Day of Action

How to Lead Day of Silence Organizing

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Day of Silence

This year we are honoring the 25th anniversary of Day of Silence – a national student led protest of the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people. And this year we are going virtual! 

With school closures across the country for an unforeseeable future at this time, we at GLSEN want to ensure that we are meeting the virtual needs of students, educators, and school community members who are committed to advocacy for LGBTQ people. As we stay diligent and mindful in keeping safe through spatial distancing, we can continue to build social connections with each other online and share powerful messages. 

This guide is for anyone who wishes to participate in the largest LGBTQ student led day of action. Here's how you can take action in support of LGBTQ people. We are in this together and can’t wait to paint our way across social media platforms with you on Day of Silence. 

1: Register your participation.

  • Tell us you're participating at www.glsen.org/dayofsilence.
  • Follow GLSEN on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for campaign updates.

2: Find support.

  • Encourage your peers to participate in the Day of Silence by hanging up flyers, holding an open GSA meeting as a Day of Silence info session, or simply by telling others.
  • Locate teachers, like your GSA advisor or other teachers who are supportive of LGBTQ students who can help you plan and support you throughout the process. Make sure to ask them first if they'd like to get involved.
  • Inform your school administration, that you will be participating and ask for their support.

3: Make a plan.

  • Check out the Ways to Participate guide to help you with your planning
  • Hold a planning meeting with other students participating this year
  • Set group goals for your Day of Silence. Ask yourselves, what do you want to accomplish this year? (Example: more visibility for your GSA)
  • What is your call to action for your school? (You can use the Breaking the Silence Letter Generator)
  • How many students or teachers do you hope will get involved?
  • How is your group going to Break the Silence after participating in the Day of Silence?
  • Decide how you'll advertise your event (posters, distribute flyers, post on social media, make morning announcements) and gather the supplies/resources you'll need and write out a plan to put it into action. If you are hosting a Breaking the Silence event for your community, make sure to email us the information at students@glsen.org so that we can promote it.
  • Decide roles within the group on who is working on different pieces of the plan such as getting permission to hang posters, making the materials, tabling, etc.

4: Promote, promote, promote.

  • Put your advertising plan into action, and hang up posters, distribute flyers, make announcements, table, and use other ways to share the news!
  • If you’re planning a Breaking the Silence event make sure to include that in your advertising.
  • Share your stories online by using the hashtag #DayofSilence on social media to connect with other student organizers.

5: Participate in the Day of Silence!

  • Use the Day of Silence speaking cards to inform those around you on why you are participating in Day of Silence.
  • End the day by Breaking the Silence. If you are unable to Break the Silence in your local area, you can join us on social media by using #DayofSilence.  
  • Reflect and evaluate

Once the day of action is complete, it’s important to discuss, as a group, how it went. Record your answers to capture the information to use in next year’s planning. Use these four questions to kick off the conversation:

  • How did participants feel about it?
  • How did your school community respond?
  • What organizing methods were successful?
  • What would you like to change to make next year better?

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  • No two Day of Silence events are exactly the same; yours should fit your school and how you feel comfortable participating.
  • Above all, make sure you are safe.

Contact GLSEN if you need any help at students@glsen.org.