NEW BALANCE AND GLSEN RENEW THEIR MULTIYEAR RELATIONSHIP TO CHAMPION INCLUSIVITY VIA SAFE LOCKER ROOMS FOR LGBTQIA+ STUDENT ATHLETES
New Balance builds on its commitment beginning in 2019, by increasing funding to expand
GLSEN’s Changing the Game program, aiming to impact 1 million student athletes around the world
Boston (June 24, 2022) — As part of its multiyear commitment to GLSEN, a U.S.-based organization working to end discrimination, harassment and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and to encourage LGBTQIA+ cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools, New Balance will increase its investment in the Changing the Game program within the U.S. and expand beyond the United States with a $600,000 commitment over the next three years aiming to impact 1 million students.
According to the 2019 GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 43.7% of LGBTQIA+ students avoided locker rooms, and 40.2% avoided physical education or gym class entirely. In response, GLSEN enlisted New Balance to support its Changing the Game program, which was established in 2011 to create inclusive, encouraging, safer spaces for student athletes. The program’s mission and resources assist schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all students, teachers and coaches, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Together, since 2019, New Balance and Changing the Game have impacted more than 91,000 students and trained 154 school administrators on how to create supportive school environments for student athletes using the program’s resources and curriculum.
“We believe it is our responsibility to support the communities in which we operate and those who are most vulnerable to inequity,” said Jeff McAdams, VP of global marketing. “With our renewed and expanded commitment to GLSEN’s Changing the Game program, we pledge to keep working toward a world where LGBTQIA+ youth feel safe, supported and able to show up as they are in locker rooms and sporting environments around the globe.”
With global expansion in mind, New Balance and GLSEN will increase Changing the Game’s staffing and enhance the educational resources available in key areas within the U.S., Canada and the U.K. throughout 2022 and 2023. Looking ahead to 2024 and 2025, New Balance and GLSEN will expand the
program’s reach to include non-English-speaking countries, where resources specific to different markets’ needs will be developed.
“Our work to protect and represent LGBTQIA+ students is more urgent than ever,” said Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, GLSEN’s Executive Director. “With New Balance’s support, we’ll be able to help more LGBTQIA+ students feel included and supported in the classroom and in the locker room."
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. Manufactured in the U.S. for more than 75 years and representing a limited portion of our U.S. sales, New Balance MADE U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 7,000 associates around the globe, and in 2021 reported worldwide sales of $4.4 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com.
To learn more about New Balance’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts and commitments, visit here.
GLSEN exists to create safe and inclusive schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression because no child should have to choose between their wellbeing and an education. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over three decades of work, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators at www.glsen.org.
To learn more about the 2019 GLSEN National School Climate Survey, visit glsen.org.
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