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Ways to Participate in Day of Silence
Every April people across the country engage in silent protest on GLSEN’s Day of Silence, a national youth movement highlighting the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school.
Use this list below to find ways that GSAs, students, and educators can participate in breaking the silence!
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN DAY OF SILENCE (STUDENTS/GSAS)
1. Register for the Day of Silence and encourage other students to register.
- Sign up for the Day of Silence Street Team to help boost registration at your school.
- If you have a GSA at your school, nominate a person to become your Day of Silence street team representative.
2. Read up on your rights as a student and GSA to participate in DOS.
3. Beforehand, check out the How to Organize guide, so you can learn how to increase your school’s participation!
- Hand out Zines to other students at your school.
- Replicate a Zine of your own to distribute before, during, and after Day of Silence.
6. Get permission to set up a Day of Silence table in your school hallway and giveaway stickers and buttons, hang posters, take photos with the unselfie sign, and pass out info cards.
- Speak to your school administrators and ask permission to set up a Day of Silence info table.
- Print out Day of Silence stickers from glsen.org/dayofsilence and give them out. Or make your own!
- Print out Day of Silence info cards from glsen.org/dayofsilence and give them out. Or hand write and decorate your own using the same wording used on glsen.org/dayofsilence
- Set up an unselfie sign booth where people can fill out printouts to post on social media using #DayOfSilence.
7. Join GLSEN for 3 minutes of community silence and solidarity at 3 pm ET.
- Stay silent in solidarity with GLSEN’s community silence at 3 pm ET/2pm CT/1pm PT/11am HT, (make sure to check your time zone!). If you have a GSA you can gather together with your GSA for these 3 minutes. 8.
8. On the Day of Silence, lead a silent lunch, rock your Day of Silence gear, and document the day with a video or photo series.
- Organize a lunch table where everyone is silent together at the table.
- Encourage everyone to wear or make Day of Silence gear.
- Download the unselfie sign or make your own Breaking the Silence unselfie sign.
- Coordinate a day for a mini-video shoot and ask your peers what Day of Silence means to them and how they have chosen to break the silence. Get permission from your peers to post their videos online. Use #DayOfSilence and tweet @GLSEN to be a part of thousands of students who are raising LGBTQ-awareness this April.
9. Hold a silent reflection-carousel where students or GSA members answer questions about LGBTQ issues such as:
- What parts of your identity feel supported at school? What is being done to support this?
- Thinking about the 4 Supports for LGBTQ Inclusive Schools (inclusive curriculum, supportive educators, GSAs and other LGBTQ clubs, and comprehensive policies), what is your school doing well? What can you work towards changing?
- What LGBTQ topics or people are missing from your curriculum that you would like to learn about? Why?
- What school rules or policies would help you feel more supported at school?
- If you could design your own supportive class or school, what would it look like?
10. Organize a Breaking the Silence party, assembly, panel, rally or open mic in your school to end the Day of Silence.
- Secure a semi-private space and create a makeshift stage, with or without sound equipment, where people can share performances about their identities, their Day of Silence experiences, the changes they want to see in their schools, or other topics for attendees. Schedule a few people who will appear, like student musicians, poets, dancers or other performers, and bring a sign-up sheet for attendees to perform on the spot.
- Invite speakers, from within your GSA, in the local community and encourage them to speak as you all Break the Silence together! If you don’t have speakers you can play videos!
11. Use GLSEN’s tool to automatically receive a customized letter to share with your school administration asking for LGBTQ supports.
- Individually or with your GSA, go to glsen.org/dayofsilence and fill out the questionnaire to see how your school stacks up against GLSEN’s four supports, and to ask for what’s missing at your school.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN DAY OF SILENCE (EDUCATORS)
- Use the Educator Guide for the Day of Silence to find lesson and activity ideas before, during, and after the Day of Silence.
- Pause your teaching to join GLSEN for the community silence and solidarity for 3 minutes at 3 pm ET/2 pm CT/1pm PT/11am HT.
- Structure your lessons with silent writing: Have students send a letter to administrators, supervisors or other school leaders to support LGBTQ students. Go to glsen.org/dayofsilence to fill out GLSEN’s short questionnaire and receive customized letters to share with your school administration, asking for GLSEN’s supports for LGBTQ-inclusive schools.
- Set up a Day of Silence table in your school lobby or hallway and invite students to give away Day of Silence stickers and buttons, hang posters, take photos with unselfie signs, and share info cards.
- Breaking the Silence is an important action on the Day of Silence. Prepare with your students beforehand how they want to take action and advocate for LGBTQ people at their school. Work with students to organize a Breaking the Silence Assembly, rally, or open mic.
- Encourage your students to download the unselfie sign and answer how you’re breaking the silence.
- If your school has a GSA, meet with them and their GSA advisor to see how you can support their Breaking the Silence event.
- Preview and then host a screening of one of the films from the Youth and Gender Media Project, which is offering FREE Streaming to Day of Silence registrants.
- Sign up for GLSEN’s Educator Network and encourage other educators in your school to sign up as well to stay connected to the newest GLSEN resources and campaigns.