April 18, 2012, Chicago.... Thousands of Chicagoland students are expected to take a vow of silence on Friday, April 20, 2012 to raise awareness of the discrimination faced by students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Following the day of silence, The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance Youth Committee will be hosting a 'break the silence' rally featuring youth performers, young people speaking out about their Day of Silence experience, and a call to action for all youth and adults to take steps for making their school safer for ALL youth.
What: 2012 Day of Silence / Night of Noise
Who: Thousands of Chicagoland middle and high school students
Where: The Night of Noise celebration is at the Thompson Center Plaza, 100 W Randolph St, in downtown Chicago.
When: Friday, April 20, 2012. The Night of Noise begins at 5:30pm.
Youth leaders are available to interview.
"Many young people feel silent in their schools and can't be who they are. The Day of Silence shows that they are not alone and the Night of Noise celebrates the change that can happen when we come together," said Crystal Ramirez, a member of the Youth Committee of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.
The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance is currently partnering with Chicago Public Schools to draft and implement a model anti-bullying policy that protects students based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In preparation for this year's Day of Silence / Night of Noise, the Alliance Youth Committee has released a short video that inspires young people and adults to get involved in making schools and communities safer places for all students. "Dear 40-year-old me"produced by a volunteer team from EPICcan be viewed at: youtu.be/ZvuIVfzGtww.
The Night of Noise features young leaders from city and suburban high schools who will take the stage to talk about their efforts to improve school environments for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that Illinois students who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual or four times more likely to have been threatened and twice as likely to have been bullied while at school.
The evening is made possible by donations and volunteers from the Exelon Corporation/ComEd. "Diversity is a core value thatʼs woven into every aspect of our business, itʼs a focus that extends beyond our walls to the communities in which we live and work," said Ruth Ann Gillis, executive vice president and chief administrative and diversity officer, Exelon Corporation and president, Exelon Business Services Company. "The reasons why we empower young people and support diversity are many and none are more important than this: itʼs the right thing to do."
This is the 16th annual national Day of Silence, sponsored by GLSEN -- the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
About Illinois Safe Schools Alliance ( the Alliance )
The mission of the Alliance is to promote safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning ( LGBTQ ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research. The Alliance provides professional development to over 2,600 school personnel annually, supports the network over 140 Gay-Straight Alliances across Illinois, and empowers youth to be agents of change in their own schools and communities. For more information, please visit www.illinoissafeschools.org .