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GLSEN Wins $250K From Pepsi

GLSEN Wins $250K From Pepsi


The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has taken second place in the Pepsi Refresh contest, winning $250,000 to help fund the group's Safe Space campaign and fight antigay bullying in schools.

"When I got the news this morning, I wasn't sure if I was still dreaming," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said in a statement. "It appears that GLSEN has finished in second place in the Pepsi Refresh voting, winning $250,000 in support of our Safe Space Campaign. The official announcement of the results won't take place until Feb. 23, but it looks as if we've done it."

Daryl Presgraves, GLSEN's media relations manager, said the staff was in third place the night before, and didn't know if they could pull off moving up in the rankings to receive the grant.

"I think a few of the staff hopped on the Pepsi website early this morning, and emails started going around internally with lots of exclamation points," he told The Advocate on Tuesday.

Byard says the funding will help promote adult support for LGBT students in 10,000 schools across the country.

"This funding is going to a truly critical effort to make schools more welcoming places for LGBT students and any student dealing with anti-LGBT bias."

Byard thanked a number of blogs, news outlets and celebrities for their support, including Wilson Cruz, Kristin Chenoweth, Hilary Duff, Cyndi Lauper, The Trevor Project and The Advocate.

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