UTAH JAZZ

Ryan Smith, Apple CEO, Imagine Dragons Singer Team To Expand LGBTQ+ Safe House Encircle

Feb 25, 2021, 10:36 AM | Updated: Feb 26, 2021, 11:02 am
Ryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Qualtrics peaks on stage during the third day of the 2015 Web Sum...
Ryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Qualtrics peaks on stage during the third day of the 2015 Web Summit on November 5, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. The Web Summit is now in it's 4th year and is technology's most global gathering. In numbers, it has 42,000 attendees from 134 countries, 1,000 speakers, 2,100 startups and 1,200 media. (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)
(Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds are teaming to help expand the reach of Encircle, a series of family and youth resource centers aimed at providing a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

On Thursday, Smith, Cook, and Reynolds appeared on Good Morning American to discuss their plans for the non-profit organization.

“Encircle is an incredible organization that provides a safe home for LGBTQ+ youth,” Reynold said. “And is a place where youth can go after school, to have therapy for themselves, for their family.”

The first Encircle house opened in 2017 in Provo, Utah where Jazz owner Smith was raised. Now, behind donations valued at $4 million, the non-profit will expand throughout Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada.

“Encircle developed a model that embodies everything that I believe in,” Smith said. “It’s love, it’s home, it’s unity, it’s safety, and it’s truly innovative.”

With the motto “no sides, only love” Encircle offers locations and online resources for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families to gather and thrive.

“This is why I came out, because I was getting notes from kids and kids that were contemplating suicide kids that were being bullied,” Cook said. “And so I wanted to share a part of my life, and being involved in this with Dan and Ryan it’s sort of taking it to the to a new level is what it’s all about.”

In addition to expanding to new locations, Apple will be donating iPads and other products to enrich Encircle’s virtual programming.

Smith purchased the Jazz in October from the Miller family which owned the team since the mid 80s. The new Jazz owner is also the Executive Chairman and Founder of Qualtrics, a tech company headquartered in Provo that focuses on improving customer service for businesses.

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