Union County residents who are interested in building key communication skills that influence positive social change and increase LGBTQ acceptance are invited to join a free social media advocacy training course hosted online by experts from the GLAAD Media Institute through a collaboration between the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs, and GLADD.

The course, titled Engagement 202: Telling Your Story Through Social Media, will take place via interactive livestream on Friday, May 22 beginning at 1:00 p.m. The presentation will last approximately three hours. Participants will be able to ask questions and engage in the session in real time.

The course is free but pre-registration is required at ucnj.org/lgbtq. A link and password will be sent by email ten minutes before the 1:00 p.m. start time.

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“The Freeholder Board is committed to work for a community of respect and dignity for all, and we are continuing that work throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are proud to partner with GLAAD in sharing their expert guidance with the public and encouraging people to speak up for LGBTQ inclusion and acceptance, while observing every precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The GLAAD Media Institute uses best practices, tools, and techniques perfected over the organization’s 30 years of experience to help transform individuals into compelling storytellers, media-savvy navigators, and effective ambassadors for LGBTQ acceptance.

Engagement 202 will focus on the use of social media in LGBTQ advocacy. Participants will receive a comprehensive review of the distinct personalities of each social media platform, and learn how to leverage them to expand their audience, enhance their storytelling, and accelerate acceptance. Participants will also learn how to avoid the notorious pitfalls of each platform.

“This effort is especially important to the LGBTQ community, where many people may be vulnerable to feelings of isolation during this period of separation and social distance,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, who is liaison to the LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “Through innovative online courses like these, we continue to encourage people to connect, learn, and share with one another.”

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first and only county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey.

The Office of LGBTQ Affairs provides a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/LGBTQ.

For additional details about Engagement 202, visit the GLAAD Media Institute blog at glaad.org.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for the Test Center, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.