GLSEN National Days of Action
GLSEN sponsors annual National Student Days and Weeks of Action which GSTA youth can lead in their schools to help improve school climate for all:
• Ally Week, often last week in September. (all dates open to local adapting) Students gather pledges to avoid anti-LGBTQ language and behavior and to intervene when it is witnessed. www.allyweek.org
• No-Name-Calling Week, usually 3rd week in January. Students promote awareness of hateful language and how to avoid using it, emphasizing how to intervene with peers. Once designed especially for Grades 5-8, now open to all grades. www.nonamecallingweek.org
• Day of Silence, usually a Friday in the middle of April. Youth promote awareness of enforced silence and invisibility experienced by LGBTQ people and seek to enhance school-wide empathy for all marginalized members of the school community through taking a pledge of silence in non-academic activities for one school day. Often followed by a “Breaking the Silence” event. www.dayofsilence.org
GLSEN Southern Maine Events
• GSTA Regional Meetings, a fun once-a-month social and educational meeting with program and dinner provided at rotating high schools in Southern Maine for GSTA members and their advisors.
• Students for Safe Schools Leadership Team (SSSLT), a leadership training program for GSTA members who want to take their leadership experience beyond their local school level. There is an application process in the fall. These students learn to make presentations and advocate for LGBTQ issues around the state.
• Pride Portland, on the third Saturday in June, a parade of LGBTQ people followed by a festival in Deering Oaks Park, which has vendors and booths. www.prideportland.org (There are other Pride parades and festivals around the state in June.)