NEW YORK - GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is pleased to announce that Dr. Pat Griffin, former Director of It Takes a Team Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues in Sport at the Women's Sports Foundation, has joined GLSEN to develop and direct a program to address anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bias and behavior in sports in K-12 sports.
The GLSEN Sports Project, which will launch next year, will assist K-12 schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate that is based on the core principals of respect, safety and equal access for all students and coaches regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
"We are thrilled to work with Pat Griffin to ensure that GLSEN's efforts to create safe and enriching schools extend to playgrounds, playing fields and locker rooms," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "Every child should have the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of sports in a safe and affirming environment, and Pat is a sports icon who has dedicated her career to making that dream a reality."
Griffin is a Professor Emeritus in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is author of Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbian and Homophobia in Sports and co-editor of Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers.
The former three-sport athlete at University of Maryland brings more than 25 years of experience as a coach and educator working to change the sports culture so that younger generations of LGBT athletes can live openly, be recognized for who they are and respected for their character. In 2007, Griffin was recognized as 100 most influential sports educators by the International Sports Institute.
"I am excited to work with GLSEN on this important project," Griffin said. "I have great respect for what GLSEN does to make schools safe for LGBT students, and I look forward to creating a top notch resource for athletics and physical education."
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org