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OutCasting Update
December 2016             

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Hi, folks —

It's been a busy fall at OutCasting.  On the positive side, our major project, along with the normal work of producing broadcast programs and OffAir content, has been a big recruitment drive for our home studio in Westchester County, New York.  As I wrote to you earlier, Sydney, one of our long-term OutCasters, left for Smith College at the end of the summer, and our group was down to four.  We hadn't done a big recruitment drive for a couple of years because there tends to be a lot of internal pollination — students tell their friends, their friends join, the friends tell their friends, etc.  But with just four OutCasters left, our treasured assistant producer, Alex Mintz, and I spent much of the fall working to bring in new people by organizing and carrying out visits to several high schools in the area, and we now have a group of about 15, with more expected in the coming weeks.  This is the largest group we've ever had and it's very exciting.  This growth will enable us to increase the number of programs we can produce because we can now have several teams, each working on a separate episode; once we reach monthly production, we will start our work to increase the number of stations that carry OutCasting.

We've also had media coverage of our new bureau at Michigan State.  Have a look (and listen) at the Press page at OutCastingMedia.org.

The negative side, of course, is the result of the election.  The election has left our kids scared, as it has for many LGBTQ people and other minorities.  At our session the day after Election Day, our OutCasting youth came in with stories about how people were inconsolable, crying and hugging each other at school earlier that day.  Our December 1 OutCasting OffAir features four of our new OutCasters — Dhruv, Callie, Alex, and Emma — talking about the dangers that may lie ahead, including increased and legitimized discrimination and re-legitimization of the widely discredited practice of reparative therapy.  Have a listen.

For our youth participants, OutCasting is an oasis, a safe space where they can make friends with similar interests and discuss their LGBTQ identities and the issues they face.  It empowers them by enabling them to explore and research these issues and talk about them to an audience reached by the more than 45 public radio stations that carry OutCasting.  It helps them to grow into their identities with self-assurance and pride.

Many of you are one-time donors, and we hope that you'll renew your support to OutCasting.  No mistake: people who give once are greatly appreciated.  But one-time gifts don't provide the ongoing financial support that keeps a nonprofit organization strong.

Every time I talk with people about OutCasting, I hear the same phrases: "the right thing at the right time," and more recently, "What you're doing is needed now more than ever."  People want to support the kids and the work we're doing with them.

So as 2016 draws to a close, we ask you renew your tax-deductible support to Media for the Public Good, the nonprofit that produces OutCasting, and to consider a stretch gift.  You can set up automatic monthly support through Network for Good, billed automatically every month to your credit card.  We are a small organization and we're working to expand, something that won't be possible unless we can convert from volunteer to paid staffing.  This is a big step, and as we approach institutional funders, having a core of support from individuals is essential.  Can you make an automatic recurring payment of $10 a month, or $20, $50, $100, or even more?  These recurring gifts ensure a steady stream of income to support our work, and we very much need you to participate.

We also hope you'll follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, and tell your friends.

Thank you so much.  And happy holidays to you and your family.

All my best,

Marc

PS  If you haven't seen it yet, check out the video we use in our recruitment of young people to work on OutCasting!
Make your year-end donation to support LGBTQ youth NOW!
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