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A group of students sit in a circle on the floor of a classroom with the desks pushed aside. They smile and hold notebooks. The first student on the left is wrapped in a rainbow flag.

There are many ways to push for change in your community— GLSEN is here to help you get started, or come up with ideas on the way.

Make a powerful statement by participating in the Day of Silence. Bring your school community together with Solidarity Week. Teach respect by celebrating No Name Calling Week. Foster connections and organize together year-round by starting a Gender and Sexuality Alliance at your school. 

Student leaders are the most valuable, powerful base of action that exists in our country today. When students lead the way, real change happens. Use these resources to work for positive change and build community in your school!

GLSEN Programs

GLSEN’s Day of Silence, Solidarity Week, and No Name Calling Week are designed to give you the tools that you need to urge your school to address and help end anti-LGBTQ bullying and help build a school community around solidarity and respect for all.

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A large group of volunteers and students from GLSEN Omaha smile and hold up rainbow flags and illustrated Rise Up posters. The posters read: rise up to protect immigrant students; rise up to protect Muslim students; rise upt o protect LGBTQ students; RESIST; rise up to protect trans and GNC students; rise up to protect black students; protect trans students; let youth lead.

GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliances)

You can make a difference! LGBTQ student-led clubs and GSAs (Gender and Sexuality Alliances) are leading the work to create safe and LGBTQ-inclusive schools, and student organizers are the nation’s most powerful base for creating change. Along with providing space to organize, GSAs are spaces where students can receive support, socialize, and find community together. 

GLSEN research indicates that students at schools with a GSA were less likely to feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation or gender expression and missed less school than their peers who attended schools without a GSA. LGBTQ students with a GSA at their school also reported less anti-LGBTQ discrimination. 

Find out how to start a GSA, get free resources to support your GSA's work, take part in the Day of Silence, Solidarity Week, and No Name-Calling Week, and join the national network of more than GSAs by registering your student club today!

National Student Council  

GLSEN’s Mission

GLSEN strives to ensure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression. We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike.
 
We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and/or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.

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The 2018 National Student Council members stand in a group smiling at the camera in front of a white background. Several hold up print-outs of various pride flags. From left to right, they are: genderqueer, rainbow, trans, and non-binary.
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Eight National Student Council members pose on the Red Carpet of the 2019 New York Respect Awards.
Summary of NSC

The National Student Council is a GLSEN-sponsored youth leadership and engagement program. It is open to all youth currently enrolled in high school in the United States. Members of the National Student Council dedicate their time, passion, and commitment to safer schools  while also elevating the voices of marginalized groups within the LGBTQ community, including  - but not limited to -  youth of color, youth with different abilities, immigrant and undocumented youth, youth who are HIV positive, youth in rural communities, and transgender, non binary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming youth.

Goals of NSC

The National Student Council members advise GLSEN programming and campaigns, offer valuable insight to GLSEN’s staff and Board of Directors, and share their stories with leaders in the LGBTQ movement, from policymakers to media to donors. Their role is to be the experts of their experiences and to bring depth and breadth into GLSEN’s student work to create safer K-12 schools for LGBTQ students and staff.

Responsibilities
  • Meet 2-4 times a month via video call with the entire National Student Council.
  • Attend an all-expenses-paid, four-day leadership summit in New York City, NY where you'll participate in workshops and gain valuable leadership experience through group exercises and thoughtful discussions about power, privilege, oppression, and intersectionality.
  • Advise and participate in creating and curating resources for GLSEN Days of Action, including Solidarity Week, No Name-Calling Week, and Day of Silence.
  • Share your truth and network with influencers and talent within the LGBTQ movement at the biannual GLSEN Respect Awards.
Benefits
  • Travel to GLSEN and partner-sponsored events and programs
  • Network and organize with student leaders, community organizers, and influencers from across the country.
  • Gain professional development through mentorship and workshops
  • Resumé building for college and work applications
  • Build leadership skills
  • Public Relations experience
  • Monthly Stipend Be a part of a national movement focused on creating safer schools for LGBTQ youth K-12
Apply for the National Student Council 2020-2021 Cohort

Applications are open May 22-June 14th at 11:59PM. Click here to apply!

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A group of student volunteers, including several National Student Council members, smile and pose in front of a rainbow board at GLSEN's 2019 Share Your Pride event partnered with Target. The students on the left are wearing a white tank-top with a rainbow gradient band and the small text: I Heart LGBTQ. The students on the right are wearing a rainbow gradient t-shirt with the larger text: I Heart LGBTQ.
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A student smiling at the camera.

Supporting LGBTQ Youth Of Color

All students deserve a safe and affirming school environment. More than 20 years of work and research has led to GLSEN’s four supports model, which says that improved school climate, academic achievement, and student well-being is achieved through:

  1. Supportive school staff
  2. Inclusive curriculum
  3. GSAs and other student-led clubs
  4. Comprehensive and enumerated policies

When working with LGBT students of color, there are a number of additional concerns that should be taken into consideration. It is crucial to see students through a holistic lens, one that recognizes and tries to understand the complex identities and experiences that shape each individual. 

Student Action Resources 

Want to make a lasting difference in your school?

GLSEN is proud to support student organizers in schools across the country. As a student, you have the power to enact change in many ways in your school and community.

GLSEN’s Day of Silence, and Solidarity Week, and No Name Calling Week are designed to give you the tools that you need to move your school to address and help end anti-LGBT bullying.

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A group of students wearing GLSEN swag.

Student Action Resources

Program
Ally Week
Type
Student Action Resources
Policy and Advocacy
Program
GSA
Type
Student Action Resources
Program
GSA
Educator Network
Type
Student Action Resources
Educator Guides