Main content

Pride To The People 2024

21 Jun 2024

The future begins with our youth. At Youth To The People, we believe that youth is a mindset, so in some way, we’re all connected. We support and uplift the youth of this generation, as well as generations past and future. We stand for radical acceptance, meaning we accept people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed. We believe all are deserving of love, respect, and equal access to education without censorship.

In honor of Pride Month, we are continuing our partnership with GLSEN in support of their Rainbow Library Program which provides K-12 LGBTQIA+ youth with affirming textbooks and literature in select schools across the United States. For over 30 years, GLSEN has led the national movement in creating a safer and more inclusive educational environment. Now, more than ever, the safety and preservation of history, culture and education through literature could not be more important. We asked Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, Executive Director of GLSEN and Blessing Okorougo, Head of Global Social Impact at YTTP to share some of their thoughts about the impact of GLSEN in the community.

What does radical acceptance mean to you, especially in the context of GLSEN's mission?

“Radical acceptance is about fully embracing individuals for who they are without conditions or limitations. It means recognizing and celebrating the unique identities and experiences of every person, particularly within the LGBTQ+ community. At GLSEN, radical acceptance is at the heart of our mission. We strive to create safe and affirming school environments where every student can thrive. Radical acceptance means we challenge discriminatory practices and policies and advocate for inclusive curricula and policies that respect and affirm all students.” – Williams-Jaggers

Why is it important to preserve history, culture, and education through literature — especially now?

“Literature provides a powerful medium for sharing diverse stories and experiences, fostering empathy, understanding, and connection. It allows us to learn from the past, appreciate the richness of different cultures, and envision a more inclusive future. As we face attempts to erase or censor certain histories and identities, it is more important than ever to ensure that all students have access to literature that reflects their lives and the lives of those around them. This helps build a more informed and equitable society.” – Williams-Jaggers

In your words, what is the impact of GLSEN's work and what kind of support is most helpful for GLSEN in this present moment? How can our readers take action to support GLSEN in their daily lives? 

“GLSEN's work has a profound impact on creating safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ students across the country. Our programs and resources reach millions of students, educators, and allies each year. For example, our Rainbow Library, which sends LGBTQ+-affirming books to schools for free, has reached more than 6 million students to date. Through our advocacy, education, and research, we have been able to influence policies, support educators, and empower students to stand up for their rights. In this present moment, the most helpful support for GLSEN comes from both individual and community actions. Readers can support GLSEN by donating to our cause, volunteering their time with a local GLSEN chapter, or showing visible signs of support through social media and merchandise. Every action, no matter how small, helps create a more inclusive and affirming world for all students.” – Williams-Jaggers

Why is it important for YTTP to continue supporting GLSEN’s mission? 

“Youth To The People founders created a giving arm that was not just about providing financial investment in social change organizations but primarily driven by the desire to catalyze collective action. This action is shaped by supporting impact initiatives, nonprofits and activists in creating both a more just and inclusive world that protects an equitable future for all. Since 2019 YTTP has partnered with GLSEN to amplify support for its mission to promote diverse learning programs and inclusive educational resources designed exclusively for LGBTQ+ students and educators across the nation.

This year, we’re very excited to partner with the Rainbow Library program to continue championing GLSEN’s transformative efforts in preserving meaningful connections for students through diverse and affirming literature.  We want to ensure that communities of learners, both inside and outside of classrooms, continue to be represented, respected, and retained through inclusive forms of educational opportunity.” – Okorougo

For additional ways to support and learn more about GLSEN’S Rainbow Library Program, please visit their website here.

Blessing Okorougo, Head of Global Social Impact at YTTP

Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, Executive Director of GLSEN

On the same topic

Updates on the Good To The People Funds, stories about social justice, our Earth, human rights, and more.

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device