Equity Work that Matters Spotlight!

GLSEN, Phoenix

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, Phoenix strives to create safe, respectful, and healthy K-12 schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We pursue our mission through three key programs: professional development for people who work in school and youth-serving organizations; student leadership development to help start and sustain Gay/Straight Alliance student clubs and student organizing efforts; and, reform and implementation of anti-bullying, anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies and laws at the state, district and local school level. We also provide support and intervention for individuals or groups targeted with anti-LGBT bias or behavior in schools.

GLSEN’s programming is based on research that clearly demonstrates the pervasive and negative impact of anti-LGBT bias and behavior on student academic achievement and well-being, and the positive impact of comprehensive policies, supportive school workers, Gay/Straight Alliances and inclusive curricula on student academic achievement and well-being. Thus, we know not only about the extent of the anti-LGBT climate in our schools, we know what works to create healthy learning environments for all students.

What is exciting about engaging in GLSEN’s safe schools work is to see the “aha” moments during a workshop with students and/or adults. In a workshop we conducted at a statewide conference for school workers, a participant raised his hand at the end of the session to say “I’m a truancy officer in my county, and I never made the connection between this [anti-LGBT bias and behavior] and students who were skipping school.” One of our goals in professional development workshops is to help people do their jobs better – and this truancy officer can now bring back to his school concrete steps he identified from the workshop to create a safer, more inclusive school for all of his students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

For more information about GLSEN, Phoenix, please visit their website at: www.glsenphoenix.org or Email them at info@glsenphoenix.org or Call them at: 602 705 9780