In anticipation of Respect For All Week February 9-13, during which the New York public schools emphasize the commitment to end bullying and harassment for all students, the New York City Council is partnering with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth, in hosting an LGBTQ Youth Summit aimed at providing students with the necessary tools to create safe spaces in their schools.
The Summit, titled “What Matters Now,” will take place Saturday, January 24 at HMI’s offices at 2 Astor Place beginning at 9:30 a.m., and will include workshops on topics including youth organizing, art, identity, transgender and gender nonconforming experience, LGBTQ history, media, technology, faith, spirituality, health and mental health wellness, and anti-violence.
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is joined by the Council’s LGBT Caucus in co-sponsoring the event.
“The LGBTQ Youth Summit is something that I wish I had growing up as a gay teen,” said Councilmember Daniel Dromm, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Education Committee. “Events such as these are important ways to lift LGBTQ youth out of the shadows and show them that they have the right to advocate and create safe communities.”
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, a Brooklyn Democrat, said, “Organizing and building capacity among young LGBT people is critically important to our city. In the face of criticism about apathy, young people have displayed leadership, and they continue to inform and shape public policy in our city.”
The Bronx’s Ritchie Torres said, “As the youngest member of the New York City Council, I’m very proud to support the Hetrick-Martin Institute’s LGBTQ Youth Summit. Creating safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to learn from each other, share experiences, and organize as a community are essential, and the tools that participants will gain from this Summit will help amplify their collective voices.”