PFLAG Media Advisory : National Day of Silence News Conference

Los Angeles Unified School District’s Miguel Contreras Learning Complex School of Social Justice To Be Honored By Hollywood Celebrities and National Organizations For Leadership Role On National Day of Silence

School of Social Justice Affirms Status as Role Model for High Schools Across United States Regarding
Prevention of Harassment of LGBTQ Youth and Families, Includes Special Showing of New Film TRU LOVED


WHAT:   Wednesday, April 23rd 2008 – News Conference (open to Media with advance RSVP):

A news conference will be held at The School of Social Justice, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex (MCLC), where more than 900 students have signed on to participate in the Day of Silence. A public commendation will be extended to the students and faculty of The School of Social Justice from leaders of major organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), Gays and Lesbians Initiating Dialogue for Equality (GLIDE), and celebs from the cast of TRU LOVED. The commendation will recognize not only the school’s efforts around the national Day of Silence, but their year-round commitment to the protection of all LGBTQ students and families. A diverse group of over 50 students will participate in a brief “death of homophobia” coffin ceremony at this event, mirroring a much bigger ceremony to be held the following day.

Thursday, April 24th 2008 – Breaking the Silence Student Assembly (open to media by invitation only)

The School of Social Justice will hold their Day of Silence event on Thursday, April 24th, followed by a Breaking the Silence assembly, which will kick off with an introduction by GLSEN President Kevin Jennings. Curtis Shepard, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Director of Youth and Family Services, and GSA Network representative Daniel Solis also will speak. The ceremony will feature performances and remarks by students, as well as Lance Bass’s new PSA for GLSEN, a PSA from GSA Network starring Bruce Vilanch, a PSA for LAGLC featuring Alec Mapa, and a trailer of the movie TRU LOVED.

Friday, April 25th 2008 (closed to press) – Approximately 900 School of Social Justice students and teachers will gather to watch a special edition of the new film TRU LOVED, followed by a Q&A with writer/director Stewart Wade and the teen actors from the film. TRU LOVED will then be offered to principals at other high schools throughout the LAUSD and across the country as an educational tool to open dialogue around LGBTQ harassment.


WHY:   About The National Day of Silence

This event, sponsored nationally by GLSEN, brings attention to anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools. Hundreds of thousands of students take a vow of silence for the entire day or part of it, ending the day with community-based "Breaking the Silence" events. Students create a powerful call to action addressing the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior in schools. This year’s Day of Silence will be held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old from Oxnard, Calif., who, because of his sexual orientation and gender expression, was shot and killed by a 14-year-old classmate. This senseless tragedy brings even greater meaning to a day that has brought hope to millions of students. Learn more at

About The School of Social Justice, MCLC

This outstanding school, part of the LAUSD’s Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, is a leader in its legal and ethical commitment to providing a safe campus that recognizes LGBTQ students and families. From policies to practices, textbooks to library books, MCLC’s School of Social Justice strives to support its LGBT youth and families and their straight allies, and is committed to being a national leader and example to high schools all over the nation in dealing with LGBTQ harassment and violence.

About the movie TRU LOVED

High school student Tru is uprooted by her lesbian moms from her San Francisco home to a new neighborhood in suburban Southern California. Her family makes her an outsider…until football hero Lodell takes a liking to her. But Lodell is gay and closeted, and in Tru he finds a friend with whom he can be himself, though still afraid to do the same with his family and closest pals. When Tru sees and hears the closed-minded comments about homosexuality from Lodell’s friends, she takes a bold step: Together with an openly gay student she starts a Gay-Straight Alliance club at her new school.

BrownBag Productions presents TRU LOVED, starring Najarra Townsend, Alexandra Paul, Cynda Williams, Bruce Vilanch, Alec Mapa and Jane Lynch.  The film is directed and written by Stewart Wade, produced by Wade and Antonio Brown, and also stars Jasmine Guy, Nichelle Nichols, Marcia Wallace, Jake Abel, Joseph Julian Soria and Matthew Thompson.

TRU LOVED’s creative team, including several gay parents, has worked with most of the major national LGBT and civil rights organizations to ensure that the story in the film is accurate in its portrayal of situations encountered by LGBTQ students and families across the nation. Learn more at


WHERE:   Miguel Contreras Learning Complex - 322 S. Lucas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  90017


WHEN:   Wednesday, April 23rd at 12:30 P.M.  – Grotto/Art Room

PRESS CHECK-IN STARTING AT 11:45 A.M. (Main Office entrance on Third St. under pedestrian bridge)
PRESS PLEASE PARK IN MAIN LOT (just north of Third Street on Lucas Avenue)


WHO:        All Attending Wednesday, April 23rd, Unless Otherwise Noted:

Kevin Jennings, Executive Director, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)
Jody Huckaby, President, PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Carolyn Laub, Executive Director, GSA Network (Gay-Straight Alliance Network)
Michael Eselun & Nick Duretta, GLIDE (Gays and Lesbians Initiating Dialogue for Equality)
Daniel Solis*, Staff Member, GSA Network
Curtis Shepard*, Director, Children, Youth and Family Services, LAGLC (L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center)

Jasmine Guy (A DIFFERENT WORLD), Nichelle Nichols (HEROES, STAR TREK), Alec Mapa (UGLY BETTY), Bruce Vilanch (HAIRSPRAY), Elaine Hendrix (JOAN OF ARCADIA), Najarra Townsend (ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW), Joseph Julian Soria (HAMLET 2), Jake Abel (THE LOVELY BONES), Matthew Thompson, Tye Olsen, Bryan Erickson and Katta Hules (LAUSD Students in TRU LOVED), Stewart Wade (Writer/Director, TRU LOVED), Antonio Brown (Producer, TRU LOVED), Eric Borsum and Eric Miller (Executive Producers, TRU LOVED)

Heather Daims, Principal, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
J Rodney Gentry, Lead Teacher/GSA Club Sponsor, The School of Social Justice, MCLC
Carey Kawaye, Art Teacher/GSA Club Faculty Co-Advisor, The School of Social Justice, MCLC
Charles Brenneman, English Teacher, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
Judy Chiasson, PhD, LAUSD, Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity
Stephen Jimenez, Project 10 Specialist, LAUSD Educational Equity Compliance Office
Gail Rolf, former Executive Director, Project 10

*Attending Thursday, April 24th only!

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