Are you accessing our story from a NYC public school? Try watching our video on Vimeo.
Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now is comprised of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at P.S. 364, The Earth School in New York City. During the 2014-2015 school year, our class was studying rights movements (e.g. African American Civil Rights, Latino Rights, Women’s Rights, Native American Rights, LGBT rights). We used several web resources for our research including BrainPOP.com, an educational website with animated videos, articles, and activities on a variety of topics.
A student researching LGBT rights noticed that BrainPOP had videos on several rights movements, but not LGBT rights. She wrote an email to BrainPOP asking why there was not a video on LGBT rights and requested that a video be made. The company said that they would pass along the suggestion.
Unsatisfied, students formed a group during the 2015-2016 school year called “Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now” and embarked on a journey to stand up for civil rights. The group began by requesting a meeting with BrainPOP. How did BrainPOP initially respond? Read “Hello, BrainPOP?” to learn more.
When it became evident that BrainPOP was unwilling to move forward with a video on LGBT history and civil rights, the kids began a campaign to persuade BrainPOP and its subscribers that it was still the right thing to do. In the spring of 2016, Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now published the action video featured above. The video was shared on social media and garnered support from the Department of Education’s LGBTQ Liaison Jared Fox and members of the New York City Council, led by city council member Daniel Dromm.
On June 13, 2016, following the tragic shootings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, BrainPOP announced plans to address its lack of significant LGBT rights content. BrainPOP promised a new “LGBT topic” for the 2016-2017 school year that “addresses the historic Gay Rights movement and encourages tolerance and acceptance.”
On June 21, 2016, the New York City Council presented Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now with an official proclamation honoring their work for civil rights.
On Harvey Milk Day (May 22, 2017) BrainPOP published a new video on Harvey Milk and LGBT civil rights. Kids 4 LGBT Rights fought for this change because they believe that all children should have access to civil rights history. Their campaign is an example of the continuing contributions of young people in changing their world for the better.