The GSA movement surged in Florida this year with the number of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs jumping from 50 to nearly 150. In addition to providing mentorship to Florida GSA Network through our National Association of GSA Networks, we also helped their staff find and register GSA clubs. In addition, we trained them to run leadership trainings and GSA summits to empower youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in Florida schools.
GSA youth activists from small towns and cities throughout the Central Valley and Northern California found support, empowerment, and an abundance of skill-building workshops at GSA Network’s annual conferences in 2009.
As Cleve Jones, long-time friend of Harvey Milk and keynote speaker at GSA Network’s conference in Fresno, put it: “Victory is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. That’s how it was for Harvey Milk.” Cleve inspired over 250 participants with his message of “don’t give up.” In San Francisco, the Youth Empowerment Summit drew over 400 youth.
This year GSA Network trained more youth leaders than ever before. Through a series of youth-led GSA summits, trainings, and Activist Camps throughout California, we trained 830 middle and high school students. GSA youth leaders are using their new skills to make their schools safer. Many have also become leaders in our organization, serving on our Board of Directors and regional Youth Councils.
The results are in! Over 300 GSA activists turned in year-end surveys to evaluate our programs. 70% of respondents identified as LGBTQ and 57% identified as people of color. Among the highlights:
Students also gave high marks to GSA Network’s resources, events, and trainings.
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