National Gathering

The GSA movement isn’t limited to California! It extends across the nation to unify students, staff, and allies who are committed to creating safe schools for all.

GSA activists from across the country come together every summer at the National Gathering. The goal of the National Gathering is to support the GSA movement across the country and expand it to include even more states, cities and towns.

The National Gathering is hosted by the National Association of GSA Networks. It provides an opportunity for National Association members to collaborate, share stories, exchange resources, discuss best practices, and build the GSA movement.

The National Gathering is free and travel scholarships are available.

Many exciting issues, topics, lectures and social events take place every year at the National Gathering, such as:

  • Hands-On Workshops
  • Guest Speakers
  • Social Events
  • Specialized Training
  • Large Group Sessions
  • Evening Activities

Workshop topics address a wide variety of issues, including:

  • Youth Leadership Models
  • Gender Identity and Expression
  • Racial Justice
  • Rural, Suburban, and Urban Models for GSA Organizing
  • Developing Your Organizational Infrastructure
  • Fundraising for your GSA Network
  • Safe Schools Advocacy and Policy Activism

GSA activists from throughout the country at the 2009 National Gathering

Who Can Attend the National Gathering?

The National Gathering welcomes 55 to 75 participants each year. About two-thirds of all participants are youth leaders. Skilled youth trainers facilitate the majority of the workshops at the National Gathering. Staff from various states also lead trainings.

GSA activists from states with organizational members in the National Association of GSA Networks are welcome to apply, as part of the GSA network in that state. Check the National Directory to find out if your state has an organizational member. If your state does not have a member, you can Start a GSA Network in your state. Please contact us. You may be eligible to attend.

To find out more information about the National Gathering of GSA Networks, or the National Association, please contact our National Network Manager, Alan Ratliff.

Where Does the National Gathering Take Place?

The next National Gathering will take place July 5- July 8, 2015 in Berkeley, CA. This year's event is hosted by GSA Network of California.

Past National Gatherings have taken place throughout the country:

2014: Minneapolis, Minnesota
2013: Denver, Colorado
2012: Louisville, Kentucky
2011: Washington, DC
2010: Providence, Rhode Island
2009: Austin, Texas
2008: Chicago, Illinois
2007: Albuquerque, New Mexico
2006: San Francisco, California

Hear What National Gathering Participants Are Saying

”I can’t wait for next year! This was a transformative experience for me. It was definitely life changing.”

- Graham Brinklow, Coordinator of the Indiana Youth Group’s GSA Network

“The most valuable and powerful part of the National Gathering was the incorporation of controversial but important issues that range from complex human emotions to systemic oppression and institutions, while bringing together people from all over the nation and the perspective and experience which they hold.”

- Juan Gabriel Padilla, youth leader, Austin, Texas

“The best part was watching youth take discussions that started in a workshop and continue them in free time. The youth facilitated these discussions themselves and at the end of discussion they all shared that they felt inspired, empowered, and excited to continue those discussions online.”

- Austin Lea, Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition