MARCH FOR FREEDOM CONCERT
Oak Lawn Band held its sixth annual “March for Freedom” concert on June 22, 2019, at the Latino Cultural Center. The March for Freedom concert series highlights community calls for action and seeks to shine a spotlight on the efforts of community heroes. The 2019 March for Freedom focused on mental health and the efforts towards suicide prevention in the LGBT community. The concert was dedicated to former board member and trumpet player, Chris Price. The concert featured music by composers who had suffered from depression and partnerships with community organizations like Youth First and Texas Lawyers Assistance Program.
The 2018-2019 Pillar of Freedom recipient was Youth First, in recognition of their Saving Teens & Youth (STAY) suicide prevention support group and program. Through concert donations by the band, audience, friends, and family, Oak Lawn Band was able to donate $1000 to Youth First.
Youth First is one of the only LGBTQ-focused programs in North Texas that addresses the challenges LGBTQ teens face at home, school and in the community. Youth First serves LGBTQ and Allied youth, ages 12-18 and equips them with the tools and resources they need to live an authentic life through year-round, free programming that decreases high-risk behaviors, reduces social isolation, and increases self-esteem.
STAY (Saving Teens and Youth) is a suicide prevention support group that empowers LGBTQ and allied youth, ages 12-18, to break the stigma of talking about mental health, and creates a safe and supportive environment to discuss anxiety, depression, self-harm, and more. Facilitated by a Licensed Master Social Worker on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m., STAY gives youth the tools they need to talk to their peers about mental health and teaches them how to get help for a friend who might be feeling suicidal.
For more information LGBT and youth programming, see Youth First and Resource Center.