Jesse Tyler Ferguson Visits His Turnaround Arts School

On Thursday, October 27, Jesse Tyler Ferguson visited Avenal Elementary School in Avenal, California, to enjoy and participate in a day full of dancing, arts & crafts, and poetry. 

Avenal Elementary School, located 200 miles north of Los Angeles in the state's Central Valley, is one of 68 schools part of the Turnaround Arts Initiative, a public-private partnership led by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to help turn around America's struggling schools.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is one of dozens of Turnaround Artists who adopt Turnaround Arts schools, working directly with students and teachers, engaging parents and the school community, and highlighting the positive impact of the arts on their school’s transformation. 

At his latest visit to Avenal Elementary School, Jesse was treated to special dance and poetry performances by two 2nd grade classes, after which he spoke to the students about the importance of arts education in his life. Jesse added his hand print to the school's Red Ribbon Week mural with the help of kindergartners dressed for pajama day and also had time to speak with cast members from last year's production of Alice in Wonderland. 

Jesse is proud to be working with Avenal Elementary School for a third year as part of the transformational Turnaround Arts Initiative.

The Turnaround Arts Initiative is making significant impact across the country by improving math and reading scores by double-digit percentage points and decreasing in-school and out-of-school suspensions, some by as much as 89%.

 
 

Cyndi Lauper Hosts Inaugural Damn Gala to Support True Colors Fund

On Sunday, Cyndi Lauper hosted her inaugural Damn Gala - the first signature LA event in support of The True Colors Fund.

Hosted by Emmy-Award-winning personality Carson Kressley, the evening had special performances by Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz, and Sara Ramirez and featured inspiring youth talks by two 2016 40 of the 40 Honorees: Phoebe VanCleefe and Kahlib Barton. 

United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro delivered the keynote address for the evening and reaffirmed President Obama's administration's commitment to end homelessness, and focussing on LGBTQ youth is extremely important in achieving that goal. 

The True Colors Fund honored the Los Angeles LGBT Center and USA Network for their steadfast support and commitment to ending LGBT youth homelessness across the country.

In the days leading up Cyndi Lauper's Damn Gala, The True Colors Fund hosted their third annual 40 to None Summit at the LA LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza. This year's theme - "Coordination" - highlighted the importance for individuals and entities from various professional and personal backgrounds to work together to prevent and end LGBT youth homelessness.

 
 

Colton Haynes, Menswear Bloggers Design for Tie The Knot

Teen Wolf and Arrow star Colton Haynes joins Tie The Knot's extensive list of celebrity guest designers with his exclusive and limited-edition bow tie, which is part of the fall 2016 Tie The Knot collection launch! 

“I am so happy to help support Jesse & Justin - and Tie The Knot - with their fun and impactful approach to advocating for LGBTQ equality,” says Haynes. “Tie The Knot combines two very important aspects of my life - fashion and equality. It has never been so easy to support an important cause, and I am glad to be part of it.”  

Menswear bloggers Moti Ankari (The Metro Man), Marcel Floruss (One Dapper Street), and Nathan McCallum (Bangarang Blog) also designed unique bow ties for Tie The Knot inspired by their unique fashion senses, whimsical travels, and favorite design inspirations.

Sales of the bow ties support LGBTQ equality worldwide. $20 of every $25 Tie The Knot purchase at The Tie Bar (or $30 of every $35) is donated back to the organization so it may continue its mission of advocating for LGBTQ equality around the globe.

 
 

Tie The Knot Announces New Mission

With the launch of its new fall 2016 bow tie collection with The Tie Bar, Jesse Tyler Feguson's Tie The Knot announced a new mission rededicating itself to advocating for LGBTQ equality worldwide.

 
 

When Tie The Knot was founded in 2012  to advocate for marriage equality throughout the United States, only six states and Washington D.C. recognized marriages for same-sex couples. Today, having raised over $500,000 – three years and forty-four states later – the initial Tie The Knot goal of realizing full federal marriage equality was accomplished in June 2015. Same-sex couples across the country can marry in all 50 states and have their marriages recognized. 

Yet, there is still more work to do. In over thirty states, LGBTQ Americans lack federal protections in the workplace and are denied equal housing protection. Over 50% of LGBTQ Americans live in a state where they may be denied services based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Of the 1.6 million homeless youth in the United States, 40% identify as LGBTQ (compared to 7% of the general youth population) and an overwhelming majority name being ‘forced out’ or ‘ran away’ due to family conflict as the reason for their homelessness.

Tie The Knot has rededicated itself to advocating for comprehensive federal protections nationwide and LGBTQ equality around the world by financially supporting front-line organizations fighting for equality and human rights.

It's partnership with The Tie Bar offers a fun and innovative way for all Americans can support the LGBTQ community. $20 of every $25 Tie The Knot bow tie purchase at The Tie Bar (and $30 of every $35) is donated back to the organization so it can continue its new mission advocating for LGBTQ equality around the globe.

NLSLA Celebrates Just Neighbors 2016: Stronger Together

On Sunday, September 25, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County brought together community advocates, collaborative partners, government officials, family, and friends for their annual Just Neighbors event to celebrate NLSLA's innovative and transformative advocacy over the past year and to garner support for increased access to justice for LA County's underserved communities.

In NLSLA's 51st year, this year's theme, We March On: Stronger Together, celebrates the organization's commitment to serving the diverse communities throughout the county effected by poverty by providing its services expanding access to health, housing, opportunity, and justice.

NLSLA honored Dr. Mitch Katz, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, for his leadership and vision, which is changing lives, transforming communities, and revolutionizing the delivery of health services in the nation's second largest health system. 

California Senator Robert Hertzberg presented the John M. Langston Bar Association with NLSLA's Legal Excellence Award for its unwavering commitment to providing pro bono help to underserved communities in South Los Angeles, ensuring people benefit from criminal justice reforms that can improve their economic status and transform their lives.

Marta Sanchez was presented the organization's Community Service Award by LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia for her courageous leadership to protect family homes from the devastating wave of foreclosures in Los Angeles County. Marta's community advocacy efforts made national headlines as her story helped countless families throughout LA County in imminent danger of losing their homes seek help.

This year, with the support of Mogin Law Firm, NLSLA celebrated receiving a generous $515,000 Cy Pres Award, which will help NLSLA continue its mission to combat the effects of poverty and expand access to health, housing, opportunity, and justice in Los Angeles' diverse neighborhoods.

The Just Neighbors event highlighted one of NLSLA's impactful programs: the Veterans Initiative. NLSLA’s Veterans Initiative is a collaborative effort to address veterans’ legal needs and increase their access to VA benefits and support services. Many veterans received undesirable discharges for behaviors later identified as part of PTSD or other service-related trauma. In Los Angeles County, thousands of veterans are potentially eligible for VA benefits and discharge upgrades, and NLSLA is leading the charge to assist the veteran community in these matters.

Visit NLSLA.org for more information.