Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox to light Empire State Building in purple for Spirit Day and National Bullying Prevention Month

October 9, 2014

Seth Adam
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018
seth@glaad.org

NEW YORK, NY – On behalf of GLAAD and Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER), Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox will light the iconic Empire State Building in purple on October 16, 2014, in recognition of Spirit Day and National Bullying Prevention Month.

Cox will be joined by GLAAD and youth featured in the new documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word,” which will premiere on MTV and Logo TV on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7pm ET/PT.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month when students, schools, and communities come together to raise awareness and show support for those who have been bullied. This high-profile national event was launched in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center (PACER.org/Bullying) to raise awareness that bullying is a serious issue and people need to take action. It is now supported by hundreds of schools, countless students, major corporations and celebrities, and PACER’s efforts have spawned an international bullying prevention movement.

"National Bullying Prevention Month, which PACER initiated in 2006, was created to show those students being bullied that they are not alone and that communities care,” said Paula Goldberg Executive Director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “Lighting the Empire State Building in support of Spirit Day and this important month makes a powerful statement to young people across the U.S. that there are people all over the world who support them and want to prevent bullying."

Spirit Day, which will take place on October 16, inspires millions to wear purple or “go purple” online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Each year, Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals. Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its national partners PepsiCo and Wells Fargo, as well as official partners Comcast-NBCUniversal and Google, and supporting partner American Eagle Outfitters.

“By recognizing National Bullying Prevention Month and lighting in purple for Spirit Day, the world’s most famous office building is supporting countless kids across the world,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “At a time when eight in 10 LGBT youth are harassed at school, it’s critical that we let them know it’s okay to be who you are.”

"Bullying was an unfortunate part of my daily reality growing up in Alabama,” said actress and advocate Laverne Cox. “I am committed to doing what I can so that young people don't have to go through what I did.  All of our children need to feel safe to be themselves at home, school and in our communities.”

For the fourth year in a row, MTV, Logo TV and mtvU will turn all its on-air and online logos purple to celebrate Spirit Day. In addition, Viacom’s Times Square screens will turn purple and run anti-bullying messages throughout the day. Emerge, Viacom’s LGBT affinity group, will also host a screening of “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word” with Cox and the transgender youth featured in the documentary on Spirit Day.

For more information about Spirit Day, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday.

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About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBT equality. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to positive change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

About PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. PACER offers tools to address bullying in schools, the community, and online. For more information, visit PACER.org/Bullying.

About the Empire State Building: Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, and the Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions as the region’s #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.empirestatebuilding.com, www.facebook.com/empirestatebuilding, @EmpireStateBldg, www.instagram.com/empirestatebldg, www.youtube.com/esbnyc or www.pinterest.com/empirestatebldg