March 28, 2011

>The Day of Silence, Friday, April 15, is fast approaching and it's time to get organizing! Each week we'll post tips to help you plan your Day of Silence activities.

Goals for March 28-April 1

The more support you have, the more effective your event can be. Continue talking with teachers, students and community members about ways they can support your Day of Silence activities.

  • Educate: There are a lot of ways that your teachers can support the Day of Silence. Print out the Educators Guide and give it to teachers you think would be interested.
  • Find Community Support: It’s good to notify local supportive community groups of your events, especially if you’re holding a rally, training, or social to Break the Silence. Notify and, if applicable, invite community groups. Also, there are over thirty local GLSEN Chapters across the country. Find out if there is one near you!
  • Cross it Off: It’s possible that there are a few items on your task list that didn’t get completed in the past few weeks. Take some time to make sure that everyone is taking care of their tasks.
  • Show Appreciation: It’s important to let your Team members know that you and others appreciate their work. Take some time during your weekly meeting to let everyone express their appreciation of their fellow teammates.
  • Schedule a Participant Meeting: This is for everyone who intends on participating in Day of Silence. This may be the same group as your Team of organizers, but if not, schedule a second meeting for next week so you can prepare students for DOS.
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!

If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell us what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email us at info@dayofsilence.org.

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 24, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Women's History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Barbara Smith (b. 1946) is a lesbian feminist and has done much to shape modern Black feminist thought. In 1975 Barbara reorganized the Boston chapter of the National Black Feminist Organization to form the Combahee River Collective. The Combahee River Collective was a socialist Black feminist organization that emphasized the intersectionality of racial, gender, heterosexist, and class oppression in the lives of Blacks and other women of color. Barbara and the Combahee River Collective have been credited with coining the term identity politics, which they defined as “a politics that grew out of our objective material experiences as Black women.” Barbara felt the need for women of color to have their own autonomous publishing resource and in 1980, along with Audre Lorde and Cherríe Moraga, she co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which published the notable This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Barbara is currently in her second term as a member of the city council of Albany, NY.

For more, check out these sources:

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

March 23, 2011

>Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?

A silent demonstration can be a peaceful way to bring urgent attention to an important issue. Silence as a method of organizing is much different than silence that is coerced or forced through oppressive bullying, harassment and intimidation. A silent demonstration is active, rather than passive, and causes people to pay attention. Silent demonstrations can:

  • Bring attention to an issue and encourage reflection on the issue;
  • Simulate the how others are silenced;
  • Focus the attention on the issue or cause and not the protester;
  • Demonstrate that the demonstrators desire peaceful resolution;
  • Spark discussion and dialogue.

Through your active silence on the Day of Silence you will send a message that bullying and harassment faced by LGBT and ally youth affects you, your school and community.

And remember, the Day of Silence is a moment to open the conversation on this issue. Follow up your participation with a Breaking the Silence event. You can plan a rally at your school, facilitate a workshop for students and teachers about LGBT issues or throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants. For more info on how to organize a Breaking the Silence event, check out the Day of Silence Organizing Manual.

March 22, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Women's History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Urvashi Vaid (b. 1958) is an activist who has worked for over 25 years promoting civil rights for the LGBT community. She received a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston in 1983, where she founded the Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance, a non-partisan political organization that interviews and endorses candidates for political office and advocates for Boston's gay community. Vaid became Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 1989, and quickly built the NGLTF into the nation's pre-eminent gay rights organization. The NGLTF organizes the largest annual LGBT conference in the country, Creating Change, which focuses on organizing and skills building. Urvashi also worked for 5 years at the Ford Foundation, and has been been the Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation since late 2005. In April 2009 she was named one of Out magazine's 50 most influential men and women in America. Vaid shares homes in Manhattan and Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner, comedian Kate Clinton.
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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

March 21, 2011

>The Day of Silence, Friday, April 15, is fast approaching and it's time to get organizing! Each week we'll post tips to help you plan your Day of Silence activities.

Goals for March 21-25

We’re less than ONE MONTH away from Day of Silence! Now that you know what your DOS event is going to look like, it’s time to let everyone know. Split up outreach tasks among your team members so that you each can contribute to getting the word out.

  • Posters: Design posters to put up around school. Make sure to include the name of your club, the date of the event and contact info so people can get involved. And you can hold a party to design posters as a group.
  • Notify the Press: How do you tell the local news about your event? With a Press Release! It's easy to write a press release. Write a letter that explains the importance of the Day of Silence and include the important details of your event or activities, like the date, time and location. It's also good to incorporate a quote from a student affected by anti-LGBT bullying, a GSA leader or advisor or the school's principal. Send a Press Release to your local newspaper, television and radio news channels.
  • Fundraising: Do you need money for supplies, promotional materials, DOS t-shirts? Begin fundraising by this week. Ask family members, businesses or community organizations for donations. You could plan a raffle or a bake sale.
  • Follow Up: At this point it’s probably good to start having short meetings with your DOS Team every week. Schedule a time where you call can follow-up on your tasks. Can’t meet in person? Set up Yahoo or AIM chat to keep in touch!
  • And don’t forget to schedule a team meeting for next week!

If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell us what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email us at info@dayofsilence.org.

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 17, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Women's History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Andy Marra (b. 1985) was originally born in Seoul, Korea and adopted by a conservative New York family at the age of six months. Andy identified as transgender from a very young age and quickly became involved with activism at every level. She began working with GLSEN as a student organizer, and was described by The Advocate as “one of the youngest leaders to know within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement.” Andy was the youngest co-director of the New York State Dignity for All Students Coalition, an association of 125+ organizations which worked to pass an all inclusive non-discrimination/ harassment bill for NY public schools, which became law in 2010. At the age of 20 Andy became the youngest person in history to ever lead a national LGBT organization when she was elected Board President for the National Center for Transgender Equality. Andy also served as the Senior Media Strategist for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. She is now the co-director of Nodutdol, a Korean community development organization, yet remains an avid advocate and valuable resource for the LGBT community.
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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

March 16, 2011

>I want to do Day of Silence at my school. Should I talk to teachers or the principal beforehand? How do I get permission from my school?

We recommend that students, GSAs and other student groups try to work with their school to obtain the proper permission to hold Day of Silence activities. Supportive participation has more impact and makes for a more fun Day of Silence for everyone. Talk early with your school’s administration. Offer the organizing materials from DayofSilence.org so they know more about the event. Provide them with your group’s ideas or plan for DOS.

To help you get get permission from your administration, check out these resources:

March 15, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Women's History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Chely Wright (b. 1970) is a country music artist turned LGBT rights activist in 2010. After the success of her debut album in 1994 she was named Top New Female Vocalist in 1995 by the Academy of Country Music (ACM). As of May 2010, Wright's previous eight albums had sold over 1,000,000 copies in the United States. In May 2010, Wright publically came out as gay and is one of the only major country music performer to have ever done so. She cited among her reasons for coming out was her concern for bullying and hate crimes toward LGBT people, particularly teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by "lying and hiding". Chely became a strong representative for GLSEN and continues to support the safe schools movement through her advocacy.
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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

March 14, 2011

>The Day of Silence, Friday, April 15, is fast approaching and it's time to get organizing! Each week leading up to DOS we will be sending you helpful organizing tips to help you plan and coordinate successful activities. While you don’t need to plan with others, your Day of Silence can be more effective if you do!

Week of March 14-18: Holding Your Meeting
It’s time to get the ball rolling! Plan a meeting with your DOS Team. This could be your GSA or student club, or a group of interested students and your sponsoring faculty member.
If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell us what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email us at info@dayofsilence.org.

  • Be prepared: Make an agenda so that your meeting goes smoothly and you accomplish everything necessary to take the next steps. And print out some of the materials referenced in the list below to pass out to the Team members.
  • Brainstorm: What will your event look like? Who will be involved? Will you have a Breaking the Silence event? Discuss with your team all the possibilities for your DOS event. And be creative! Check out DOS on Facebook to see what other students are planning.
  • Decisions: There are a lot of ways to hold a successful Day of Silence, but you can’t do them all! Involve your team in the decision-making process to assure their support as you organize the event.
  • Set Goals: Goals are a great way to determine if your organizing is on the right track. How many people do you want to take a vow of silence? How many cards do you want to pass out? How many people do you want to attend your Breaking the Silence event?
  • Delegate: No one person should do all the work alone. Split up the tasks to make the work easier and to get more people involved.
  • Register: Make sure all the members of your team also register their participation at www.dayofsilence.org.
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!


And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 09, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Women's History Month by celebrating contributions of women to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout March we will be recognizing heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Alice Walker (b. 1944) is a bisexual African American author and poet known for her substantive writing on the topics of race and gender. She was born and raised in Georgia and studied at both Spelman College in Atlanta and then at Sarah Lawrence in New York. While in New York she married a Jewish civil rights lawyer, Melvyn Leventhal. Walker actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement by returning to Georgia to help register black voters. Soon after, she moved with her husband to Mississippi, making them the first legally married inter-racial couple in the state. In 1983 Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her now-famous book The Color Purple, becoming the first Black woman to win the award. Alice remains an avid activist to this day and is infamous for her involvement in several anti-war protests with the group Code Pink.


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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

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