Metro Weekly

DC Center Honors Advocates for Youth

LGBT Center's Youth Working Group to honor Riden, Graham for efforts to support LGBT youth

The DC Center, the District’s major LGBT community center, will honor Maggie Riden of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) and Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) at its 2014 Youth Working Group Reception today at Mova Lounge.

The Youth Working Group, which focuses on issues of importance to LGBT youth, including bullying, dating abuse, foster care, social interaction and skills building, is honoring Riden and Graham for their efforts in promoting and working with other advocates for youth to craft policy related to how the District deals with homeless LGBT teens. As a result of their efforts, the D.C. Council unanimously passed the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Reform Act, which expands available beds for homeless youth and seeks to link them with needed counseling and services aimed at reuniting homeless youth with their families.

”The DC Center’s Youth Working Group awards Councilmember Graham as an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in honor of his years of service to lift up the most marginalized in our District from both sides of the dais,” Dr. Eddy Ameen, the chair of the Youth Working Group, said in a statement released by Graham’s office. ”We are especially grateful for the way he collaborated with community members and shepherded the recent passage of the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Reform Act.”

”I am honored by the recognition, which makes me more determined to address all of the issues of youth and chronic homelessness,” Graham said in a statement.

Riden, speaking with Metro Weekly, called the award ”a tremendous honor.”

”There are so many people all over the city who give their time doing good work on behalf of D.C.’s youth,” she said, ”and to be acknowledged by The DC Center is really incredible.”

The DC Center’s Youth Working Group Reception is Tuesday, March 11, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Mova Lounge, 2204 14th St. NW. Tickets are $10 per person, and can be purchased online at thedccenter.org.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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