ANNOUNCING LPP’S PHASE 2!

At the end of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Gala Weekend, we would like to debut our second Phase of the Project!

As can be viewed on the blog page PHASE 2 Groups on Board, we have already welcomed 8 groups on board to this initiative and we are eager to build a new beautiful chart and map of our new groups!

As the instrument of Phase 2: Hate Crime Prevention Education, the Matthew Shepard Foundation has generously allowed us to utilize the most recent report of cases convicted and prosecuted under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act.

The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2009. James Byrd Jr. was a victim of a racially-motivated hate crime that occurred in 1998. In a terrifying act of violence, the African-American man was tied by three perpetrators to a vehicle, which they then drove around, horrifically injuring and eventually murdering Byrd.
The work of the foundation is to ensure this act is upheld. We are grateful that the families of James and Matthew are creating legacies of equality.
The report can be accessed on the Foundation’s website at this link.
All future LPP groups will be assigned an event described in the report. We encourage our groups to educate their casts and audiences about this hate crime.
While this Phase will have more instances of education rather than memorializing, as many of these hate crime victims are still living, we still ask that our groups perform in honor of the victim of the hate crime, and with the intention of fighting for justice.
There are 36 cases that will be utilized in this Phase of the LPP.

Registration for the LPP is always available on our site on the page “Get Started.” We look forward to embarking on this journey to explore the impact of Hate Crimes Legislation. We remind grateful for the activists who are fighting for an end to this violence.

Please note that if you are prospective group and you wish to honor a member of the Pulse shooting for any reason, we would be happy to welcome you on to Phase 1. Please register on our Get Started page and email us at actingout4peace@gmail.com to explain what you wish.

We are enthralled to continue our initiative. Thank you so much for remaining a friend of the LPP!

With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

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Our LPP Pin Shop is NOW OPEN!

At this link you can find our new shop!

Please allow one week for shipping, as we are operating out of our team leader’s house!

Make sure to take pics with your LPP pin wherever you go, and share them with us on social media!

Maybe we’ll even have a contest to see who takes the best LPP pin pic…

Much Love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

9/30 – This week in the LPP – October Events, Fighting for Ally Steinfield, Pins shop, and more

Hello, artist-activists! While the LPP Team Class of 2018 celebrates the return to GCIT, the Project continues on.

LPP Local:
October is a big month for the LPP. We have four upcoming LPPs definitively planned.

Downeaster Theatre
Lansing, MI
Honoring Enrique L. Rios, Jr.
Oct 6-8, 10

Overbrook High School Troupe 6052
Benefitting The Dru Project
Pine Hill, NJ
Honoring Edward Sotomayor, Jr., as well as Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen
Please contact LPP Team Leader at our Project email for more information
Oct 11

PFLAG Collingswood and the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill, NJ
Honoring Luis Daniel Conde
Oct 15

Glencoe High School Thespian Troupe 7125
Hillsboro, OR
Honoring The Families of the Victims of the Pulse Shooting
Oct 21-22, 28-29

Marymount Manhattan College
New York, NY
Honoring The Surviving Partners of the Victims of the Pulse Shooting
Oct 27-29

There are two other events from two other states tentatively occurring this month!

Our Calendar of Events page is always available to see what LPPs are happening around you!

LPP General:
Registration is always available at this link. While we are approaching the day where we will have all of the names assigned to a group, we will begin to maneuver names that have not yet been honored to the groups with upcoming performances. No matter what, if you have registered, you will remain on our list of participants, and will receive a name to honor, whether it be from Phase 1 or Phase 2.

LPP USA:
A terrible hate crime occurred recently. A trans teen, Ally Steinfield, was tortured and murdered. However, the Missouri police are not considering a hate crime. This is unacceptable–the murder was most definitely a hate crime.
This article, while it can be very upsetting, shares more about the murder and the response.
Transgender women are at a daily risk of violence. This is why we are creating this network of Laramies–to call out these horrific hate crimes and teach our communities that hate can kill.
Please spread this story among your friends and family. It is extremely disturbing, but we need to continue to spread awareness to make it clear that the fight is not over yet.

Ally Steinfield
Ally, rest in power!

LPP Pins:
The Etsy shop to buy pins will be open at the end of this weekend! Stay tuned for the link, where we will sell pins (tentatively) in lots of 5, 10, 20, or 30, for a low price.
Please allow about a week for shipping, since we are operating out of the Team Leader’s house!
Note: proceeds from the pin purchase is going toward covering the cost of designing and ordering pins. The LPP Team is not accepting personal profit from this sale.

LPP Team:
So many LPP pins were beautifully shining at the Educational Theatre Association’s event, Broadway Back to School, at 54 Below. On September 27, current Thespians, alumni, and Broadway performers came together to raise money for arts education in high school. Check out the pins on the thumbnail of this video!

LPP Team Leader Alyssa was able to meet up with four other Thespians who have been a part of the LPP at their own schools!

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Representing, clockwise, Tom’s River North High School (NJ Troupe 7455), Flushing High School (NY Troupe 7892), LPP’s Home GCIT (NJ Troupe 5480), Barnegat High School (NJ Troupe 7363), and Robbinsville High School (NJ Troupe 7161)


We’re also gearing up to represent the LPP in Colorado at Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Bear to Make Difference Gala. There, we will be able to give pins to the figures who have carried our Matthew’s legacy, including his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard. We are counting down until this incredible milestone for the team!

The team just welcomed aboard our first Florida high school to the project, and will be adding their name to the website. This means, including GCIT, there are 20 Thespian troupes on board with our project.
We perform our LPP work in honor of beautiful souls like Ally. We must use what we have–our compassionate hearts–to make a statement.

Much love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

9/2 – This week in the LPP – Happy Birthday to the LPP Team, LPP Pins Shop, Help our Texan Friends, and more

LPP Milestones:
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Top: 9/2/16, Bottom: 9/4/16

On August 31st, 2016, I pulled one of my best friends and first member of the LPP Team, Dylan, into one of the alcoves of lockers in our Drama Classroom during one of the quiet moments of our Thespian Board meeting. My drama teacher had just suggested to me that, in tandem with our own Laramie, that we united 49 productions in honor of the 49 Pulse victims. Somehow in my spilling out with this news, I stumbled upon the name The Laramie Project Project. Then, I declared: “I want Bowe and Bagby.”

One year ago today, on a ride back from a day at the shore with my best friend Julia, Dylan and I created a group chat with Kelly and Kayla. We asked them to come on board with our newfound initiative. Pretty sure the first text we got back was Kayla’s YES, and then Kelly’s Woah. I really wish I saved that chat or sceenshotted it.

That night, we hopped on Skype with Kayla, and immediately started a draft of a play about our own cyber travels, as if we could predict what they would bring. Two nights later, we Skyped Kelly and made a list of counties in New Jersey.

To the OG LPP Team–you were the first people in our lives to know about LPP, and the first to say yes.

All of our thanks to the 48 groups that have since signed on with our initiative, keeping the LPP alive, allowing us to arrive at this first birthday milestone.

LPP Local:
Soon, ANYONE can purchase an LPP pin! We are setting up an Etsy shop to sell them for a low price that will be determined soon. Updates about the shop will be coming soon.
If you get a pin, we want your pictures of #LPPAroundTheWorld! Tweet them and tag @theLPP2017, or post them on Instagram and tag @thelaramieprojectproject.

LPP USA:

We highly encourage all of our friends of the LPP to make a donation to help our Texan friends! Here is a link to an LGBTQ+ shelter in Houston, the Montrose Center.

Phase 2:
It’s our goal to be as open as possible with our LPP friends about the future of our initiative. At this point in time, it is looking like it will take one more month to launch Phase 2 of the LPP, as we close up the Pulse Memory Project.
Registration is ALWAYS open for any performance/reading at ANY time at this link.

LPP Blog:
Be sure to keep checking the LPP Calendar of events to see if there are any LPP events near you! https://actingout4peaceblog.wordpress.com/calendar-of-events/

Much love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa Sileo

8/25 – This week in the LPP

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LPP Global:

Yesterday was Marsha P. Johnson’s birthday, the mother of the modern LGBTQ+ movement. Our community owes so much to this trailblazing transgender woman. We will always remember you, Marsha, and we use our advocacy to thank you.
For more info about Marsha: https://www.out.com/out-exclusives/2017/8/24/power-people-exploring-marsha-p-johnsons-queer-liberation

LPP Blog:
Check out our new additions to the site: a page for memorial of the Pulse victims, more links and info on our Suggested Donations Page, moving the survey to the main top bar, and this exciting creation: the calendar of events! Now you can see what local LPP events are near you! https://actingout4peaceblog.wordpress.com/calendar-of-events/

LPP Online:
Check out this new piece by Alyssa Sileo, featured on HowlRound, about the journey of the LPP! http://howlround.com/the-laramie-project-project-uniting-worldwide-stages-to-spread-awareness-of-hate-crimes
Working with HowlRound has been a dream of Lyssi’s, so this is surreal!

LPP Team:
The LPP team is thrilled to announce that we have been able to connect with the Tectonic Theater Project. Our project is unaffiliated with the Tectonic Theater Project, but has the company’s spirited support, which means the world to the team members. TTP graciously shared our HowlRound article on their social media pages. We’re extremely thankful to connect with the people who created the beautiful play that started this all and has inspired lives all over the world.

The LPP Team accepts registration at all time at this page. https://actingout4peaceblog.wordpress.com/starter-kit/
While we are very much under construction, we hope to roll out more info about our new phases very soon.

Much love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa and LPP Team Member Kayla

LPP at Susquehanna Township HS

Last week, 7/29 and 7/30, LPPers at Susquehanna Township High School’s School of Theatre Arts  (Harrisburg, PA) performed The Laramie Project Project as a part of The Laramie Project Project. We are so excited that they joined us in erasing hate and sharing Matthew’s story. Check out photos from their production below!

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Did you know? Susquehanna was our first outside performance of LPP! Additionally, they were our second Pennsylvania group on board.

With love,

LPP team member Kelly

7/19: This Week in the LPP

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LGBTQ+ Global: 
The Church of England has recently strode two pivotal steps forward in the direction of a more accepting faith community for LGBTQ citizens. Two motions proposed by The General Synod have yielded positive results, one of which in favor of abolishing gay conversion therapy (a vote of 298 to 74) , the other in favor of affirming Trans Christians as true members of the church (284 to 78). These two events will undoubtedly create a more accepting environment for LGBTQ parishoners, promoting God’s love in an honest and unbiased fashion, while also setting a noble example for other churches to follow. As the kids say nowadays…England, you’re doing great sweetie.

MSF:
Here’s another beautiful example of #HonoringThemWithAction: Considering Matthew Shepard, and oratorio composed by Craig Hella Johnson and performed by Conspirare singers hailing from Texas.

LPP Local:
Check out two blogs this week about two Jersey LPP readings–past and present. Troupe 7161 at Robbinsville High School carried the LPP banner last winter, infusing The Laramie Project into the classroom.

PFLAG Collingswood along with The Social Responsibility Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cherry Hill will host a reading this October. We encourage all of our Jersey hearts to attend for an epic LPP reunion.

LPP Blog:
A note about the updates on our Groups on Board page: while the LPP Pulse Memory Project does not have 49 names on the blog, our team is in conversation with about eight groups at the moment. We can assure the last three names on our list will be honored by specific theatre groups within the year.

Due to logistical reasons and event planning, these three singular names are reserved for three of these prospective groups.

Therefore we’ve assigned our first two group dedications to Glencoe High School (OR, honoring the families of the victims) and Camden County Technical School (NJ, honoring the wounded and survivors of the shooting.)

We added some stats to page about the geography of the LPP…it’s remarkable to list all of these state abbreviations. Onward, upward, forward and outward!

LPP Team:
LPP Team Leader Alyssa received this Matthew Shepard Foundation Summer Newsletter and opened it up to find…her sophomore year headshot. Okay, things are getting real now! Don’t let the first face fool you…she’s out of her mind pumped.


As we approach 49, more is still in store for the LPP. Stay tuned.

With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa and Team Member Dylan