>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American 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!
Michael Franklin (b. 1985) is a community organizer who works on the intersections of racism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression. As a leader in GLSEN Baltimore, Michael is very committed to supporting the safe schools movement in being inclusive. This year he played a central role in organizing a local summit to support LGBTQA students of color in taking leadership in and advancing the safe schools movement, and is planning to build upon the event’s foundation with similar programs and actions in the future. He is also co-planning a major training initiative for educators in the Baltimore City School District, which serves a high population of low-income students of color. Outside of GLSEN, Michael will be providing works of poetry to the Black Male Identity Campaign of Art on Purpose, a program that uses art to bring people together around issues and ideas, specifically to challenge and reframe the discourse on black males. He hopes to bring light to the value of including gay, bisexual, and transgender men of color within that collective discourse. Michael’s ongoing work is a testament to the importance of recognizing the multitude of identities that all people hold and engaging in organizing that is inclusive of all of those identities and the issues that are connected to them.
We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person 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 #GLSENBHM hash tag!