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Fighting LGBT bullying in schools, with an assist

Community/Meta Testimony

By Adam Bink

We at the Courage Campaign Institute, of which is a project, are holding steady at #2 in the Pepsi: Refresh Everything contest to win $50,000 from Pepsi to fund our LGBT equality work. In fact, for nearly two weeks, we and Tapestry Charter School (which, as it happens, is located about 20 minutes from the house in which I grew up, in Buffalo, NY) have been slotted #1 and #2. They must have an army of kids who hear a bell everyday after lunch, drop what they’re doing, vote on their computers, vote by text message, and go buy a bottle of Pepsi from the vending machine to get extra voting codes. Like well-oiled machines, those charters.

Anyway, if you haven’t voted, please do. Three reasons why:

1) It’s nice to get some corporate moolah (with no strings attached, to boot), because

2) It saves us from having to ask folks like you to chip in to fund the projects we do, and

3) We can run projects like working on fighting bullying in schools, the Dustin Lance Black challenge, making stories like Ed and Derence’s more visible in the media, and so forth. And that makes our community more visible, which helps change hearts and minds. That’s like a three-fer, maybe a four-fer, at least!

So please vote here, every single day until the end of the month. If we’re in the top 10 on June 30th, we win! You can use your Facebook account to vote, or sign up for a Pepsi account, it’s your choice (and you can always unsubscribe if the latter at the end of the month).

You can also vote by texting our code “106897” to the number “73774” on your phone.

You can also sign up here for a daily reminder to vote for us and the rest of the four cool non-profits on the Progressive Slate, including One Colorado, which is working to enact civil unions in Colorado. You literally get a daily reminder in your inbox (make sure to check spam), click, vote, and 6 seconds later you’re done. An example of today’s that landed in my inbox is below:

Dear Adam,

This is your daily reminder to cast your votes for Courage Campaign and the Progressive Slate groups today! There are several ways you can cast your votes each day:

Get started by going to the Pepsi site and log in with your Pepsi profile in using the bar at the bottom. After you’re logged in, come back to this email and click on each of the five links below:

Having other problems? Click here to see some frequently asked questions about voting.

And if you drink Pepsi, you’re our new best friend, because that means you may have special Power Vote codes under the cap or inside the package, which are worth up to one hundred votes when you enter them. You can enter them here, or e-mail them to me and I’ll enter them.

Thanks for helping to fund this work we do together!


  • 1. Sagesse  |  June 12, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I get my reminder e-mail and vote every day.

  • 2. Kate  |  June 12, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Adam, when I clicked on one of the "Recent Comments" on the right-hand side of the page, it takes me to the thread in which the comment is posted but not to the post itself, as it used to do. Any tips?

  • 3. adambink  |  June 12, 2011 at 8:52 am

    No. I'll add it to the list.

  • 4. Ann S.  |  June 12, 2011 at 8:25 am


  • 5. Sagesse  |  June 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Ronnie, so nice to hear from you!

  • 6. _BK_  |  June 12, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Okay… hopefully this comment works… I have been trying for days to post a comment as a guest, but signed up for IntenseDebate today. Crossing my fingers.

  • 7. _BK_  |  June 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

    It worked! Now to post relevant material…

    It's great that CC is number 2! Let's keep it up!

  • 8. Bob  |  June 12, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Ronnie,,,,, sooooooooo glad for a post from you,,,,, been waiting toooo long thanks for the video,,, hope everything is good for you,,,,,, maybe you're settled in a new apartment by now,,,, hugs to mom and lWoody

  • 9. Ronnie  |  June 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

    This is the America NOM et al (including some of their HBT's that are posting on this blog) is creating & the pure hate they perpetuate…..

    Basu: Iowa teen moves forward after family dumps him

    Ben Alley was homeless at 16yo. Not because he lost his home in a natural disaster. Not because of foreclosure, unemployment, etc. He was homeless at 16yo because he is gay. He is now 18yo and has no loving parents to speak of, not because his parents are dead but because (like the article states) he is dead to his Southern Baptist parents.

    "At age 10 he was told by his mom that he didn't deserve to live anymore, after she caught him experimenting with a boy the same age. Later, when he fought depression, counselors told Ben, "You've been taught to hate everything you are."

    That is what NOM et al perpetuates. They don't promote "protecting children". They promote hating your LGBT children. They promote attacking your LGBT children. 35- 40% of the youth runaway & homeless population of NY identifies as LGBT & there over 200,000 runaway & homeless LGBT youth nationwide. NOM & the rest of their ilk are not protecting those children, they are harming those children by fostering & spreading religious based bigotry, hatred, & demonizing/dehumanizing propaganda.

    Because of the kindness of strangers, Ben has a chance at a future. No thanks to his biological heterosexual "man – woman" parents who abandoned their own son, their or flesh & blood. Ben is a survivor & was able to stay in school & graduated with a 3.25 GPA. The parents of Ben's friend took him in & cared for him as if he were their own son. He also had the support of other openly gay students. He restarted a GSA in his school. Ben is on his way to getting a college education at the University of Iowa, & thanks to the Matthew Shepard & First Friday Breakfast Club scholarships, Ben has the funds to cover that college education.

    The article ends with this:
    "Anyone who has wondered about the value of role models should have been there that day. So should Bob Vander Plaats and every politician using race or sexual orientation in their campaigns to spread hatred, fear and divisions. They would have seen that it can't win."

    Maggie Gallagher etc. should be ashamed of themselves. The right side of history is Equality, PERIOD…..<3…Ronnie

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