Bullying of Arkansas kids on agenda for Chad Griffin | Arkansas Blog

Bullying of Arkansas kids on agenda for Chad Griffin

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CHAD GRIFFIN
  • CHAD GRIFFIN
I've mentioned previously that Arkansas native Chad Griffin will make several appearances in Little Rock today, his first as leader of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's most prominent gay rights group.

We profiled Griffin
and his leadership of gay rights initiatives in 2009. He's only gained in prominence since.

Appearances today aren't strictly ceremonial. They include a noon appearance at the Clinton School, with a Q&A with state Rep. Kathy Webb. A news conference at 11 a.m. at the Capitol is about an important subject, a new survey on difficulties faced by LGBT youth.

Nationally, LGBT youth more than three times more likely to be verbally bullied. In Arkansas nearly two thirds of LGBT youth here that they’ve been harassed with anti-gay slurs and 42 percent have been harassed online.
One in four LGBT teens in Arkansas say they have been physically assaulted at school.

67 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy; this number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people nationally; 36 percent here in Arkansas.

LGBT youth are twice as likely to experiment with alcohol or drugs and a strikingly high number are homeless, in foster care, or living in high-risk situations.

In 2011, the Arkansas Legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, an enumerated anti-bullying bill inclusive of LGBT students. While a sign of true progress, the new survey data show LGBT youth still face difficult challenges.

New Human Rights Campaign President and Arkansas Native Kicking Off Job in Arkansas

Press conference with elected leaders to raise awareness of issues facing LGBT youth

LITTLE ROCK – Chad Griffin, a native of Arkadelphia and the new president of the Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – will begin his first official day on the job with a series of events in Arkansas on Monday, June 11, 2012. Starting with a breakfast with community leaders and citizens in Arkadelphia, Griffin will go to Little Rock for a press conference about the Arkansas anti-bullying law and HRC’s new groundbreaking study of LGBT youth. Later that day he will speak at the Clinton School of Public Service and attend an LGBT community gathering.

YOUTH SURVEY

Griffin’s motivation for leading HRC is to make the world better for LGBT youth that are at a disadvantage compared to their peers. As part of the 11 a.m. press conference at the State Capitol, he will unveil a startling new survey conducted by HRC on the harsh realities facing LGBT youth. Among the survey’s findings:

Nationally, LGBT youth more than three times more likely to be verbally bullied. In Arkansas nearly two thirds of LGBT youth here that they’ve been harassed with anti-gay slurs and 42 percent have been harassed online.
One in four LGBT teens in Arkansas say they have been physically assaulted at school.
67 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy; this number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people nationally; 36 percent here in Arkansas.
LGBT youth are twice as likely to experiment with alcohol or drugs and a strikingly high number are homeless, in foster care, or living in high-risk situations.
In 2011, the Arkansas Legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, an enumerated anti-bullying bill inclusive of LGBT students. While a sign of true progress, the new survey data show LGBT youth still face difficult challenges.

Press Conference on anti-LGBT bullying and issues facing LGBT youth in America
Monday, June 11, 11:00 a.m.
Old Supreme Court Room, Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock
HRC President Chad Griffin; State Senator David Johnson; State Senator Joyce Elliott; State Representative Kathy Webb; Andrea Gomez, Youth Programs Director, Just Communities of Arkansas

ABOUT CHAD GRIFFIN

Chad Griffin begins as the new president of the Human Rights Campaign. Previously the founding partner of strategic communications and campaign firm, Griffin|Schein, Griffin has taken on entrenched, well-financed interests like big tobacco, big oil and the far right, and shaped national policy debates around equal rights, clean energy, universal health care, stem cell research, and early childhood education. He has also led groundbreaking ballot initiative campaigns including the largest ballot initiative ever recorded, Proposition 87: California’s Clean Alternative Energy Initiative; the Proposition 10 campaign, which has generated $7 billion for early childhood education; and Proposition 71, which secured $3 billion for stem cell research despite the Bush Administration ban.

Griffin is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of the Prop. 8 lawsuit. He is personally responsible for recruiting the legal dream team of Theodore Olson and David Boies to successfully argue the case. A veteran of the Clinton White House communications team and a native of Arkansas, Griffin was highly motivated by young people in taking this new endeavor.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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