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Three Cheers for Milk

Three Cheers for Milk


Thomas Krever, executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk School, champions the impact made by the Oscar-nominated Milk.

To have a film capture the essence of the man Harvey Milk is an incredible opportunity. To have it done with such sincerity and integrity is truly a gift. Such is Milk.

Harvey Milk had a profound impact on this planet and personally touched countless lives with a message of dignity, self-respect and hope. We are honored to have him captured so vibrantly and with such compassion on the big screen. His legacy lives on and is reflected in the faces of the tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people who pass through the doors of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School.

Milk has reignited a flame of hope by inspiring a new generation of young LGBTQ people who are seeking to live in a society where their voices are heard and their opinions valued. The accolades for a movie that so accurately portrays the life and cause of a great American hero serve as a true testament to how far this country has come in its acceptance of all people. In a time when so many basic and even unappreciated human rights are afforded to one portion of society but denied to another, this film serves as a clarion call for equality and validation.

I have personally witnessed the uplifting effect and inspiration this film and its message of hope has had on the self-esteem of our young people -- the nation's most at-risk and historically underserved population. It sends an incredibly powerful message to the world at large that all people are loved, have a place "at the table," and are not excluded from the equation that is humanity. What more powerful message can we give our children than that which is the American dream and the promise on which this nation was founded includes them; that they too matter; that they too count.

The Hetrick-Martin Institute is the nation's first, oldest, and largest agency serving LGBTQ young people, and it helps more than 3,500 of them annually. The Hetrick-Martin Institute believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to grow. Youths receive free, year-round services ranging from mental health counseling to after-school programs such as academic enrichment, GED and college preparation, job readiness, arts and culture and health and wellness programming as well as hot meals and homeless pantry services and HIV, STI, and pregnancy testing. It is within this environment that the Harvey Milk High School, named after the social activist and now-icon Harvey Milk, resides.

It is with profound gratitude that an actor of the highest caliber, Sean Penn, has seemingly breathed life into the man who is now a legend and hero to all people who fight for the rights of others. It is for the continued pursuit of the ideals that this hero of a nation stood for that this school exists. Harvey Milk High School is a fully accredited public transfer high school operated by the New York City Department of Education and hosted by the Hetrick-Martin Institute. It provides a safe and supportive environment for students who have experienced harassment in school and/or difficult academic or living situations.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Thomas Krever