Student Organizing Guide
GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, (NNCW) is a week organized by K-12 educators and students to end name-calling and bullying in schools.
This guide shares tools and resources for disrupting anti-LGBTQ+ harassment and bias-based bullying, and invites LGBTQ+ students into activating the power of self-determination.
86% of LGBTQ+ students were bullied or harassed at school
Source: 2019 GLSEN National School Climate Survey
Ways to Participate
Students have the ability to bring No Name Calling Week activities and discussions virtually and/or in person to your school. GSAs (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) or other LGBTQ+ affirming clubs, are a great place to promote this campaign and get participants. Collaborating with non LGBTQ+ focused clubs or classes like ASB is an opportunity to share the importance of disrupting and working together to stop bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ students at school.
1 Promote on social media! Thousands of students from across the country are participating in these awareness campaigns to bring these conversations to virtual classrooms, GSAs, and other online spaces. Help your followers learn how to engage and participate in No Name Calling Week!
● Share GLSEN’s graphics on social media handles and use hashtags #SafeToBe and #NoNameCallingWeek
● Accessibility: Don’t forget to add image descriptions and captions to video posts! When writing out a hashtag, make sure to capitalize the first letter of every word, this helps the screen readers clearly pronounce what the hashtag says.
● Post a photo that empowers you. In the caption add: “#SafeToBe (your identities) at/in (school/class/sports) ” Or another example such as “#SafeToBe Genderqueer in Physics Class”and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @GLSEN.
o Image description is of a light skinned person with strawberry blonde hair in a purple semi circle frame on the right of the graphic. They are wearing a beanie with bangs sticking out. They are wearing a floral patterned shirt and smiling. Under their image in purple text reads “Aiden Cloud, they/them/theirs, GLSEN NSC Member.” The text on the right reads #SafeToBe Genderqueer in Physics Class.” Below is the No Name Calling Week logo with a purple strip at the bottom and white text that reads “Learn More at GLSEN.org/no-name-calling-week.”
○ For more information about why this is important, check out this list of “Ways to Create Access” from the Disability Accessibility Summit.)
2 No Name Calling Week teach-In.
● Bring in guest speakers to share their identity and discuss empowerment. Learn directly from people willing to share their identities and invite them to speak in GSA meetings or other student clubs. This is a good opportunity to discuss intersectionality and racial justice. Don’t forget to set up a Zoom or Google Hangout link and share this information with the guest speakers and peers to join if you are meeting virtually. Go over some space agreements to make sure everyone is being mindful and respectful of each other. Always try to compensate the panelists for their time, partnering with a community org who can cover the cost is a great way to network and community build. GLSEN’s Guidelines for Respectful GSA Spaces. Questions to consider for the panelists:
o Can you share about your identities and how you have navigated them with other people?
o Are you comfortable sharing some areas of struggle in relationship to your identities?
o What would make you feel included and safer in your daily spaces?
● Organize a small group discussion. Share out a blog or resource about an identity and invite people into the conversation to learn. Check out these resources below for more information about identities and talk about why representation and justice are important to building your school culture.
● Hold an open discussion group. This space is for folks to share their identities. GSAs are a great place to host these conversations. Below are some questions to get started.
o How affirming do you think your school is for LGBTQ+ students? How do you know?
o What changes at your school are needed in order for you to feel safer?
o What are some things about your identity you are proud of?
o When you are navigating a situation and need support, such as people calling you the wrong names, pronouns, or using words that feel harmful, what do you need to feel safe again?
3 Create a playlist for the week!
Create a playlist with songs filled with strength, resilience, representation, and pride. This can be a group activity or a personalized playlist to keep you vibin throughout the week. Check out the National Student Council’s No Name Calling Playlist on Spotify.
4 Tune in to the GLSEN bulletin.
On Monday, January 18th, join members from the GLSEN National Student Council on Instagram Live at 6:30 PM ET. They will be discussing No Name Calling Week, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the continued work towards systemic change for racial justice.
5 Kindness Grams.
Send someone in your class or school a random message of affirmation. This could be through a kind note, art, and poetry. Challenge this person to pass it on to someone else. Check the NNCW landing page or Instagram for blank Kindness Grams to use.
6 #SafeToBe Vision Board.
The goal of this activity is to identify the things that make students feel unsafe at school and to envision and dream of experiencing safety and inclusion.
● Using Jamboard or an app that allows for co-creating in a group, use words and images to build this vision with GSAs and discuss the ideas that were added and why.
● Strategize with the group about how to make this vision board happen!
● Select some of the top ideas and focus on what is needed. What action can be taken to start the path towards creating that safety?
Jamboards are available through Google docs. The GSA activity can be found here.
Source: 2020-21 National Student Council Vision Board
7 Free stream the film “Mr. Navajo”.
GLSEN has partnered with Frameline to offer free streaming of their Youth in Motion film: Mr. Navajo, about Zachariah George, a young Two Spirit Navajo, who is actively engaged in indigenizing and decolonizing his community and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights within it. GLSEN will share links to the film along with the guide to educators and students who take our pledge.
8 Attend the #SafeToBe Rally!
On Friday, January 22nd at 7:00 PM ET GLSEN will be live streaming on YouTube and Facebook. We will have exciting performances, student speakers, and special guests.
● Call for submissions if you are an LGBTQ+ student interested in being selected as one of the performers for this national event. Submissions for spoken word, dance, music that shares a message related to anti bullying, identity, empowerment, kindness in action, LGBTQ+ and thriving, then click this link to submit by January 6th.
● Watch Party! GSAs can set up a time to watch the rally together. There are beautiful moments of connecting with other students from around the country on GLSEN’s YouTube channel during live streaming and supporting each other with words of affirmation and care.
GLSEN is here to offer support and resources for this campaign. It has been almost a year into the pandemic and for many people, things have not slowed down. The intention of this week is to focus on building safer schools for LGBTQ+ students and of course, this work continues all year. Organizing activities and connecting has been challenging. Remember, identities that have been oppressed have shown their resilience and uprising. We move through this work on a path forged with the fight and love of those before us!