For more information about serivce projects around the country, visit

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


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