CLEARWATER, FL – On Saturday, December 3, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected Community Tampa Bay as the non-profit partner to receive a grant of $25,000 from the Lightning Foundation to partner with its 11th Community Hero of the 2016-2017 season, Mary Jane Taylor.
Taylor, in partnership with Community Tampa Bay, will spearhead the Leadership, Empowerment, Access & Diversity (L.E.A.D.) Project, which focuses on empowering youth who identify as transgender and gender non-conforming to achieve success beyond high school, as well as engaging the broader community in awareness and inclusion of individuals who are transgender.
“In keeping with our mission to promote dialogue and cross-cultural interactions, the L.E.A.D. Project helps us bring various communities together in support of diversity and inclusion,” said Jennifer Yeagley, Executive Director of Community Tampa Bay. “We look forward to working with Mary Jane Taylor to support the goals of high school-aged transgender youth as they prepare for post-secondary education and careers,” Yeagley said.
About Community Tampa Bay: Community Tampa Bay teaches people how to have hard conversations with people who don’t look like them, or who come from different backgrounds, in an effort to create a community free from all forms of discrimination. Using the proven prejudice-reduction tactics of dialogue and cross-cultural interactions, the organization empowers people to build meaningful relationships across differences. Recognized by the United Nations for success in diversity education, Community Tampa Bay’s demonstrated results were published by the American Psychological Association in 2016. Best known for its signature youth development program ANYTOWN®, Community Tampa Bay provides diversity and cultural competence education for more than 1,000 individuals each year.
About the L.E.A.D. Project: Founded by Jefferson High School Senior, Mary Jane Taylor, the L.E.A.D. Project is designed to educate leaders in schools and businesses on the unique perspective that transgender individuals can offer to the community. The project operates under three different categories: high schools, colleges and universities, and businesses to promote the education and success of future transgender leaders.