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Youth Task Force sets out to create change

The Sacramento LGBTQ Youth Task Force, led by Sacramento City College student, Spencer Douglas, is a grassroots regional youth organization consisting of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied youth, middle school to college level, along with adult partners from the community.

Douglas and his band of dedicated youth leaders are focused on getting youth, middle school to college level, to “take charge in creating change for the LGBT community, especially in their schools”.

Douglas formed the Youth Task Force Spring of 2012, soon after graduating from McClatchy High School last year. He served three years as McClatchy’s highly successful Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) President.

In describing what the Task Force mission is, Douglas said, “We aim to use the innovative youth voice to develop new programs, methods, and approaches to dealing with LGBT issues among youth in a rapidly changing environment. Through our work, we would like to develop a model of programs, policies, that can be put in place where it is needed, and hopefully inspire other youth leaders to create similar groups elsewhere.”

From the very beginning, Douglas hit the ground running by working on setting up collaborations with Mental Health America, the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, Sacramento Pride Festival, B.R.A.V.E. Society (a local bullying awareness non-profit), Gender Health Center, Sacramento City Unified School District LGBTQ Youth Support Services, and other non-profits and civic organizations.

The list of projects leaders of the Task Force are currently working on is nothing short of impressive. Just a few items on their list to accomplish is helping to reduce bullying in schools and the community, support other youth-focused organizations, create a youth mentoring program, help to establish an LGBTQA resource center, and many others.

Currently Douglas and his Youth Task Force leaders are hard at work organizing a youth event they are calling, “Expressions” for youth after the Sacramento Capitol Pride Festival, Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Beatnik Studios. Working with the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, the Task Force is making their dance party an official Pride event.

“Every year after pride the older crowd goes off to the clubs to have a great time and dance the night away. Our youth have nowhere else to celebrate and dance later in the evening. We wanted to create a fun and safe event they too can “express” themselves. I am hoping we can get enough support in the community to pull this off,” Douglas explained.

Already, Jeremy Fristoe and Infinite Entertainment, who provides DJ and sound services for Sacramento Capitol Pride Festival, signed on to provide Spencer and his Task Force a DJ and sound equipment for their Expressions event.

“We love what we do and are just honored to have the chance to play and use our talents for something positive in the community. We are always giving when it comes to the kids. And this is a great idea for a great cause and I applaud them," said Fristoe.

The Sacramento LGBTQ Youth Task Force is well-attended by dedicated youth activists and adult supporters but they are always looking for youth who would like to participate in something they can be proud of, have fun, and work on their leadership and communication skills. In addition, adult guidance as well as financial support is desperately needed to help carry out their aggressive agenda.

For more information about the Task Force, learn when their meetings are, or to offer support, contact Spencer Douglas at SacYouthTaskForce@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page HERE

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