North Jersey Pride, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting equality, awareness, and understanding in the upper Garden State will be awarding the inaugural “Outstanding Ally Award” at its fourth annual Pride Festival on Sunday, June 8. The award will go to Joseph and Jane Clementi, founders of the Tyler Clementi Foundation.
The “Outstanding Ally Award” honors allies in our community who have demonstrated true leadership in helping to create a world that is equal for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. By continuing to share their own personal story about the loss of their son Tyler, who died by suicide following a cyber-bullying incident during his freshman year of college at Rutgers, the Clementis are spreading a message of love and acceptance for LGBTQ people.
“We are constantly astounded by Joseph and Jane Clementi’s resilience and courage in using their unique experience to make the world a safer and more accepting place for LGBTQ people,” said C.J. Prince, Executive Director of North Jersey Pride. “It is our pleasure to bestow our first-ever ‘Outstanding Ally Award’ to these heroes who are making a huge strides in combatting bullying.”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation promotes safe, inclusive and respectful social environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for vulnerable youth, LGBT youth and their allies. Through educational partnerships, research, public dialogues and awareness programs, the organization fosters empathetic, constructive discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families at all levels of society.
“It is a privilege and honor to be recognized by North Jersey Pride as an Outstanding Ally for our work at The Tyler Clementi Foundation,” said Joseph and Jane Clementi. “It is our desire to continue conversations that promote acceptance and civil rights, so that all social environments will be safe and respectful for the most vulnerable among us, especially LGBT youth.”
The North Jersey Pride Festival is a family-friendly event that brings together LGBTQ and straight ally individuals, couples and families from all over the state to celebrate diversity, equality and love. North Jersey Pride will present the award to the Clementis on stage at the Memorial Park Amphitheater in Maplewood during the course of a full afternoon of live entertainment featuring X Factor top 10 finalist, Bea Miller, De’Borah from Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, the alt-country-all-female rockers, Antigone Rising, Scott Nevins of Bravo’s The People’s Couch, and more.
In the week leading up to Pride Festival, North Jersey Pride is also producing numerous other LGBTQ themed events as part of the overall celebration of Pride Week 2014. The Tyler Clementi Foundation is co-sponsoring the June 4presentation by motivational speaker Scott Fried, on how parents can help their children navigate adolescence. Jane Clementi will introduce the program.