Regional: Colleges highlight suicide prevention

News Notes: Carolinas

Events highlight suicide prevention

STATEWIDE — North Carolina State University (NCSU), the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University (ASU) held awareness events in October to pay homage to the recent suicide deaths of LGBT youth across the nation.

On National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, more than 200 gathered at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Pit for a candle lighting vigil. It was hosted by the school’s Gay Lesbian Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance and the multicultural Theta Nu Xi sorority. “‘It allows us a chance to publicly be visible and to share a moment to support one another and to call each other to action,’ said Terri Phoenix, director of UNC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Center,” The Daily Tarheel reported.

On Oct. 19, NCSU’s Director of CSLEPS Michael Giancola and Director of Campus Activities Deb Luckadoo partnered to hold a rally to show the LGBT community there were allies at the school.

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According to the Technician, “It’s a rally of sorts, with people being there to say ‘we visibly support the GLBT community,’” said Justine Hollingshead, director of the GLBT Center. “‘The students that Justine Hollingshead works with couldn’t get the energy up to do the rally because of all the teen suicides,’ Luckadoo said. ‘They were feeling oppressed because, people with whom they identify felt so lost that they committed suicide,’” the Technician concluded.

A community candlelight vigil was held at ASU on Oct. 28 in the Sanford Mall.

They “lifted their lights in the spirit of love, support and tolerance” for the memory of the fallen teens.

It was sponsored by the LGBT Center, Sexuality and Gender Alliance and TransAction.

Equality NC developed a School Violence Prevention Act Implementation Toolkit to address the issues of bullying in order to create a safe school environment. To get one, visit equalitync.org.

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Signatures sought

STATEWIDE — Individuals and congregations from the Jewish community are being asked to sign the Do Not Stand By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives in response to the injustices of homophobia and transphobia.

The call focuses on the Jewish community’s “commitment to human dignity, pluralism, respect, emphathy and deep caring for one another and all of humanity.”

The campaign was spearheaded by Keshet (which means rainbow in Hebrew) which offers support, training and resources to “create a Jewish community that welcomes and affirms GLBT Jews.”

They are hoping to reach 18,000 pledges by the end of 2010.

Havurat Tikvah, a Reconstructionist welcoming synagogue in Charlotte, has become a signatory.

To sign, visit salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1285/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=2580.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.