April 30, 2010

>Do you blog? Text? Tweet? Connect with your friends on Facebook? Post photos? Make videos for YouTube? Maybe you’d like to be a GLSEN Ambassador.

We’re doing a nationwide search for students who will be in grades 7-12 during the 2010-2011 school year who want to share their stories in all kinds of media – from newspapers, radio and TV to Twitter, Facebook and more. These students will serve as GLSEN’s public youth voice and a community extension of our efforts at the national level.

The youth leaders will take part in a three-day media and safe schools summit in New York, July 22-25, 2010. The trip will be fully paid by GLSEN. These Ambassadors will learn how to raise awareness about GLSEN and safe schools in traditional and emerging media. With the support of media partners, GLSEN will give students extensive training on getting placement in traditional media and how to leverage their existing knowledge of social media to raise awareness directly to constituents.

GLSEN’s Communications Department will engage the students throughout the year to support their safe schools media work. Students will serve as youth spokespeople, both proactively and reactively, to increase public understanding of the experiences of LGBT youth and their allies in school. Students will also serve as everyday voices in emerging media to communicate to educators, policy makers, fellow students and concerned citizens about GLSEN’s work.

The Ambassadors Media Summit 2010 is limited to 16 secondary school students. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Deadline is midnight, Sunday, May 16th.

Cross-posted to Day of Silence.

April 30, 2010

>Do you blog? Text? Tweet? Connect with your friends on Facebook? Post photos? Make videos for YouTube? Maybe you’d like to be a GLSEN Ambassador.

We’re doing a nationwide search for students who will be in grades 7-12 during the 2010-2011 school year who want to share their stories in all kinds of media – from newspapers, radio and TV to Twitter, Facebook and more. These students will serve as GLSEN’s public youth voice and a community extension of our efforts at the national level.

The youth leaders will take part in a three-day media and safe schools summit in New York, July 22-25, 2010. The trip will be fully paid by GLSEN. These Ambassadors will learn how to raise awareness about GLSEN and safe schools in traditional and emerging media. With the support of media partners, GLSEN will give students extensive training on getting placement in traditional media and how to leverage their existing knowledge of social media to raise awareness directly to constituents.

GLSEN’s Communications Department will engage the students throughout the year to support their safe schools media work. Students will serve as youth spokespeople, both proactively and reactively, to increase public understanding of the experiences of LGBT youth and their allies in school. Students will also serve as everyday voices in emerging media to communicate to educators, policy makers, fellow students and concerned citizens about GLSEN’s work.

The Ambassadors Media Summit 2010 is limited to 16 secondary school students. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Deadline is midnight, Sunday, May 16th.

Cross-posted to GLSEN.

April 19, 2010

>Last Friday, many of you participated in the National Day of Silence. Thanks to all of your amazing work we are able to say that this was the largest Day of Silence in history! Your silent demonstration brought awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. Congrats!

But don't stop there. Day of Silence is just the beginning! Read below for some tips and ideas on what you can do to keep the movement going. And make sure to read to the end where we announce the date for the Day of Silence in 2011.

Tell us your story
We love to hear how you celebrated the Day of Silence. How many people participated? Were your teachers supportive? What did you do to Break the Silence? Let us know! Click here to fill out the feedback form on studentorganizing.org.

Silence in the Classroom
We are sorry to hear that several students faced negative consequences because of their participation in the Day of Silence at school. While students have the right to not speak between classes and before/after school, students DO NOT have the right to remain silent during instructional time.

Although it is upsetting if you were punished because you remained silent during class, it is not against the law. Some teachers grant permission for students to uphold their vow of silence in class, but teachers are not required to do so. We always recommend discussing your participation with your teacher before the Day of Silence. Please see more about your legal rights during the Day of Silence by clicking here (PDF).

If you still feel your rights were denied during the Day of Silence, please contact the Lambda Legal Help Desk at 212-809-8585 or 866-542-8336.

Stay tuned!
We'll email you with announcements about upcoming Days of Action, and ways that you can keep your organizing going all year long! Make sure to read the emails from info@studentorganizing.org and to stay tuned to the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter for exciting news!

Drum roll, please…!
And the date for the next Day of Silence will be…Friday, April 15, 2011! Mark your calendars now and start brainstorming for ideas for next year’s event! You can RSVP now at the official Day of Silence 2011 Facebook Event.

Thank you again for your participation in the Day of Silence. Don’t let your work stop now. There are many ways you can continue your work to make your school safer. Through your continued organizing, we hope you are leading conversations and building action to change the climate of your schools to be a place where all students - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression - can learn in a safe and supportive environment.

Congratulations on your success!

April 17, 2010

>Congratulations to all of you on a hugely successful Day of Silence! Hundreds of thousands of people across the country and around the world participated in the Day to bring awareness to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

By now you've likely Broken the Silence, and begun to speak about your participation in the Day, your experiences with anti-LGBT bullying and the importance of making all schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Keep the conversation going! The Day of Silence is the first step towards a deeper dialogue amongst members of your community about how to improve your school's climate for LGBT and all students.

While we know that this year's Day of Silence was the largest ever, we want to be able to show it! Please make sure you registered your participation by clicking on THIS LINK. By registering we can help show others the impact of this action.

We'd love to hear your stories about your participation--the ups , the downs, and everything in between. What did you do to end the silence? Tell us by emailing info@dayofsilence.org.

If you feel you were denied your right to participate in the Day of Silence or if you faced strong opposition from your school, please contact the Lambda Legal Help Desk, 212-809-8585 or 866-542-8336.

Stay tuned to the Day of Silence Blog, the Day of Silence Facebook Page and the @DayofSilence on Twitter for ideas on how to take the next step to make your school a more respectful and supportive place for all students.

Thank you all for your hard work, and congratulations on taking a stand!

April 16, 2010

>

A message to Day of Silence participants from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard:


Dear Friends:

The Day of Silence, perhaps more than any other day on the calendar, makes visible the efforts of amazing student leaders and remarkable community volunteers all over the country. I am so proud of the partnership that GLSEN has had with Day of Silence organizers everywhere for the past decade. Together, we have built this event into a powerful annual reminder of the urgent need for action on anti-LGBT behavior and bias in our schools.

I cannot thank you enough for your courage and leadership. As you go through your day, remember that you are not alone. Today your efforts are part of a nationwide effort involving hundreds of thousands of other students in all fifty states. The numbers we know so far indicate that we are on our way to the biggest nationwide observance of the Day of Silence yet!

Here at the GLSEN headquarters we will be tracking the numbers and any stories that come in as the day goes on. Right now, the number of individual students registered is up 60% from last year, and the number of individual schools represented is up 35%.

Please make sure to let us know what is happening in your community. If you haven’t registered, please click on the register button at www.dayofsilence.org, so that we can let the world know the full scope and power of the work that you all will do today.

Please send us your stories and reflections, and let us know if we can share them with the national community taking part in the Day of Silence today. Congratulations and thank you! May you have a safe and successful Day of Silence, and remember that our staff is here to support you.

Warmly,
Eliza Byard, PhD
Executive Director
GLSEN

April 16, 2010

>As the Day of Silence continues, we've heard lots of stories and experiences from students all across the country, about why they chose to participate and how their vows of silence turned out. We hope your Day of Silence events were successful, and that after you break the silence you continue to speak out and take action against anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and violence.

This Student Voices piece comes from Melissa, who is a home-schooled student from Southern California. Nice job, Melissa!

++++++++++++++
Why am I participating in this year's Day of Silence? I'd like to say it’s simple, but it's really not. I heard of the Day of Silence last year, but I'm home schooled and had no idea how I could do anything that would make a difference. This year, however, I'm taking a class at the local community college, a Spanish course. I don't have class on the 16th, the day it's set to take place, so I chose the 15th because I'll have class. My teacher was very understanding and supportive when I discussed my participation about it with her.

Part of me was afraid to participate, mainly because of the possibility of it bringing unwanted attention to my own sexuality, which I'm not yet quite sure of myself. I made the decision that even if I have to come out as not being heterosexual, then that's what is meant to be. If I can make even one person more aware of what they say to people, then it's worth any tiny amount of interruption in my life.

I've never been one who's good at sports, or art, or music, and I was always bullied in school for being so academically driven, but not having talent in much of anything besides school made me realize what I want to do with my life. I want more than anything to make a difference.

When I first started coming to terms with my sexuality, I did a lot of online research and came upon The Trevor Project, which led me to GLSEN and the Day of Silence. I’m going to participate this year, and every coming year. Knowing that there is something I can do to make a difference and create change, even if only in the slightest, is something that keeps me grounded, even when everything else around me can feel like it’s crashing down.

I want to participate in the Day of Silence to help educate people to how much silence can be caused even by something as simple as a few words. To raise awareness for the people who have been pushed into silence and are unable to raise awareness themselves. To show the person who suffers in their silence that there are people out there who care and recognize their pain and that there is hope. To show the gay person who thinks transgender people are any different from the rest of us, are just as much a part of the community than the rest of us. To show my homophobic "friends" and any other homophobic people that you don’t have to necessarily be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, or any other sexual identity to be part of the LGBTQIA(…) community and stand up and support them.

I want to make a difference. This is where it starts. It's only the beginning for me.

April 16, 2010

>Greetings Twitterers!

Every Friday the site TopFollowFriday.com ranks tweet endorsements of your favorite Twitterers. Last year the Day of Silence ended a strong Number 3. Today the Day of Silence is hovering at Number 7 at 2:30 Eastern Time. See the screenshot:


Help DOS get up top along with Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga! Endorse Day of Silence by tweeting these tags - #followfriday @dayofsilence - plus a message:

EXAMPLE: #followfriday @dayofsilence Tweet this to endorse the Day of Silence for Follow Friday!

EXAMPLE: #ff @dayofsilence Tweet this to endorse the Day of Silence for Follow Friday!

Thanks for Tweeting!

PS - Don't forget to join @dayofsilencefor our Tweet Chat beginning at 3:30pm Eastern: http://tweetchat.com/room/dayofsilence

April 16, 2010

>It's April 16 and the Day of Silence is upon us! If you have any important questions or run into any hurdles in your organizing efforts, be sure to contact us at info@dayofsilence.org so we can help out. If you have any great stories from your Day of Silence experiences, send them to submit2dos@gmail.com and they may end up on this blog! Today's Student Voices post comes from Jesse, a 15-year-old student from New York City. Thanks Jesse!

+++++++++++

Today is the Day of Silence, a day when we organize and keep silent for safer schools and more tolerant students. For me, it’s hard to believe that I’m here now. One year ago on the Day of Silence, I was sitting alone in my living room trying to keep silent while my classmates were out enjoying their break, and my sister was trying to make me talk.

It was the tweet chat that really inspired me. There were so many words of support and encouragement that it just changed my whole outlook. I vowed to myself right then and there that I would do all I could to make sure that kids were safe and looked after in their own schools. When I looked into GLSEN and saw the statistics, it astounded me, but it only increased my drive. This year I took to it and started my GSA, joined a group, organized a great Ally Week and No Name-Calling Week and got a newspaper article written about me in the school newspaper.

Day of Silence was the big one for me. It started out only being me and one other person. But as we organized and got going, more and more people joined us; it was so hopeful. A couple of weeks ago, I heard some anti-gay slander going on in one of my hallways, and it started to make my hopes go down and I was discouraged that people wouldn’t live up to their word because of peer pressure. But a couple of words of encouragement from the people at GLSEN brought me back and before I knew it I was on an organizing craze.

When I walked into school this morning, everyone was supportive. They knew who I was and for this one day, it seemed like they didn’t care. It was mind-boggling. This gives me immense hope that we can make this happen. We can stop anti-LGBT bullying and we can prevent suicides like the tragic one of Carl Walker-Hoover. Sometimes the loudest sound is no sound at all.

Happy Day of Silence,

Jesse

April 16, 2010

>

Cross-posted at http://blog.glsen.org.

A message to Day of Silence participants from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard:


Dear Friends:

The Day of Silence, perhaps more than any other day on the calendar, makes visible the efforts of amazing student leaders and remarkable community volunteers all over the country. I am so proud of the partnership that GLSEN has had with Day of Silence organizers everywhere for the past decade. Together, we have built this event into a powerful annual reminder of the urgent need for action on anti-LGBT behavior and bias in our schools.

I cannot thank you enough for your courage and leadership. As you go through your day, remember that you are not alone. Today your efforts are part of a nationwide effort involving hundreds of thousands of other students in all fifty states. The numbers we know so far indicate that we are on our way to the biggest nationwide observance of the Day of Silence yet!

Here at the GLSEN headquarters we will be tracking the numbers and any stories that come in as the day goes on. Right now, the number of individual students registered is up 60% from last year, and the number of individual schools represented is up 35%.

Please make sure to let us know what is happening in your community. If you haven’t registered, please click on the register button at www.dayofsilence.org, so that we can let the world know the full scope and power of the work that you all will do today.

Please send us your stories and reflections, and let us know if we can share them with the national community taking part in the Day of Silence today. Congratulations and thank you! May you have a safe and successful Day of Silence, and remember that our staff is here to support you.

Warmly,
Eliza Byard, PhD
Executive Director
GLSEN

April 16, 2010

>
On the Day of Silence starting at 3:30PM EST we'll be hosting a Tweet Chat LIVE! Come and share your experiences with Day of Silence organizers from across the coun
try. Also, a crew of GLSEN staff members will be available to answer your questions.

Participation is easy!

  • Click here to join the #DayofSilence Tweet Chat room.
  • Make sure to click "Sign in with Twitter" in the upper right corner.
  • Enter your Twitter login info.
  • Join the conversation!

We're excited to hear all of your Day of Silence stories!

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