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LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Dinner

‘Heartwarming’ event
New York Teacher
LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Dinner
Jonathan Fickies

Harvey Milk HS teacher Natalie Velazquez (second from right) with students from the Manhattan school.

The UFT’s first LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Dinner drew more than 300 people to union headquarters and raised nearly $21,000 for the Daniel Dromm Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to graduating seniors from New York City public schools to honor their LGBTQ activism. “It’s great to have this community of people who are willing to help out the city’s LGBTQ students,” said Rashad Brown, the chair of the UFT Pride Committee. The Nov. 21 event featured student speeches and performances, remarks from elected officials and a keynote address by Dyjuan Tatro, a prison reform advocate who shared his journey from prison to making a difference with the Bard Prison Initiative despite the systemic racism and homophobia in his way. “It was a great pleasure to hear the students we serve daily share their experiences of being LGBTQ,” said Joel Roberts-Romain, a special education teacher at the HS for Language and Diplomacy in Manhattan. “And it was heartwarming to know our work is not in vain.”

Related Topics: LGBTQ rights