project speak out
In 2008, Lexington Fairness began the development of the Project Speak Out program in Central Kentucky. Project Speak Out provided Central Kentucky’s educators, counselors, school administrators and other staff with the vital training they needed to understand the effects of LGBTQ youth bullying and suicide. For many students, simply knowing that allies exist can be a source of support.
Lexington Fairness coordinated with representatives of GLSEN for developmental support of the program and to bring nationally recognized trainers to Kentucky. This partnership also included distribution of GLSEN’s Safe Space Kits, which provide a program for action to create a positive learning environment for every child, including stickers, posters and a 42-page guidebook.
Lexington Fairness brought in expert trainers to host a safe school training program on August 3, 4, and 5, 2012. After the three day workshop with approximately 30 initial participants, the trainers had educated a group of core volunteers. The group included representatives from area public schools, education specialists, community counselors, nonprofit organizations’ leadership, and passionate community leaders. These volunteers were then able to provide training for public school officials & staff, community organizations, and other groups requesting training.
By 2013, the program evolved to fight bullying and discrimination of LGBTQ youth in Central Kentucky schools by providing training and materials to over 300 educators and community leaders.