Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Homeless Youth Pride Walk 2009

The people at Homeless Youth Pride Walk shared this news today with PFLAG National, and we wanted to let everyone know about the upcoming event to raise awareness for LGBT homeless youth. You can visit their website here.

In May, 2009, Jill Hardman, Nicole Tomlin, and Chloe Michelle Noble are walking across the United States to raise awareness for the LGBTQ homeless youth epidemic in America. They will set out on foot from Seattle, Washington traveling first to San Francisco. They will continue to travel east across the country, to Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, and then Washington D.C. From there they will continue souththwest to New Orleans and end their long journey in Austin, Texas. Their goal is to cover 6000 miles, (over 3000 of it on foot).

Everyone who is interested can "virtually walk with them" by following their website - which will be loaded with videos, photos, and posts collected on their journey. Others can support Homeless Youth Pride Walk 2009 by simply sharing their link on many popular networking channels. Also, supporters can get current updates by becoming followers of their blog - which includes interactive media tools, such as Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, and Kyte TV.

Every major city they walk through will be conducting a media event collectively called OPERATION SHINE. Since they are starting their walk in Seattle, the SEATTLE SHINE will be the first. The PORTLAND SHINE will be the second. The SAN FRANCISCO SHINE will be the third city-wide media event. And so on, until the NEW YORK SHINE, where participants can walk with them the last leg of the walk to Washington D.C.

(If your city wants to participate in OPERATION SHINE please contact Chloe at Homeless youth, and youth of all kinds, and homeless citizens are strongly encouraged to participate.)

"Almost 35% of homeless youth in America identify as LGBTQ," says Noble, "This diverse group of Queer youth has a profound and powerful voice. We want to support them in their progress and give them a platform to stand on. Studies show that many LGBTQ homeless youth who receive appropriate guidance, support, resources, and encouragement, eventually become successful members of the LGBTQ community. By raising awareness we hope to inspire others to make sure more resources are available to all homeless youth for this reason."

In the future, Noble and Hardman plan on producing public service announcements with LGBTQ youth in the Utah area, using the footage they bring back from their walk. These PSA's are intended to launch a multi-media web site, that Queer youth can use to express themselves and empower others through personal, local, national, and international activism. Noble says about the web site, "It is our intention to unify LGBTQ youth through artistic expression, and to teach them how to become mutual mentors in a process of self-awareness and collective healing."

Because of the huge outpouring from the community in support of their walk, they are setting up a non-profit called the Noble Echoes Foundation.

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