Thursday, April 22, 2010

IPN Outreach Coordinator to Depart


Des Moines, IA – April 22 – Iowa Pride Network (IPN) expressed its appreciation for the work of its Outreach Coordinator, Rachel Johnson, who will be departing the organization at the end of June.  Johnson has served as Outreach Coordinator since August 1, 2007.  Johnson assisted in the development of IPN’s portfolio of programs which have become nationally recognized.

 A search for IPN’s next Outreach Coordinator will begin shortly. Johnson will assist in training the newly hired coordinator to ensure a smooth transition.

“Rachel has been involved with IPN since 2004 when she attended our first college coalition meeting.  Her work for us the past three years as Outreach Coordinator has produced amazing results in helping to better the lives of all students in Iowa,” stated Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director. While in college, Johnson was the spokesperson for IPN’s first “Student Day at the Capitol” where she implored legislators to pass a Safe Schools Law to protect all students, including those that are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).  The law passed in 2007. 

Under Johnson’s leadership as IPN Outreach Coordinator, the number of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) increased by 40% and the sustainability of those groups nearly doubled.  Johnson also doubled the number of GSA Coalitions in the state, establishing new coalitions in rural Iowa.  An accompanying GSA Coalition curriculum was created to fill the information gap by empowering youth with knowledge about their history, community, identity and culture.  In 2007, only 16% of Iowa’s LGBT youth had ever heard about LGBT people, history or events in their schools.  The curriculum increased student’s knowledge and understanding of these issues an average of 35%.

“I’m going to miss all the amazing students I’ve had the honor to work with over the years.  Their experiences have shown me how vital is it to have an organization like IPN available to youth,” stated Johnson.  “I’m eager to see where the organization will go in the years to come and have no doubt IPN will continue to triumph in its efforts to secure and uphold the rights of LGBTA youth and work to make sure they feel represented and safe in their schools. I will always remain an advocate for the rights and equality of Iowa’s LGBTA youth and will never forget what they have taught me.”

 “I know our board of directors, supporters and students will miss Rachel, but are also excited to see what she takes on next,” described Roemerman.  “Rachel has played, and will continue to play, a key role in the LGBT movement in Iowa and beyond."


About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice. For more information call Iowa Pride Network at 515-471-8062 or by visiting Iowa Pride Network.

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