It’s the final Feel Good Friday of Pride month, perfect time to highlight the work of GLSEN.
Founded by a group of teachers in 1990, GSLEN (pronounced glisten) is a national education organization, “working to create a safe and inclusive K-12 school environment for LGBTQ+ youth.” Their mission is “to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
GLSEN coordinates a network of 43 chapters in 30 states across the nation and focuses on four major ways schools can cultivate a safe and supportive environment for all of their students:
- Developing supportive educators – providing training and resources for educators so that students can have a visibly supportive educator in the classroom who can advocate on LGBTQ students’ behalf, implement LGBTQ content in the lessons, and address bullying and harassment issues. Join the educator network or use some of the many resources for educators.
- Passing and implementing comprehensive policies – advocating for policies that support LGBTQ students such as non-discrimination, facilities accessibility and affirming trans and gender non-conforming students’ participation in athletics. Join the advocacy network here.
- Advocating for an inclusive and affirming curriculum – the team at GLSEN authors developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community. Download this Inclusive Curriculum Guide.
- Supporting student Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) – GLSEN provides resources for student leaders to organize GSAs in their schools to help create community and push for change. Find GSA resources at this link.
In the 32 years since they began, GLSEN’s national network is now more than 1.5 million strong, with students, families, educators, and education advocates working to create safe schools. More than 500,000 GLSEN resources are downloaded by students and educators each year!
If you’d like to support the work of GLSEN you can make a donation, shop for merch and help spread the word on social media. Like the GLSEN Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @GLSEN and Instagram @glsen