headerEach year, GLSEN Hudson Valley celebrates Ally Week, October 19 – 23, 2009 by encouraging Gay-Straight Alliances to identify and support members of their school community who help end anti-LGBT bias and harassment.

alliesLR1The chapter recognizes allies in the larger community through the presentation of Ally Awards. What is an Ally? Often referred to as “straight allies,” allies generally are non-LGBT people who are committed to ending bias and discrimination against LGBT people. While straight allies are an integral part of GLSEN’s Ally Week, the term “ally” is more inclusive within the Safe Schools Movement to refer to anyone who supports ending anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.

For instance, a bisexual adult can be an ally to LGBT students, and a lesbian student can be an ally to a transgender student.GLSEN Hudson Valley has announced the full list of 2009 Ally Award recipients for helping to ensure safe and respectful environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning youth.

The honorees for the 2009 GLSEN Hudson Valley Ally Awards are:

* Frank Pepe, Superintendent of Arlington Central School District
* PFLAG Kingston
* Diane Reeder, Director, The Queens Galley Food Pantry
* Marie Anderson, Principal, Kingston High School
* Pam Parker, Volunteer, Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center

Previous recipients of GLSEN Hudson Valley Ally Awards include:

* Krista Barringer, Ulster County Youth Bureau Director
* Maureen Bowers, Trustee, Kingston City School District Board of Education
* The Poughkeepsie Journal
* Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie
* Hudson Valley Parent Magazine
* Ulster County BOCES
* Sandy Stones, singer/songwriter

The Ally Awards will be presented at the Ally Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at Stone Hedge Restaurant in West Park, NY. Tickets are $45 for adults, $20 for students. To inquire about ticket availability and purchasing tickets to this event, please contact GLSEN Hudson Valley at ulsterny@chapters.glsen.org