YPT is one of 19 awardees for the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs’ FY23 grant cycle. The award will be used to support students who are part of the LGBTQIA community within YPT’s Students Advocating for the Eradication of Racism (SAFER) program.
SAFER is a social advocacy and arts education program for 10th and 11th-grade students committed to promoting racial justice in their communities through collective creativity. Over the course of a school year, students learn and practice the skills required to organize and galvanize their communities and showcase those skills through a theatrical performance event.
“It’s hard to be who I am,” said a former SAFER student during a May 13, 2022 performance. Identifying herself as a Latinx, bisexual drama queen she said, “But every single day I’m learning more and more about myself.”
This is the second year the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs has supported SAFER. Students have already started preparing for the next SAFER performance scheduled for May 5, 2023.
YPT’s $15,000 award is a part of a larger grant-awarding initiative by the Mayor’s Office of Community Agencies.
The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs was created through the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs Act of 2005 and has been addressing the important concerns of the District’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning residents through empowering young LGBTQ+ community leaders, removing barriers for LGBTQ+ business owners, building a cohesive LGBTQ+ community across all eight wards, and providing resources for at-risk LGBTQ+ populations.
Photo: A SAFER student smiles during a performance May 13, 2022 at the Sitar Arts Center.