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Lend a Hand: Needs Assessment Survey for Make it Better

Make It Better 4 Youth has endeavored to provide safe, open, and fun events and opportunities for LGBTQ identified students and their allies. We need your input going forward. Please take a few minutes to helps us by participating in a short survey. We need to know what we already do for you and what we can do for you going forward.
Three different surveys can be taken from these links: one for parents, one for students, and one for concerned community members and educators.

STUDENT SURVEY

PARENT SURVEY

COMMUNITY SURVEY

Questions?
info@makeitbetter4youth.org

Stay in touch with us!
Are you an adviser to a GSA in your school or institution? Do yo know someone who is? Do you want to start one and wish to talk to others who have some experience? Our network of GSA leaders and advisers are available for your questions and to lend a hand. Give us a shout:
info@makeitbetter4youth.org

Want to host an event or help the Consortium?
Do you have an idea for an event that will benefit LGBTQI students? Are you a business or individual who would like to donate products or services for upcoming events? Please let us know!
info@makeitbetter4youth.org

May 5th: Walk for the Cure, Join the NJ AIDS Walk

The NJ AIDS Walk is a collaborative effort of the state’s leading HIV/AIDS service and support programs. On SUNDAY, MAY 5TH, 2013 in 5 locations across NJ, at exactly the same time of day, thousands of people will walk in solidarity in support of people living with HIV/AIDS in our area. There are more than 35,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in NJ. Please join us in fighting this pandemic by walking with us in the 2013 NJ AIDS Walk. (Visit NJAIDSWalk.org for more information)

Date: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Time: Registration: 11:00 am
Walk Starts: 1:30 pm
Location: The Center in Asbury Park
806 Third Ave,
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

May 15: Raritan HS’s GSA presents the 4th Annual Poetry Slam!

Get ready to jam at Raritan H.S. GSA’s
4th ANNUAL Poetry Slam!

May 15th @ 6:30 pm
Only $6/person

Listen to cool poems! Listen to cool readers!

Chill with words that:
• Wrap around you
• Warm you
• Crack you up
• Move you to tears
• Bring out our humanity

Raritan H.S. Cafeteria, 419 middle road, Hazlet
(contact lskop@hazlet.org for more info)

Sponsored by the Gay Straight Alliance at RHS

May 10th 2013: GAYLA! 3rd Annual GSA Prom

GAYLA poster 3DGAYLA!!!
The 3rd Annual GSA Prom
May 10, 7-10pm
Location: Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
74 Ridge Road, Rumson NJ
$20, payable in advance or at the door
Cash, Check or Money Order to Make it Better for Youth

Check us out on Facebook!

Event information or questions?
Contact Kate Okeson, prom@makeitbetter4youth.org

Students are to be picked up no later than 10:15 pm.

Students attending please do one of the following:
Fill in the form below and submit or follow GAYLA permission slip to fill out, sign and bring to the dance.

Breaking the Silence : Celebrating our Voices

breaking-silence-imageJoin Make it Better for Youth on Friday, April 19th as we “Break the Silence” together. All across the country, youth in schools participate in GLSEN’s Day of Silence, which is a student-lead initiative to bring attention to and end bullying, name calling and other egregious acts against LGBTQ youth. This April, to end Day of Silence, we invite everyone – students, parents, community members – to break the silence together and to lift up LGBTQ voices!  Please join us and welcome performers who have crafted a special program as we celebrate together.

Event: Breaking the Silence, Celebrating Our Voices
Featuring performance by the NJ Gay Men’s Chorus, a reading with poet Kailynn Barbour, and more! Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, Lincroft 7pm, $5 suggested donation.

GSA Film Screening: How to Survive a Plague

rfh-gsa-how-to-survive-a-plague-250We are VERY excited to be screening the documentary How To Survive a Plague on Friday, March 15th.
All students, educators, and community members are invited to join us for the film and a pre&post talk with Ron Goldberg, ACT UP member and contributor to the documentary.

The film screening will be on Friday, March 15th at 6pm at Rumson-Fair Haven High School. The event is free, but Make it Better for Youth will be accepting donations for their upcoming programs.   We hope to see you all there!

Documentary Film Screening and Talk
How to Survive a Plague screening with Q&A by activist Ron Goldberg
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Auditorium, 74 Ridge Road, Rumson NJ

Screening: United in Anger

Monmouth County Library, Manalapan, shows film about ACT UP to commemorate World AIDS Day

On Thursday November 15th, the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan will be hosting an evening screening of the film United in Anger, a History of ACT UP. The screening will begin at 6:30pm and conclude at 8:30pm.

The Monmouth County Library Headquarters are found at:
125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan NJ 07726
(732) 431-7220
monmouthcountylib.org

Two River Pride

LEADING CIVIC, ARTS, AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS PARTNER TO LAUNCH TWO RIVER PRIDE, RED BANK’S FIRST ANNUAL OFFICIAL PRIDE EVENT, ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 FROM 6-9 PM AT TWO RIVER THEATER

A community event that will be open to all, Two River Pride will focus on supporting the voices of youth and will include an “open mic” and a proclamation read by Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna
RED BANK, NJ— On Wednesday, June 20, leading civic, arts, and social organizations will partner to launch a new annual event, Two River Pride, Red Bank’s first annual official Pride event. Two River Pride is co-sponsored by the Borough of Red Bank Council Members Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich; the Borough of Red Bank Human Relations Committee Chair David Pascale; Two River Theater Company; and Make It Better for Youth, the Monmouth County Consortium for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth.
June has been officially declared the nation’s Pride month by Presidents Clinton and Obama. Each year, thousands of Pride events around the country celebrate the achievements and commemorate the struggles of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. A community event that will be open to all, Two River Pride will focus on supporting the voices of youth, who will have opportunities to share their own stories and hear from adult role models.

Two River Pride will be held at Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., on Wednesday, June 20 from 6-9pm. The mayor of Red Bank, the Honorable Pasquale Menna, will read and formally sign a special Pride Proclamation. The event will also feature performances and remarks in the Marion Huber Theater, with JP Nicolaides as MC. These will include an “open mic” for participants to share spoken word, songs, poems, or any expression of their personal stories. There will also be a performance by the Giving Voice Choir directed by Penny Gnesin.

Guest speakers will include community advocates Detective David L. D’Amico, who investigates bias crimes for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, Executive Director and co-founder of Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point graduates and their supporters, and a founding member of OutServe, which represents actively serving LGBT military personnel.

In the Two River Theater lobby, personal stories from youth will be filmed and edited for a video that will be shared peer-to-peer as part of anti-bullying efforts in local schools. In addition to the performance elements noted above, Two River Pride will include a reception for all members of the community, with food donated by local restaurants including Dish, Sugarush a Sweet Experience, and Via 45; a screening of the documentary film Stonewall Uprising; and more.

Councilman Ed Zipprich says, “I am proud to be a founding member, together with Councilwoman Kathy Horgan, of the first Pride celebration in Red Bank. Over the years, many members of our community have asked why Red Bank does not sponsor a Pride event. This thought has propelled us to take action, and we are grateful for the rapid response by our elected officials, our Human Relations Advisory Committee, Two River Theater, and the Make It Better for Youth organization to make this event a reality in 2012. Red Bank is an inclusive community and we are celebrating LGBT Pride appropriately—not only with a proclamation declaring June Pride month, but also with a live celebration that will let young LGBT people know that we support their success as contributing members to society.”

Says Kate Okeson, an artist, teacher, and activist who is a co-founder of the Make It Better consortium, “Over the last year, in large part because of statewide Harassment, Bullying, and Intimidation legislation, attention to the rights of our community’s youth are at the center of the conversation, and remain especially close to the hearts and minds of many due to the coverage of the tragedies surrounding LGBTQ-identified youth nationwide. Two River Pride intends to make a place for youth and community voices to join together to discover LGBT history, use their voices to tell their stories, and help make change—and make it better—for future generations.”

“We are very pleased to be partnering with so many local civic leaders to present this event,” says Two River Theater Artistic Director John Dias. “Theater is an essential part of an inclusive and democratic society. Two River Pride will create a space for our community, especially young people, to gather together and share conversation and stories, and stand up for equality. We are excited to be part of this event.”

Two River Pride is open to the public; a $5 contribution is suggested, which will support Make It Better for Youth, http://makeitbetter4youth.org/.

For more information, please contact pride@makeitbetter4youth.org or visit http://www.facebook.com/events/234446559995279/.

Two River Theater Company is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Hickory Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, OceanFirst Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, and many other generous foundations, corporations and businesses.

# # #

TWO RIVER THEATER COMPANY is under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is a member of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the New Jersey Theatre Alliance,  and ArtPride New Jersey, and has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.trtc.org. 

Ryan Cassata Makes it Better!

Ryan Cassata, beloved trans-activist and singer-songwriter has been a popular guest and performer in Central Jersey (and around the country!) at schools and LGBTQ community groups over the last few months. He recently reached out to us at Make it Better to talk about teaming up with a fundraiser and awareness campaign.

If you don’t know Ryan, I personally think you are missing out. He’s a stellar speaker and musician, honest activist, and down-to-earth guy. One with a heart of gold, I might add. When Ryan contacted MIB4Y, he wanted to do something to help get our cause and commitment circulating. He has a new single (just released) and video (being released soon) called Hands of Hate, to which you can now listen. The message is aligned with the work we do at MIB4Y, and he has offered to highlight us in his upcoming performances with special edition of pins for the new single Hands of Hate.

Ryan has decided to donate all proceeds from the sales of the pins to help us out with the events and opportunities we provide for youth in the Monmouth/Ocean county region.

Support Ryan and us with a purchase of the special Make it Better for Youth pin! Visit the tumblr for this partnership!

Here’s a preview of Ryan’s upcoming album The Rhythmn.

http://stopthehandsofhate.tumblr.com/