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Get Involved. Start a Chapter!

Thank you for your interest in helping create safe and affirming schools for ALL K-12 students!

GLSEN Chapters are community-based groups of people accredited as a GLSEN Chapter, who work to bring GLSEN’s programs and visions to their communities on a local level. They are supported in their work by the GLSEN national offices in New York City and Washington, DC. Support includes coverage under GLSEN's 501c3 tax exemption, a Unified Accounting System, branding, social media support, and training and professional development opportunities.

Individuals interested in starting a local Chapter will need to take the following steps: 

Step 1 Start to form a Steering Committee! 

A Steering Committee is a group made up of five or more individuals who work towards becoming an accredited GLSEN Chapter. Steering Committee members should define roles and responsibilities from the beginning. Start thinking about who will fulfill the roles of Chair or Co-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Volunteer Coordinator. Review the Steering Committee application form that will be due after Step 2 to anticipate expectations from GLSEN National.

Step 4 Meet with other local LGBTQ organizations!

Once your Steering Committee application and Background Checks have been approved, we recommend you schedule meetings with local LGBTQ youth-serving non-profits and determine what anti-bullying and harassment policies exist in your state. We don't want to duplicate efforts! Chapter programming should be solely determined by your specific community needs!

Step 2 Speak with a GLSEN National Representative!

Schedule a call with a GLSEN staff member by emailing chapterinfo@glsen.orgDuring the call, topics will include determining your coverage area, finalizing roles and responsibilities of those involved, the comprehensive support you will receive as a Chapter, and the types of programs you will focus on.

You will then proceed to start filling out the Steering Committee application form, to be submitted to chapterinfo@glsen.org.

Step 5 Hold community meetings!

Next, hold 2-3 community meetings in preparation to apply for formal GLSEN Accreditation. These meetings should be held with the intention of getting people interested in the Chapter, gauging the safe schools needs of your community, and developing the key focus of your specific Chapter's GLSEN work.

Step 3 Complete Background Checks!

Steering Committee members and volunteers who are 18 years of age or over must successfully complete GLSEN Background Checks. The process takes 2-4 weeks, and must be completed before your Chapter engages with youth.

If any new members join your Steering Committee after you submit your application, please forward along their names, birth dates, and contact info to chapterinfo@glsen.org.

Step 6 Strategic Planning with GLSEN National & Apply for Chapter Accreditation!

When your Steering Committee is ready to start the accreditation process, a member from GLSEN National will come hold a Strategic Planning Meeting to go over next steps. Every January, May, and October, GLSEN's National Board of Directors hold Board meetings where they make a final decision as to whether or not you are approved as a Chapter. Applications can be acquired from chapterinfo@glsen.org and are due 4-6 weeks before the Board meeting.

Once approved, you will transition straight into being a GLSEN Chapter and join our network of nearly 40 Chapters across 26 States!

Interested in learning about one of our newest Chapters? Check out GLSEN Greater Wichita's story. Interested in starting a GLSEN Chapter? Email chapterinfo@glsen.org for more information.