GLSEN is proud to support the first-ever National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day! We teamed up with more than 35+ statewide and national partners to recognize the amazing contributions GSAs have made and continue to make in schools across the country.
GSA Day was first organized in 2006 by the Iowa Pride Network after Governor Tom Vilsack declared October 25, 2006, "Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance Day" in honor of GSAs around the state that work to improve Iowa school climate. This year, the statewide observance has gone national with a host of support.
This is what GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard had to say about GSA Day:
GLSEN is proud to work with the thousands of GSAs across the country, Iowa Pride Network and fellow National GSA Day partners to recognize the tremendous impact these student clubs have on creating safe and affirming learning environments for all students.
Curious about how a GSA can benefit a student in school? Check out GLSEN's Research Brief filled with interesting findings on how GSAs are actually beneficial to improving school climate.
The White House is also celebrating National GSA Day. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made a special video for students in GSAs. You can watch it below!
It's worth noting that issues facing GSAs have not been ignored by the Obama Administration. The U.S. Department of Education issued a "Dear Colleagues" letter outlining the legal rights of students to establish GSAs in school.
So what are YOU doing to celebrate National GSA Day?
Here are a few ideas to get involved:
Start a GSA. Does your school not have a GSA? You're not alone and we have the tools if you want to establish a GSA at your school. Take a look at some of the easy-to-read GSA resources that we offer to student leaders. We make GSA organizing a snap with tips, tools and activities. Get the goods!
Be counted. Take part in GLSEN's GSA Census so we can make sure student-led clubs like yours have the resources and support to continue your work in schools across the country. The process is simple and will take less than 3 minutes!
Connect. Join the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page where you can network with other GSA student leaders, exchange tips and find a community of other amazing students working to improve their schools and communities.
Lobby with us. GLSEN is still accepting applications for its Safe Schools Advocacy Summit. The 4-day event in Washington, DC brings together students, educators, parents and community members to learn about how to become effective Safe School advocates. GLSEN covers all of your expenses (travel, accommodations, food, etc) if your selected to come. Applications are due February 1. Apply here!