tv Youth Homelessness CSPAN December 27, 2014 11:12am-11:26am EST
we have made significant problems in ending veteran homelessness because we knew from years of study and research what interventions worked and with bipartisan support from congress we asked for and received the resources to meet the needs. with veteran homelessness as a proof point, we are making the case for our youth as well. we have a framework to and youth homelessness where we set a path to progress. this progress was not made by government alone, but in partnership with stakeholders across the country. we are stronger and more effective when we work together toward the shared vision that every young person deserves a safe and stable place to call home, which is why i am so honored to introduce the next speaker. she is someone i truly admire. her passion and dedication to whom she calls her kids is an inspiration and a force that is
moving our work with greater urgency and focus. to many she is a grammy, emmy, and tony award-winning artist. to thousands of young people, she is an unwavering advocate for equality. in 2008, she cofounded the true colors fund, which works to end gay and lesbian bisexual and transgender youth homelessness. if you weeks ago, i heard her speak about choosing a path for the true colors fund where she describes the choices for the directions the organization took raise awareness of the issues and share breast practices or to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of ending youth homelessness. she and her amazing team chose the latter. one thing i appreciate about cindy us or emphasis on the importance of learning from young people about what matters and how to make a difference. i'm grateful that we will get to hear from jesse, anthony today. we can take a lesson from the disability rights movement of nothing about us without us through this conversation today.
i am on or to introduce to you now the one and only cyndi lauper. [applause] >> ok. i'm so grateful that everybody came here today to celebrate the anniversary, the 40th anniversary of the runaway and homeless youth act. i know that i'm known as an entertainer or a small gal with a big voice array bigmouth. -- or a big mouth. i decided a while back to use my big mouth voice to be a voice for the voiceless.
certainly, these kids had made me abbreviate, explain the abbreviations, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth which make up up to 40% of the homeless young people in this country, when the alarming -- what got me was that, what would you say? up to 7% of the general population of youth in this country identify as gay or transgender. in layman's terms. that to me is alarming because that means the kids are being thrown away. because of who they are. i think we need these kids. i think you never know who is going to turn out to be what.
there is a bill. i can repeat the same stuff that lisa and laura just told you. the one thing that our fund or organization does is try to make a network for all of the people and programs around the country to talk to each other, to find out what works, what doesn't work. who the heck wants to say, i'm homeless and i'm gay, beat me up? it is really tough for the kids. everybody wants to be a tough guy, but when you think about it, look at a 15-year-old. nowadays, kids are coming out even younger because of scenes from the media that it is cool to be who you are and then they come out and their parents don't know how to deal with this.
unfortunately, sometimes it comes to them running away out of fear of rejection or violence or both. that is kind of sad for a kid. kids don't really ask to be born and they don't come with a moneyback guarantee. you can't go and return them. there is no return policy when you become a parent. it is tough. it is not easy to be a parent. we also want to work with renee and other organizations and outreach programs. i also wanted to say, the people that are doing this work work really hard and they are like angels. ok?
they go out in the field and they talk to these kids and sometimes you get some kids to come in and sometimes you don't. these homeless kids hide, so it is hard to get a count. but we need to get a count. as lisa and laura said, to help them. that is kind of the work that we have been doing. i don't think you should throw any kid away. ok. let me cut to the chase. [laughter] for those of you who don't know, senator leahy and senator collins introduced the runaway homeless youth and trafficking prevention act and it improves the act in a number of ways. it recognizes the needs of all homelessness. ok. it includes the provision that aims to support family reunification and intervention, which is crucial as family conflict is the number one
reason. we just said that. most important, a nondiscrimination clause to include lgbt homeless youth to not only have access to crucial services and all those services are safe, welcoming, better tailored to their unique needs which will present unsafe -- prevent unsafe activities they need to do to survive. the senate judiciary committee -- i can't even speak -- it is headed to the senate. we need to roll her sleeves up and make this happen for the kids. it is important. actually, it saves money. instead of punishing them for being homeless, let's bring them back in. i was one of the kids that benefited from a program like this and i think it is important to read i think i gave back he's
-- back and i always try to. it is ironic how i'm standing here with these people, the same kind of people that helped me reenter and go from hostile to hostels, youth hostels, shelters, to a home of my own. thank you very much and please, let's be energized and make this thing happen. ok? thank you so much. [applause] >> last june kareen abdul jabbar discussed racism in sports. this portion is about 40 minutes.
>> kareem went to college in the 1960's. you play professional sports 1960's and 1970's. are we at the end of an era? help us connect with what you are going through then and where you think we are today. is when we happened had the fact that we had the legal means to combat racism, a lot of black americans said ok, now we have the tools to achieve .omething it has taken us decades to achieve those things. when it comes to working on what is in people's hearts, we have a
very long way to go. even though we have these tools, we have a long way to go because a lot of people do not understand their own bigotry. it is so endemic to the human experience. people don't get it when they are intensely affected by racism. they are not even aware of it. we have a long way to go. >> emmett till was killed in 1965. you go to the march on washington in 1963. nixon gets elected in 1968. in 13 years, the country was transformed.
if 1960 it was the marker of full freedom for african-americans, that is 46 years. if you say that dr. king was killed in 1968 and affirmative-action, full freedom for black folks in 1968. i am 45. i will be 46 in november. we walk around as if things are changed. we have amazing freedom. in the history of the country, african americans, 46 years of so-called freedom. when you expand the on donald sterling and the issue of housing and economics and inclusion and go beyond that, we have come a long way.
we're only talking about 46 years of so-called full freedom. if you think that we have gotten over the issue of race, we have to be delusional. it did not happen in 46 years. you still have in south africa blacks don't have access to power. they don't control capital. >> i will ask you both the same question, you remember a football player for the philadelphia eagles who got the recorded saying the "n" word. what are your thoughts when you first heard that? >> i'm going to hold on to what you talked about 45 years. i want to come back to that. i will address the riley cooper situation.
it was my job on sunday and thursday to talk about it. i had watched riley cooper. he has been playing football for a lot of years. one of the things i talked about was i was coming from a basketball camp with my son in las vegas. as we walked by the pool, they had music blasting with the "n" word. everybody was having a great time. riley cooper steps in an angering situation. and here we go saying everything about riley cooper. i said it then and i will say it now, we ought to take responsibility as african-americans for injecting the word out there and making it ok.