Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox to light Empire State Building in purple for Spirit Day and National Bullying Prevention Month

On behalf of GLAAD and Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER), Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox will light the iconic Empire State Building in purple on October 16, 2014, in recognition of Spirit Day and National Bullying Prevention Month.

Spirit Day - 2013

Cox will be joined by GLAAD and youth featured in the new documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word,” which will premiere on MTV and Logo TV on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7pm ET/PT.

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month when students, schools, and communities come together to raise awareness and show support for those who have been bullied. This high-profile national event was launched in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center (PACER.org/Bullying) to raise awareness that bullying is a serious issue and people need to take action. It is now supported by hundreds of schools, countless students, major corporations and celebrities, and PACER’s efforts have spawned an international bullying prevention movement.

“National Bullying Prevention Month, which PACER initiated in 2006, was created to show those students being bullied that they are not alone and that communities care,” said Paula Goldberg Executive Director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “Lighting the Empire State Building in support of Spirit Day and this important month makes a powerful statement to young people across the U.S. that there are people all over the world who support them and want to prevent bullying.”

Spirit Day, which will take place on October 16, inspires millions to wear purple or “go purple” online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Each year, Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals. Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its national partners PepsiCo and Wells Fargo, as well as official partners Comcast-NBCUniversal and Google, and supporting partner American Eagle Outfitters.

“By recognising National Bullying Prevention Month and lighting in purple for Spirit Day, the world’s most famous office building is supporting countless kids across the world,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “At a time when eight in 10 LGBT youth are harassed at school, it’s critical that we let them know it’s okay to be who you are.”

“Bullying was an unfortunate part of my daily reality growing up in Alabama,” said actress and advocate Laverne Cox. “I am committed to doing what I can so that young people don’t have to go through what I did. All of our children need to feel safe to be themselves at home, school and in our communities.”

For the fourth year in a row, MTV, Logo TV and mtvU will turn all its on-air and online logos purple to celebrate Spirit Day. In addition, Viacom’s Times Square screens will turn purple and run anti-bullying messages throughout the day. Emerge, Viacom’s LGBT affinity group, will also host a screening of “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word” with Cox and the transgender youth featured in the documentary on Spirit Day.

For more information about Spirit Day, visit glaad.org/spiritday.