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HRC’s Groundbreaking Conference Safety, Inclusion and Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth

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Featured guests include HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Emmy Award-winner John Quiñones of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” and Bob Harper of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”

Sessions on bullying, conversion therapy dangers, homelessness, and helping LGBTQ youth thrive in the classroom and beyond

WASHINGTONThe Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association, is hosting its third annual Time to THRIVE conference Feb. 12-14at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

The event features more than 70 workshops addressing urgent challenges LGBT and questioning youth are facing, both in and out of the classroom, and providing educators, counselors, coaches, and other youth-serving professionals the tools they need to help all of our young people thrive.

The Honorable Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is the featured speaker at the conference’s opening event onFriday, Feb. 12. Emmy Award-winning John Quiñones, anchor of ABC’s powerful What Would You Do? news magazine, and Bob Harper, best known for his role on NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser, will be receiving HRC Foundation’s Upstander Awards during the Friday event.

“Counselors, teachers, social workersany professional working with LGBTQ youthwill be able to learn from and connect with some of the top experts in the field,” said Vincent Pompei, Director of HRC’s Youth Well-Being Project and Time to THRIVE conference chair.“These are people who can make an enormous difference in the lives LGBTQ youth, many of whom don’t have support at home, and whose personal safety is a constant concern.”

Emerging national conversations to be explored include the discredited and dangerous “conversion therapy,” LGBTQ youth homelessness, LGBTQ sports inclusion, and medical and socio-emotional care for transgender youth. The conference’s 800 attendees will also be hearing from experts about confronting issues of privilege and race to become more effective allies of LGBTQ youth; understanding how to talk about LGBTQ equality and religious freedom; and using online training tools to support diverse student populations.

Other speakers and guests include Brendan Jordan, a YouTube star who has become an inspiration and role model for LGBTQ youth around the world; activists Dennis and Judy ShepardBetty DeGeneres, mother of Ellen DeGeneres; Jane Clementi of the Tyler Clementi Foundation; transgender teen Jazz Jennings, an HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador featured in the TLC reality program I Am Jazz; and New Jersey high school history teacher, Nicholas Ferroni.

Andreja Pejić, the first transgender model featured in American Vogue; Cynt Marshall, AT&T’s  Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President for Human Resources; and transgender activist Blossom Brown will also be featured. David Hernandez, a finalist from season seven of American Idol, will provide entertainment during the conference.

Time to THRIVE also highlights prominent officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Information for members of the media is available here. The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center is located at 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, Texas, 70051. Map and directions may be found here.

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 February 12-14, 2016, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, with AT&T and BBVA Compass as the presenting sponsor.

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.