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About GLSEN Phoenix
GLSEN Phoenix is one of 43 chapters across the United States. Since securing accreditation in October 2002, the chapter has delivered professional development workshop to K-12 employees, advocated for reform of anti-bullying, anti-harassment, and non-discrimination policies, and supported student leadership in Gay Straight Transgender Alliance (GSTA) student clubs. Following a research-based model, GLSEN Phoenix works throughout Maricopa County implementing localized solutions as follows:
Student Organizing Program
We support Gay/Straight/Transgender Alliance (GSTA) student leaders who demand equal access to educational activities and facilities by:
- visiting and delivering resources to GSTA clubs
- tabling during Teen Lifeline Suicide Prevention Month at schools in 6 districts and reaching 1300+ students;
- running the SHINE Student Leadership Institute over four weeks during the summer to prepare LGBTQ youth and their allies to lead GSTAs or advocacy campaigns throughout the school year;
- facilitating student workshops on leadership development and safe schools activities;
- hosting a GLSEN contingent at the Phoenix Pride parade of 300+ GSTA students, and a “Student Zone” at GLSEN’s Phoenix Pride booth.
Safe Schools Professional Development Program for Educators
We train educators to become allies for LGBTQ students and families by delivering professional development workshops at schools and during statewide and regional conferences to pre-service and current K-12 teachers, administrators, and staff on how to create sustainable changes throughout the school, including how to be an effective and visible ally using GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit. Workshop options include safe schools foundations, transgender inclusion, safe schools policies, and inclusive elementary education.
Safe Schools Policy Program
We convince policy decision makers to protect LGBTQ students by drawing on GLSEN’s model policy guides to facilitate empathy-building and policy-centered workshops with school administrators, speaking at school board meetings and state legislative education committee hearings, and participating in influential bodies such as Tempe Union High School District’s Community Diversity Advisory Committee. GLSEN Phoenix focuses on reformation and non-discriminatory implementation of anti-bullying/harassment/discrimination policies, dress and grooming codes, sexual health administrative regulations, and the state HIV/AIDS statute. This is an area that requires substantial improvement – Arizona’s sex ed and AIDS education guidelines disallow LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, and only 7% of LGBTQ students in Arizona report attending a school with an “enumerated” anti-bullying policy that includes protection based on sexual orientation or gender/identity expression.
Community Outreach Program
We field reported incidents of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence in K-12 schools from parents, students, and teachers. Our responses include making crisis and health-based referrals, helping to de-escalate and problem-solve, and providing evidence-based and institutional-wide solutions to prevent future individual-level victimization. GLSEN Phoenix observes an uptick in such reports after earned media coverage of our chapter’s mission or bullying in general; an increase in reports does not necessarily reflect an increase in prevalence but it always reflects growth in awareness and concern.
In addition, we raise public awareness about the importance of safety for and inclusion of LGBTQ youth and families in K-12 schools, and mobilize the public to advocate for change in their school community by tabling at community events inside and outside of schools, doing presentations and participating in webinar-based and in-person LGBTQ- and education-themed workshops and panels that reach hundreds of employees for local agencies, businesses, and corporate employee resource groups such as Pride at Accenture and GoDaddy United.
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