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Writing a Mission Statement
GSA: Writing a Mission Statement Guide
The purpose of a mission statement is to identify why the club exists, spell out the goals and philosophy of the group, and explain the club’s work. Creating a mission statement for your group will give you direction and purpose throughout the year and will inform others of what your group is about.
Some questions your mission statement should answer:
- Who are we? Who can be part of our group? Is it LGBT-only? Youth-only?
- What do we stand for? What are the key elements of our group’s philosophy? Examples included: safety, respect, diversity, community service, direct action and education.
- What do we do? What are our goals? What does our group want to achieve in the short, medium and long term? Examples include: raise awareness of anti-LGBT harassment in school and in society, draw attention to gender role construction and gender inequity, confront interconnected “isms” (such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc.), provide a safe and supportive place for LGBTQ students and allies, etc.
- How do we do it? How are we going to achieve our goals? Examples include: promoting or passing anti-discrimination school policies, working with teachers to develop lesson plans on LGBT history, organizing a coalition of allies in the school community, holding fundraisers to purchase LGBT inclusive library materials, and holding weekly meetings where students can find support.
5 Tips For Writing An Effective Mission Statement
- INVITE INPUT. An effective mission statement is best developed with ideas from all members of your group.
- KEEP IT CONCISE. Two or three focused sentences are ideal.
- EXAMINE OTHER MISSION STATEMENTS TO GET IDEAS FOR YOUR OWN. Simply copying other groups’ statements, however, probably won’t accurately reflect what your group is about.
- TAKE YOUR TIME. Effective mission statements usually take a while to develop. Revisiting your mission statement drafts during a couple of meetings allows for additional input and final editing.
- SHARE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT WIDELY. Distribute copies to everyone in your group. Consider posting copies around your school, having it published in the school newspaper, submitting it to your school’s administration, printing it for your group archives, and including it in your group’ published materials (flyers, posters, websites, facebook, etc.)
Sample Mission Statements
“Students, advisors and community members meeting together to find ways to make Rogers High School, the Hillyard Community and the City of Spokane safe and accepting for ALL.”
Rogers High School
“The mission of Southern Guilford’s Gay-Straight Alliance is to promote understanding of social misconceptions and foster respect for all individuals that are encountered throughout our future. We will utilize active and stimulated discussion among leaders and members to raise enlightenment of current social issues that will break down the barriers of oppression and privilege we see everyday, while maintaining diversity in thoughts and ideas.”
Southern Guilford High School