LGBTQ advocate to educate parents

Liz Bradbury will teach parents, community how to support at-risk youth
Posted on 09/26/2019
Liz Bradbury, Director of the Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown.

By Gary Weckselblatt

A nationally recognized expert on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth issues is visiting the Quakertown Community School District to give a free, training style presentation for parents and other community members who would like to have a better understanding and become more culturally aware of LGBTQ youth circumstances.

Liz Bradbury, Director of the Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, will be at Quakertown Community High School on Monday, October 14, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Quakertown Performing Arts Center.

“This presentation is for anyone who has children or has friends with children,” Ms. Bradbury said. “Parents have a responsibility to understand this so they can help these children be safe. It’s important to understand the cultural context of what these young people are going through and support them against discrimination and allow them to live authentic lives.”

A 2019-20 superintendent goal specifically deals with the “Culture of Safety, Security and Wellness.” As part of that, this is one in a series of stories to help increase student, parent and staff awareness of available student supports and services.

In her presentation, which includes time for audience questions, Ms. Bradbury will cover vocabulary and pronoun use, and what words to avoid because they may create barriers to communication. She’ll discuss ways to work to eliminate hate language and bullying, and how to support and advocate.

Ms. Bradbury will also discuss proven strategies to mitigate both self-harm and suicidal ideation, and talk about current laws, requirements, and best practices. She’ll also present information on community resources for LGBTQ youth and their parents.

“It’s so important for families to find help and support for their child,” she said. “People need to understand, LGBTQ youth are strongly affected by whether their family is supportive of them. In an unsupportive home, they are at enormous risk for suicide. If they have other supportive adults around them, their risk drops significantly. We have to really be aware how to mitigate that suicide risk.”

Ms. Bradbury has been a full-time advocate for the LGBT community since 1994 and an organizer since 1979. In 2004, she co-founded PA Diversity Network, where she served as Executive Director for 10 years.

She helped lead successful efforts to pass model LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination and domestic partner legislation in nine PA municipalities. She served for 15 years on the Human Relations Commission of the City of Allentown (including three years as Chair) where she wrote the guidelines for discrimination investigations and trained investigators.

She has encouraged many businesses to adopt equal spousal benefits. In addition to her work as Director of the Training Institute, Liz serves on the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force at the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

Funding for this presentation/training has been provided by the Erwin J. & Gertrude K. Neusch Fund, and the Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.

‚ÄčFlyer of the October 14 event at Quakertown Community High School.

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