Photos of Young People


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19th, 2017



Nonprofit Launches Online Campaign to Inspire Solidarity & Leadership Among LGBTQ Youth Nationwide

DETROIT — Melania, a young woman who receives support services at the nonprofit Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Mich., proudly identifies with many labels. With a bright smile on her face, she proclaims that she’s a singer, a student, a daughter, and an aunt … but most importantly, she’s human.

And that’s exactly the kind of message Ruth Ellis Center wants to convey in its new youth-produced social media campaign launching Dec. 20th, 2017. Called #LiveYourLegacy, the campaign will be introduced via a 6-minute video published on the organization’s website and social media feeds. Over the course of the video, which was produced by youth from Ruth Ellis Center with support from Avenoir Road, numerous peer staff members and recipients, including Melania, describe the immense impact the Center has had on them, inspiring activism, community, safety, and well-being amid continued socioeconomic challenges that affect LGBTQ youth at an alarming rate.

“Your wounds show that you’ve been through rough times and your scars show that you’ve survived.”- Teddy, REC Youth

#LiveYourLegacy encourages not only young people that identify as LGBTQ but also allies of all ages to visualize their own legacies and help divert attention from those who cause harm and instead focus on the best humanity has to offer. Participants can post their own videos on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #LiveYourLegacy and #RuthEllis before midnight on Dec. 31. Campaign posters can also be printed from the website. The Center’s goal is to help inspire individuals to think about how they can have a positive impact on the world around them, in anticipation of the New Year.

“Whoever told you “you can’t”, they lied. You can do anything you want or more.”- Milania, REC Youth

Incorporated in 1999, The Ruth Ellis Center offers a range of services — including a residential foster care facility, in-house, fully integrated primary and behavioral healthcare through the Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Center and a comprehensive Drop-in Center — for the purpose of building positive futures with LGBTQ young people experiencing interpersonal and systemic barriers to housing, health, and wellness. #LiveYourLegacy is just one of many initiatives aimed at helping inspire young people to celebrate their diversity and envision ways they can have positive impacts on their communities, just as the organization’s namesake, an African-American lesbian who opened her heart and home to the Detroit LGBTQ community starting in the 1930s, did before them.

 Print the poster below or make your own! Just remember to post an image or video explaining what your legacy will be using the hashtags #LiveYourLegacy and #RuthEllis on Twitter or Facebook before midnight on December 31st!

 Liveyourlegacy template




Recent Media Coverage:

Between The Lines, 27 June, 2013- Fresh From California: Ruth Ellis Welcomes New Executive Director

Between The Lines, 27 June, 2013- It's All in a Name: The Story of Emani Love

NPR All Things Considered, 17 May, 2013- Michigan LGBT Youth Center Does Outreach With A Dance 'Hook'

Between The Lines, 21 March, 2013- Training For a New Life

Between The Lines, 31 January, 2013- Fun. In Detroit 'Fight For Equal Rights'

Between The Lines, 17 January, 2013- Stepping In As Ruth Ellis Interim: Margaret Warner

Michigan Radio, 3 January, 2013- Stateside: At-risk, LGBTQ Kids Find Safety Through Vogue Dance

MLive, 8 November, 2012- Election of First Openly Gay U.S. Senator Tammy Balwdin Energizes Her Metro Detroit Allies

Gay People's Chronicle, 19 October, 2012- Ruth Ellis: Age Knew No Bounds

The Advocate, 4 October, 2012- Detroit's Invaluable LGBT Youth Center Has a Friend in Wanda

Media inquiries should be directed to the main office, call 313-252-1950.