Youth-specific events occurring at three upcoming conferences

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian and gay political organization, announced today the creation of a special student rate to September's OutVote '98, the lesbian and gay political convention.

The OutVote '98 political convention takes place in Washington, DC September 17-20 and will mobilize fair-minded Americans to vote in this fall's elections with a variety of workshops and speakers.

Speakers include the Rev. Jesse Jackson, David Mixner, Gov. Roy Romer, Assistant to the President Virginia Apuzzo, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, U.S. Representatives Barney Frank, Cynthia McKinney and Connie Morella, Seattle Council member Tina Podlodowski, National Coming Out Day Spokesperson Betty DeGeneres, former Representative Steve Gunderson and his partner Rob Morris, Jon and Michael Galluccio and others.

"HRC is committed to being a more inclusive organization," said Bob Baublitz, member of the HRC Board of Governors for Washington, DC. "This outreach program for college student leaders, designed from their input, is one more example of the new policies we are adopting to ensure HRC represents the needs of more members of the LGBT community."

An example of how this translates to the local level can be seen in Washington, DC. Here, the HRC DC Steering Committee is working with local college students to provide scholarships for students to attend HRC events, such as the National Dinner.

"Outreach like this helps prepare us for the time when we will become the leaders of our community," said Kate Dempsey of At Least 10%, an LGBT student organization at American University. This view is shared by many of the politically active youth in the LGBT community.

"HRC has the kind of influence on the national level needed to help bring together a coherent voice for our community's youth," said Jacob Fabbri, President of the Organization for Lesbian and Gay Students Rights at Catholic University of America.

Campus activists exemplify the energy of grassroots organizing that is at the forefront of our movement. HRC welcomes students from across the nation for a weekend of organizing and networking with some of the country's brightest grassroots organizers.

Representatives from the AFL-CIO, Victory Fund, Gill Foundation, Federation of States, National Latino/a Lesbian and Gay Organization, Center for Environmental Citizenship, Interfaith Alliance, ACLU, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and others will be at OutVote '98 to share ideas and give advice.

This same weekend, just a few blocks away, the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory Conference will feature the National Rifle Association's Charleton Heston and Focus on the Family's James Dobson. The conference will mobilize thousands of voters to stand against America's value on equality at the polls this fall.

"The pinnacle of grassroots activism is the simple act of voting," said Devon Wlodyga, Student Outreach Chair for the HRC Washington, DC Steering Committee. "When students vote for fairness, they strongly challenge forces such as the Christian Coalition." Wlodyga is part of a local network of LGBT college groups modeled after several growing student networks across the nation. HRC is proud of the strong voice a fully engaged generation of up and coming activists is bringing to grassroots activism.

"LGBT youth are already forming powerful grassroots networks," added Jessie Gilliam, Co-chair of the Day of Silence Project, a grassroots LGBT educational initiative involving more than 200 high school and college campuses. "Having HRC assist and empower youth is crucial to our movement."

To register for OutVote '98 under the $74 student rate, call Box Office Tickets at 800/494-8497. Travel-On is the official travel agent for OutVote '98. American Airlines is the official airlines for HRC. For more information about OutVote '98, visit http://www.hrc.org/campgn98/outvote/index.html or call Michael Grantham, OutVote '98 Coordinator at 202-628-4160

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association is offering scholarships to attend its national convention in Las Vegas, Oct. 1-4. Qualified applicants will be flown to Las Vegas and have an opportunity to mingle with esteemed journalists from every major newspaper and television network, as well as a chance to hear Lesley Stahl from "60 Minutes" offer our opening night keynote.

In exchange, students will be expected to work on a student-generated website, offering coverage of the entire convention under the supervision of professional journalists from some of the nation's most respected publications.

Please get this word out to colleges and universities in your area. It's an outstanding opportunity and a wonderful experience.

For more info on the NLGJA or the convention schedule, please go to the website at http://www.nlgja.org

If you have any questions, contact Steve Friess at friesster@aol.com.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is holding the 11th annual Creating Change conference in Pittsburgh from November 11 - 15, and along with it they are sponsoring an all day youth organizing institute on Thursday, November 12. The overall theme of the event is "equality begins at home," and the youth institute is planned to be a training session to help prepare youth to take leadership roles in actions and events that will take place in the following year. There will be two tracks in the institute, and we are hoping to cover a wide range of topics!

The youth institute is just in the beginning stages of planning, and we need all the organizers we can get! Anyone who is interested in helping to plan the youth institute and be part of a planning committee or who has workshop ideas PLEASE email: watchout@uclink4.Berkeley.edu or margotlk@uclink4.Berkeley.edu

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