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Resolution on Young Workers: We’re Fired Up!

WHEREAS, this generation, there has been a beautiful and fabulous explosion of LGBTQ youth activism, inspiring
the future of our movement for equality and justice;

WHEREAS, our unions and the national labor movement have launched national efforts to listen, support, train and engage young workers in the leadership of our movement;

WHEREAS, many Pride @ Work Chapters are led by and with young LGBTQ labor activists, who bring skills, creativity and vital voices to the work of LGBTQ labor;

WHEREAS, Pride @ Work is committed to continuing to develop and mentor our younger leaders, providing access to training and leadership opportunities;

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in August 2012 that the “youth unemployment rate was 17.1 percent in July 2012. The unemployment rate for young men was 17.9 percent, in July 2012, and the rate for women was 16.2 percent. The jobless rate for whites was 14.9 percent, compared with 28.6 percent for blacks, 14.4 percent for Asians, and 18.5 percent for Hispanics”;

WHEREAS, young LGBTQ people face disproportionate levels of homelessness and imprisonment, particularly LGBTQ youth who are also people of color;

WHEREAS, the CDC found through “a 2009 survey of more than 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students aged 13–21 years that in the past year, because of their sexual orientation—

  • Eight of ten students had been verbally harassed at school;
  • Four of ten had been physically harassed at school;
  • Six of ten felt unsafe at school; and
  • One of five had been the victim of a physical assault at school.”

WHEREAS, the Trevor Project reports that:

  • “According to the CDC, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 and accounts for 12.2% of the deaths every year in that age group. (2009 CDC, “10 Leading Causes of Death by Age Group – United States, 2009”)
  • Suicide attempts by LGB youth and questioning youth are 4 to 6 times more likely to result in injury, poisoning, or overdose that requires treatment from a doctor or nurse, compared to their straight peers. (2011, CDC, “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual
  • Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance”)
  • LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers. (2011, CDC, “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance”
  • LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are up to 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection. (2010, Family Acceptance ProjectTM “Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults”)
  • 1 out of 6 students nationwide (grades 9-12) seriously considered suicide in the past year. (2011 CDC, “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2011”);

WHEREAS, in the transgender community as a whole (not limited to youth), a staggering 41% of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide. This statistics varies from 32% to 51% based on whether the individual’s family accepted or rejected them; and

WHEREAS, the CDC reports that compared with LGBT young adults who experienced very little or no parental rejection, LGBT young adults who experienced high levels of rejection were

  • Nearly 6 times as likely to have high levels of depression;
  • More than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide;
  • More than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs; and
  • More than 3 times as likely to engage in unprotected sexual behaviors that put them at increased risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will continue to work intentionally to develop a deeper bench of younger LGBT labor leaders with the skills and experience to serve in a variety of local and national leadership roles within P@W;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Pride @ Work will formally launch a P@W Youth Caucus to lead and guide these efforts, to be first convened by Pride @ Work leaders Shellea Allen and Gabe González, with national staff support;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will continue to include the voices of younger workers in sharing the needs, experiences and successes of LGBTQ workers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will continue to budget scholarship assistance to support the engagement of younger leaders, transgender workers and LGBTQ people of color in our trainings and our work as a whole;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will continue to engage and partner with other young worker efforts within our unions and the labor movement as a whole;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will formalize our existing mentoring support for trained younger LGBTQ labor leaders as they continue to build their skills and experience;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will prioritize seating of younger LGBTQ labor leaders into decision-making seats within Pride @ Work and our labor movement as a whole; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pride @ Work will educate and activate our members and leadership in support of vital issues for young workers and the youth of our LGBTQ community.

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