NEW YORK, NY, October 2, 2012 - The National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Women's Basketball Association (WNBA), Major League Soccer (MLS), the New York Stock Exchange, Times Square and Facebook will join hundreds of celebrities, corporations, news outlets and schools, as well as millions of Americans in wearing purple for Spirit Day on October 19 in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, GLAAD announced today.
Supporters are encouraged to take the Spirit Day pledge at glaad.org/spiritday
The NBA, WNBA and MLS will participate through their social media channels. The iconic New York Stock Exchange will light up in purple for Spirit Day, and the Thomson Reuters screen in Times Square will turn purple throughout the day on October 19. Facebook will go purple on select national pages and circulate information about Spirit Day to its employees globally.
GLAAD and Toyota Financial Services today also launched the "Go Purple for #SpiritDay powered by Toyota Financial Services" apps for iPhone and Android. The apps provide users with anti-bullying resources, calls to action, and a tool that can turn photos purple and share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The free apps are now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. To download, visit:glaad.org/spiritday/app
"Everyone at Toyota Financial Services, and across the Toyota family, is proud and excited to be a part of this year's Spirit Day," said Ann Bybee, Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Communications & Community Relations. "Going purple for the day is a small but powerful way we can all show our support for those who have been bullied or who fear being bullied. It is so important to raise awareness that bullying isn't acceptable. At Toyota, we have always embraced a guiding principle of 'respect for people,' which has made us the company we are today. And it is a principle that includes not only our employees and customers, but everyone, without exception."
GLAAD also launched the '19 Days of Action,' a countdown to Spirit Day that provides supporters with one simple action they can take daily to combat bullying. More information and a list of actions is available atglaad.org/spiritday or on the "Go Purple for #SpiritDay powered by Toyota Financial Services" apps for iPhone and Adroid.
Previously announced participants include TV icon George Takei, NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, star of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars Shay Mitchell, daytime talk show host of The Wendy Williams Show, Wendy Williams, and Nickelodeon's Avan Jogia, who will join LGBT advocates Jordan Addison, Shane Bitney Crone, Brittany McMillan, Tiq Milan, Janet Mock, Jennifer Tyrrell, and Zach Wahls as Spirit Day Ambassadors.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation's second largest school district with more than 640,000 students in over 900 schools, will participate by sharing information about Spirit Day with students on its website and through its social media channels. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) will also participate through social media.
Corporations including AMC Entertainment, AT&T, atelier-lb, Caesars Foundation, Carat, Citi, Delta Air Lines, Draftfcb, Digitas, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard Company, Johnnye's East Texas Soul, LBNY, Leo Burnett Business, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Marquee Las Vegas, MediaVest, Omnicom Group, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Publicis Groupe, Saatchi & Saatchi, Southern California Edison, Toyota Financial Services, Warner Bros., Yahoo! and Zenith Optimedia will also participate in Spirit Day. Participating companies will distribute information to employees about wearing purple and/or turn their logo purple on October 19.
Other participating national landmarks include the LAX Pylon Lights and the JFK traffic tower, both of which will turn purple on October 19.
Local and national groups and organizations including the BULLY Project; Campus Pride; CenterLink; Equality Texas; Fair Wisconsin; FriendFactor; Forum for Equality; the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN); GSA Network; Human Rights Campaign (HRC); the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); the National Bullying Prevention Center by PACER; the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC); Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Reaching Out MBA; Straight But Not Narrow; The Trevor Project; and Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) will all participate by wearing purple on October 19, turning their social media channels purple, and encouraging members to participate.
In 2010, teenager Brittany McMillan called on her friends to wear purple as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives to bullying. With GLAAD's help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN's Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.
"Showing support for your friends, family and teachers can make all the difference in the world to young LGBT people, whether they are going through a tough time or not," said 17-year-old McMillan. "This year, Spirit Day is going to be bigger and better than ever, and I'm so thrilled to be going purple alongside some of my favorite celebrities, as well as millions of others in a united stand against bullying."
"By going purple for Spirit Day, millions of Americans are helping to send a clear message that no one should be bullied simply because of who they are," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
Among those who participated in 2011: hosts of the Today Show, Good Morning America, Live! With Regis & Kelly, The View, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and ABC World News; celebrities including Tyra Banks, Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, and Oprah Winfrey; corporations like AT&T, Goldman Sachs, Facebook, MTV, and NBCUniversal; and national landmarks including Times Square, LAX, and the White House.
About GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.