The Bryson Institute
The Bryson Institute offers dynamic, interactive, and educational trainings around best practices for working with LGBTQ individuals. From social service and health care providers, to faith communities, to schools, our goal is to improve the climate and support systems for LGBTQ youth in their everyday environments by fostering understanding, imparting knowledge, and providing strategies for creating safe and affirming environments.
From one hour to full day trainings to multi-day sessions, the Institute creates an environment where dialogue can begin about how to create caring, compassionate and accepting communities, whether in schools, youth-serving agencies or the workplace.
History & Purpose
In 1998, the brutal hate crime murder of gay student Matthew Shepard brought together a group of local Philadelphia activists who decided that it was time something had to be done.
United in common outrage, James H. Bryson, activist and philanthropist, and the Executive Directors of Episcopal Community Services of Philadelphia (ECS), Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia (JFCS), and Lutheran Children and Family Service (LCFS) together committed themselves to building support, encouragement, and education on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth across the country.
To fulfill this mission, the group came together in the spirit of justice, compassion, and concern for the well being of all young people, specifically their right to have access to safe spaces.
In December 2000, James Bryson and the faith based agencies joined forces with The Attic Youth Center, whose history and expertise in providing services to LGBTQ youth would serve to propel the project forward. The Attic Youth Center and the faith partners recognized the opportunity to help the region’s youth to develop in a more inclusive and supportive environment and together created the James H. Bryson Institute of The Attic Youth Center.
Since 2001, the Institute has been working to educate youth and adults about issues of respect and diversity. The Institute supports individuals, communities, and organizations in effecting personal and organizational changes to build inclusive environments that recognize and promote the value of diversity. In less than a decade, the Institute has trained over 30,000 individuals in schools/colleges/university systems, social service agencies, workplaces, faith-based organizations, and communities to help create supportive and affirming environments for the LGBTQ community, specializing in particular in the needs of LGBTQ youth.
The Bryson Institute of The Attic Youth Center is committed to improving the climate and support systems for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people, and specifically for LGBTQ youth and young adults. By providing education, outreach, and consultation services to the spaces that impact them the most, we seek to create more supportive and affirming places, spaces, and faces for all those who fall within the realm of the LGBTQ identity.
- All Bryson Institute trainings are specifically designed and tailored for the unique needs of different organizations.
- Serving audiences from 5-75 participants
- Workshops available for youth, social service providers, professionals, parents (foster, adoptive, and biological), corporate communities – anyone!
- Offering presentations ranging from one hour to a full-day to multi-training series
- Adaptable presentation style – interactive activities, PowerPoint presentations, group discussions
- Attic Youth Panelists often accompany trainers and share their experience with your audience and open themselves up to questions and conversation.
To request a training or for more information, click to email.
Or call us at +1 (215) 545-4331
Nonprofit and Social Service Organizations
Caring People Alliance
Carson Valley Children’s Aid
Congreso de Latinos Unidos
Delta Community Supports
Episcopal Community Services
Intercultural Family Services
Jewish Family and Children Services
Lutheran Children & Family Services
Lutheran Settlement House
Northeast Treatment Centers
Support Center for Child Advocates
Women Against Abuse
Women Organized Against Rape
Youth Empowerment Services
Youth Service, Inc.
Cooper University Hospital
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Jefferson University Hospital
District Attorney’s Office
Dow Chemical Company
Anna H. Shaw Middle School
Birney Elementary School
Delaware Valley Friends School
Germantown Friends School
Masterman High School
Multicultural Charter School
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
YouthBuild Charter School
Colleges and Universities
Art Institute of Philadelphia
Bryn Mawr College
Curtis Institute of Music
Delaware Valley College
La Salle University
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
St. Joseph’s University
University of Pennsylvania