New York, NY - GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, today announced plans for and began counting down to the 10th annual Day of Silence, scheduled this year for Wednesday, April 26th. With over 200 endorsers of the annual event, dozens of local and state proclamations and nearly 500,000 students participating annually, the Day of Silence may be the largest national student-led effort in American history.
“The Day of Silence is an historic event both for young people and the greater social justice movement,” said GLSEN Founder and Executive Director Kevin Jennings. “It demonstrates that there are committed young people who are willing to stand up – or in this case, quiet down – to address the horrendous treatment of their friends, peers and selves in America’s schools.”
The Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a national student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment - in effect, the silencing - experienced by LGBT students and their allies. Students from around the country are already gearing up for what GLSEN expects to be the most successful Day of Silence to date.
“I think it's really important to participate in the Day of Silence because students get a brand new prospective about a day in the lives of an LGBT student and their allies,” said Joshua Delsman. “It also opens up a school for more dialogue about the issues Day of Silence hopes to address.”
In addition to observances throughout the day on campuses, many students participate in “Breaking the Silence” rallies, events at which students come together at the Day’s end to express themselves and share their experiences with members of their local communities.
Student Organizer Lucia Hermo has already begun planning for Day of Silence 2006, “Since it is the 10th anniversary we'll be going all out, and will probably be getting together with other schools that we are networking with to have a great breaking the silence event,” she said. “I'm super-excited for the Day of Silence, because that is when we make the most impact and...break the silence!”
Students and schools are encouraged to download free resources and information, and to register for this year’s Day of Silence at www.dayofsilence.org.
About Day of Silence
The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment - in effect, the silencing - experienced by LGBT students and their allies. The Day of Silence was founded in 1996 by students at the University of Virginia, and in years since has become a landmark national event. For more information and a complete collection of organizing materials, log on to www.dayofsilence.org.
GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for ALL students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSEN’s educational resources, public policy and public education work, student organizing programs, research or development initiatives, continue to visit www.glsen.org.