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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Kevin Jennings

Executive Director of GLSEN, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network

Kevin Jennings is a writer, a teacher, and a leader in the fields of K-12 education and civil rights. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Kevin Jennings graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he delivered the Harvard Oration at the 1985 Commencement. He became a high school history teacher after graduation. He became the faculty advisor to the nation’s first gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at Concord (Massachusetts) Academy in 1988, launching his life on a path dedicated to seeking to make sure schools become places where young people learn to value and respect everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

As more and more educators and students began contacting him for help, Kevin saw a need that wasn’t being met and in 1990 founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a local volunteer group in the Boston area bringing together LGBT and straight teachers, parents, students and community members who wanted to end anti-LGBT bias in the state’s K-12 schools. In 1992 Kevin was appointed to co-chair the Education Committee of the Governor’s Commission on Gay & Lesbian Youth by Massachusetts Governor William Weld. He was the principal author of its report Making Schools Safe for Gay & Lesbian Youth, whose recommendations were adopted as policy by the Massachusetts State Board of Education. The Commission led the fight that made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against public school students and to establish a statewide program to insure educational equity on issues of sexual orientation in 1993.

Kevin left Boston to come to New York that same year as a Joseph Kingenstein Fellow at Columbia University, from which he received his M.A. in 1994. Upon graduating from Columbia, Kevin left teaching to set about building the all-volunteer GLSEN organization into a national force. Under Kevin’s leadership, GLSEN has made safe schools into a national issue, increased the number of students protected from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity by over 600%, and grown the number of GSA’s from under 50 in 1995 to over 3,000 today. GLSEN programs like GSA’s, No Name-Calling Week, and Day of Silence are now commonplace in America’s schools. Kevin was named to Newsweek magazine’s “Century Club” as one of “100 people to watch in the new century” and is also the recipient of the Human and Civil Rights Award of the National Education Association.

Along the way Kevin earned an M.B.A. from NYU’s Stern School of Business in 1999, authored six books (one of which, Telling Tales Out of School, won a Lambda Literary Award) and helped write and produce the documentary Out of the Past, which won the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary. Kevin serves as Fundraising Chair for the Appalachian Community Fund, where he established the Alice Jennings Fund to help low income and battered women have the opportunities his own mother was denied as a girl and woman from Appalachia. In his spare time, he plays left wing for the New York City Gay Hockey Association and enjoys walks with his partner Jeff and their golden retriever, Amber.




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

Any communications sent to Scouting for All or any Scouting for All representative may be published on the Scouting for All web site or in Scouting for All materials unless the communication specifically requests that it not be published.

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