At this unique cultural moment of political divisiveness and hateful rhetoric, the need for our work is greater than ever.
- FBI reports show anti-gay hate crimes are significantly higher since 2017.
- 24% of South Florida gay youth attempt suicide, compared to 6% of their heterosexual peers in high schools. The national overall youth suicide rate has also alarmingly increased.
- 72% of South Florida middle and high school students hear anti-gay and gender-stereotyped slurs on a weekly or more frequent basis, impacting all youth.
YES Institute is taking strategic steps in the coming year to increase our visibility and maximize our reach. This is a critical moment to invest in and contribute to this important work. Donate today so that YES Institute has the resources to meet these demands. Your contribution does make a difference and does save lives.
2019 SPRING BREAKTHROUGH RESULTS
THE FUTURE – INNOVATING TO EXPAND OUR IMPACT
Shaping Judicial Rulings in Florida and Beyond.
Challenge – Florida judges were routinely denying name and gender marker changes.
Result – Hon. Sarah Zabel and Hon. Scott Bernstein had YES Institute present powerful education and family testimonies to 50 state Judges at the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges. Formerly resistant Judges are now granting motions or deferring to their affirming colleagues.
Breakthrough Result – YES Institute is now invited to present to 150 judges from across the US, including Supreme Court judges, at the Racial & Ethnic Fairness in the Courts Conference, May 2019.
Doing Work in Faith Communities No Other Organization is Accomplishing.
Challenge – Conservative religious leaders still struggle with including gay and transgender people in their faith traditions and pastoral care.
Result – Rabbi Rachel Greengrass of Temple Beth Am had YES Institute present to the Rabbinic Association of Greater Miami, and secured commitments from Rabbinical leaders to utilize YES Institute resources to support Jewish families.
Breakthrough Result – MCCJ, an 80-year-old Miami institution working in religious communities, wants to partner with YES Institute to foster a local movement engaged in meaningful conversations on the topics of gay and transgender youth with people of diverse cultural, political, and religious perspectives.
YES Institute First and Only Provider Accredited for Early Childhood Education.
Challenge – Pre-school teachers were receiving no training or education on how to handle questions from 4 year-olds such as: “How come Sally has two Dads?”, “Marcus is a boy and can’t play with dolls!”
Result – The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade & Monroe has contracted with YES Institute as the sole gender and orientation subject matter expert educators.
Breakthrough Result – YES Institute is now presenting to state-wide conferences across Florida.
Challenge – South Florida schools had no research-based study to refer to that had measured specifically anti-gay bullying incidents.
Result – We published the first study of its kind using 7,000 student surveys in Florida, highlighting the urgency of addressing this crisis, which is linked to school shooting prevention.
Breakthrough Result – The Florida Department of Education took notice, invited YES Institute to create a bullying prevention curriculum tied to Florida standards. Plans for 2019 include a pilot curriculum implementation in Miami-Dade middle and high schools.
Primed for Big Impact in Healthcare and Foster Care Systems Across South Florida
Challenge – Citrus Health Network was experiencing an increase in negative patient complaints.
Result – Their inclusion rating for gay and transgender patients increased from 49% to 70% after YES Institute trainings. Citrus updated their patient intake forms, electronic health records, and changed patient care restroom and bed placement policies to be more inclusive to gay, transgender and gender non-binary populations.
Breakthrough Result – Citrus Health Network is now a model for other large healthcare organizations approaching us.
Voices From Our Community
“I was scared for my son. He’s been in and out of the hospital since coming out to the family. I am so grateful for the education and support we have gotten from YES Institute. Now I am confident that my son will live and be happy.” –Father of 16-year-old youth
“I finally have hope! Addressing the cause of bullying instead of applying a punitive model can begin to curb the problem in our school.” –Middle school teacher
“This session changed my life. Now I can say that I am proud of my gay son. Never in a million years did I think I would say that.” –Mother of high school youth
“Prior to this dialogue, I did not accept gay or transgender people. Today I learned how I can accept people for who they are, not judge them, and how I can play a part in keeping them alive.” –Counseling student, St. Thomas University
“While these topics go against my beliefs, I now see how I can help keep a child alive and families connected. Thank you for teaching me how to listen, and for opening my heart.” –Pediatric psychologist
The majority of our work is in organizations that serve the most at-risk youth and families in South Florida – Title 1 Schools, Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers, Federal Poverty communities, and Child Welfare. The public health organizations YES Institute has newly partnered with are demanding to know what YES Institute can provide in 6 months to a year from now, as their training calendars, medical education, and school calendar planning for 2019-2020 is occurring right now.