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Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2020

Union County Partners with GLAAD to Host LGBTQ Advocacy Training Courses Online

Union County, NJ — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to partner with GLADD to host two signature courses of the GLAAD Media Institute’s LGBTQ advocacy training program, online and free for anyone who wants to build the core communication skills and techniques that influence positive social change and increase LGBTQ acceptance.

Community leaders, nonprofit advocates, members of the media and members of the public are all invited to attend the two courses, presented in collaboration with Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

Both courses are live-streamed interactive presentations with the opportunity for participants to ask questions and engage in the session real time. They will be held on Friday, April 24 and Friday, May 22. Both courses begin at 1:00 p.m. and last approximately three hours.

“The Freeholder Board is committed to work for a community of respect and dignity for all, and we are continuing that work throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are proud to partner with GLAAD in sharing their expert guidance with the public and encouraging people to speak up for LGBTQ inclusion and acceptance, while observing every precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“This effort is especially important to the LGBTQ community, where many people may be vulnerable to feelings of isolation during this period of separation and social distance,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, who is liaison to the LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “Through innovative online courses like these, we continue to encourage people to connect, learn, and share with one another.”

The GLAAD Media Institute uses best practices, tools, and techniques perfected over the organization’s 30 years of experience to help transform individuals into compelling storytellers, media-savvy navigators, and effective ambassadors for LGBTQ acceptance.

Attendees may sign up for one or both courses. Pre-registration is required online at ucnj.org/lgbtq. A link and password for each session will be sent by email ten minutes before the 1:00 p.m. start time of each course.

The Friday, April 24 course is titled, “Engagement 101 Telling Your Story: Messaging and Media Tools For Today’s Activists.” Equipped with GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance data, the GLAAD Media Institute will show how participants how to reach the “movable middle” through their own personal lens. Topics include LGBTQ acceptance, understanding media mentality, speaking to your audience, messaging and framing the issue, social media basics, and interview techniques.

The May 22 course, titled “Engagement 202,” focuses on the use of social media in LGBTQ advocacy. Participants will receive a comprehensive review of the distinct personalities of each social media platform, and learn how to leverage them to expand their audience, enhance their storytelling, and accelerate acceptance. Participants will also learn how to avoid the notorious pitfalls of each platform.

“We are excited to be partnering with the Union County Board of Freeholders on our upcoming workshops, and are thankful for their flexibility on moving these workshops online,” said Mackenzie Hart, Coordinator for Education & Training at the GLAAD Media Institute. “By moving the workshops online, we are doing our best to ensure everyone’s health and safety while continuing our work to accelerate acceptance — and we are able to open our workshops farther and wider than ever before.”
 
Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first and only county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey.
 
The Office of LGBTQ Affairs provides a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.
 
For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/LGBTQ.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidelines on the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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