UA Doctoral Student to Attend Dinner with Biden
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A second year doctoral student from The University of Alabama School of Social Work will attend a dinner with Vice President Joe Biden honoring the nation’s emerging LGBT leaders.
Sarah Young, a second-year Ph.D. student, was nominated to attend by leaders at the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, Mass. Young will attend the “end of summer barbeque” Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the home of Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.
According to the White House Office of Public Engagement, the dinner will offer invitees the chance to meet other emerging LGBT leaders, build networks and “learn about what the Administration is doing for the community.”
Young co-founded the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition during her time as New Voices Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. She is an instructor at Mississippi State University and is on the board for Equality Alabama.
In 2011 Young was selected as a Point Foundation Scholar, one of 16 graduate students in the nation selected and the first for The University of Alabama. During the summer of 2012, Young was selected as one of three national Palette Fund interns, obtaining a small grant to examine Safe Schools Coalition work in the South while interning with the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“My passion is making schools and communities safer and more inclusive for LGBT youth,” Young said. “For me, this means empowering youth to change their schools and share their stories, and advocating for policy at the local, state and national levels. My passion in particular is doing this work in the South.
“Since I moved to Mississippi in 2008, I’ve seen a real movement toward social justice and equality for LGBTQ people,” Young added. “Youth, especially, are coming out, asserting their rights, and allies are speaking out against LGBTQ oppression. The South is more diverse and more resourceful with regard to LGBTQ rights than other regions give us credit for. If youth are empowered and have space to learn and grow in a supportive environment, they are the best advocates for themselves and their peers.”
During her tenure with the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, she helped the organization obtain a grant from the Queer Youth Fund ($100,000 over three years), helped organize a state-wide LGBTQ inclusive prom that was attended by more than 500 people in Tupelo and the group has conducted more than 100 trainings state-wide.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.