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HRC’s Welcoming Schools Organizes “I Am Jazz” Events Across the Nation

by Beth Sherouse January 15, 2016

Schools and communities across the nation showed their support for transgender children and youth this week, staging readings of the book I Am Jazz, by transgender teen and HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings and coauthor Jessica Herthel, at 21 sites in 11 cities and six states.

HRC and the HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program worked with local schools, districts, churches, and libraries to hold these events––with more readings scheduled in coming weeks.

The readings and discussions are in response to a controversy last month when an elementary school in Mount Horeb, Wisc. planned to read and discuss the book in support of a local transgender student. Anti-LGBT hate group, Liberty Counsel, pressured the school to cancel the reading, but community members organized a new reading at a local library that drew more than 600 supporters.  

“These events show how parents, educators, and community members are making the safety and well-being of their children their first priority and are choosing love over hate,” said HRC Welcoming Schools Director Johanna Eager. “It’s so wonderful to see communities across the nation come together to show their support for transgender and gender-expansive kids. All children––whether or not they’re transgender––deserve safe and supportive schools, families and communities, and Welcoming Schools is here to make sure parents and educators have the tools they need to do that.”

Visit for more about the events, including an organizing kit, videos and more. For more information on Welcoming Schools, visit For more information on supporting transgender children and youth, visit

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Beth Sherouse
Beth Sherouse


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