NC Families United welcomes Caitlin Ryan and The Family Acceptance Project
Our organization prides ourselves on lived experiences and working with all populations within our communities that we serve, making them always feel welcome. With that being said, we had the opportunity to send three staff members to Detroit to participate in the training called The Family Acceptance Project. The Family Acceptance Project® is a research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to prevent health and mental health risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and youth, including suicide, homelessness and HIV – in the context of their families, cultures and faith communities. They use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families to support their LGBT children.
Our three staff members at the time were Frederick Douglas, she’s one of our Family Partner Coordinators in the Triad area of Cardinal Innovations and she is also a minister, and we were able to send a mother-daughter duo that consisted of Chandrika Brown, a Family Partner Coordinator that covers the Northern Region of Cardinal Innovations and Jadda Jefferies that at the time was our Youth Coordinator. This was a very exciting time for our organization. Once they returned, they were so excited about what they had learned and how they felt our area could benefit from this training. That we worked hard to bring this project to North Carolina. With help from the Cardinal Innovation Reinvestment Grant and the NC State Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families, we were able to make it happen.
The month of May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month and we are fortunate to have the Project for May 6-8, 2019. May 6th will focus on the whole community, where we will engage all stakeholders on engagement, acceptance, understanding language, homelessness, suicide, and much more for the LGBTQ population. May 7th will be divided into two parts. The first part will be dedicated to the faith-based community to allow them their time to be educated on the LGBTQ community within the faith-based community and to allow them the opportunity to ask questions freely without judgement. The second part of the day will be dedicated to families only. This time will allow families to engage with each other and to be able to learn more about positive engagement and acceptance. The closeout to the event will take place at the State Collaborative on May 8th where Caitlin Ryan will do an Overview Presentation.
We are so excited to be able to offer this project to our families, youth and community partners around North Carolina!!
“Submitted by Chandrika Brown”