On April 3, 2015 a friendly face came to Detroit’s St. Andrews Hall with a very simple mission- to establish safe spaces for LGBTQ youth at shows. His name is Jack Antonoff, and together with his band Bleachers and The Ally Coalition, has established the #FORTYPERCENT campaign to address the national crisis of LGBTQ youth homelessness. They hope that by creating Safe Spaces at shows and encouraging fans to bring that sensibility home with them, what happens at shows can be part of a chain reaction of safe space conversations around the country.
Jack, an outspoken advocate of Ruth Ellis Center, met with youth and staff backstage prior to the show. Capturing the level of excitement backstage, one resident of Ruth’s House exclaimed “Bleachers is my favorite band and I’m so happy to meet you!”
“We are incredible grateful to Jack and The Ally Coalition for their support of Ruth Ellis Center. Their ability to bring awareness to this national crisis is invaluable in so many ways,” said Mark Erwin, Director of Development for Ruth Ellis Center.
For more information on The Ally Coalition please visit www.theallycoalition.org.
Our volunteers are the best! We are proud to spotlight Donny Nordlicht, who volunteers with our Development Director on external communications and public relations. Nordlicht, a communications specialist for Cadillac, has been involved with REC for more than a year. We asked him about his experience volunteering for the center….
How did you first hear about Ruth Ellis Center? Shortly after starting my current job, I was invited by a coworker to join him at that year’s Voices event. I was blown away by what a terrific event it was and by how great and passionate the youth were.
When did you know you wanted to volunteer? We had a charity luncheon to support The Center at work last fall, and, after talking with Mark, I knew that The Center was somewhere I wanted to volunteer with. I had been looking for a way to be more active within the LGBTQ community, and I particularly wanted to do something that helped youth – the services that The Center provides are ones that I recognized from my own experiences are crucial and can be life-saving for many youth.
How have you been volunteering at The Center? I have been helping out with The Center’s public relations and communications, mostly by writing press releases.
What have you learned, or gained from this experience? Knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life makes even the littlest bit of work rewarding to do.
Anything you would like to say to someone else who may be interested in volunteering? Do it! The Center is an amazing, one-of-a-kind organization that is doing fantastic work.