Leo Buscaglia  once said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  It is those words that inspire Jen Ehrentraut, a member of the Hawthorne Pride Alliance. 

Since October is "Anti- Bullying Month", the Hawthorne Pride Alliance as well as the Hawthorne Municipal Alliance, and the Stigma Free Alliance will be sponsoring an educational discussion of Anti-Bullying, led by Ms. Ehrentraut on October 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm. This program aligns with the Hawthorne Pride Alliance’s mission of “education, motivation, dedication, and elevation.” 

Jen has deeply personal experiences and connections with the LGBTQIA+ and civil rights communities, and is featured in the award-winning documentary “Bullied to Silence”. She testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s meeting in favor of the Marriage Equality Act in 2012 and her efforts helped kick off NJ’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in 2011. She serves on the Board for Garden State Equality, NJ’s largest civil rights organization and helped them introduce their Anti-Bullying Helpline. Jen now serves as the Policy & Legislation Coordinator for the Hawthorne Pride Alliance.

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In her discussion, Jen will present ideas and suggestions to make the community  more aware of the effects of bullying in schools and in the community. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 regulations, this discussion will be live-streamed on Channel 22, and Channel 77, and will not be opened to the public.    In order to fully engage the public in the virtual discussion, the public is asked to submit any questions for Jen by emailing them to hawthornepridealliance@gmail.com by October 26. The questions will be addressed during the virtual discussion. 

Through Jen’s dedication on LGBQIA and civil rights, along with the Hawthorne Pride Alliance’s mission, we can pursue the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, and possibly turn a life around.