Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our next big event: National Gay Straight Alliance Day!

For the past five years, Iowa has celebrated Iowa GSA Day during the last week of January. This year, we're taking it national! For the first time ever, there will be a national celebration of GSA Day on January 25, 2012!


GSA Day was started as a way to celebrate and honor our high school and college GSAs. Studies show that students who have a Gay-Straight Alliance in their school report decreased absenteeism and lower rates of name calling, harassment and assault. For decades, GSAs have been working to make their campuses safe places for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Students who start and take part in these student groups are brave. They dare to create a dialogue to improve lives. We believe that courage deserves to be recognized, to be celebrated!

Help us spread the word by "liking" our Facebook page or following us on Twitter! Tell all of your friends and help us make this a fantastic day of celebration!

GSA Day's Resources page has ideas for celebration as well as links to buy GSA Day T-Shirts and to submit to the GSA Day Video Campaign.

Each high school and college group will be celebrating in their own individual way - all throughout the country. Sign up to receive email updates and news! If you're wondering who to contact, the GSA Day Partner page has a list of State, National, Foundation, and Corporate partners, from California to Kentucky to Massachusetts. Find your state's LGBT youth organization to find out what's happening in your state!

Here in Iowa, Iowa Pride Network will be hosting a Kickoff Party on January 24, 2012 at Ritual Cafe in Des Moines. Join our Facebook event and register online for this fun (and free) event!

If your Iowa GSA is planning to celebrate, please register here. We want to know about all of the awesome things you're doing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

IPN & AIDS Project Announce $500 GSA Grants!

The AIDS Project of Central Iowa and Iowa Pride Network are proud to announce 
$500 GRANTS FOR HIV/STD EDUCATION

Three Iowa high school Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) will receive $500 grants for creative educational projects related to HIV/STD risk and prevention. The deadline for grant applications is December 1, 2011 at 5pm.


Funds will be awarded by December 31, 2011, and funded projects must be completed by March 31, 2012. For more information and to apply, click HERE  

Monday, October 10, 2011

IPN Hires Outreach Coordinator

IOWA PRIDE NETWORK
HIRES OUTREACH COORDINATOR


DES MOINES— Iowa Pride Network has hired Dana Stuehling as its Outreach Coordinator.  Dana is a 2011 graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA where she studied Sociology, focusing on race, gender and sexuality.  Dana will be responsible for enhancing Iowa Pride Network’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth leadership and organizing projects and providing outreach to Gay-Straight Alliances.

“As an anti-oppression activist, this is a perfect fit for me. It's extremely important that we challenge discrimination and oppression. Iowa Pride Network provides the vehicle for our students to understand social justice and I am proud to work with them in creating a more welcoming state for all people,” said Dana.

During her tenure at Smith, Dana worked with Students for Social Justice and Institutional Change and co-chaired the working group, Queers and Allies; both groups focused on working for LGBT rights within the college community and at a national level.  As a student, Dana acted as a resource for local GSAs, the local domestic violence shelter, the Smith Community Service Office, and with cultural bridges to justice™, a national consortium of anti-oppression trainers.

“We are thrilled to have Dana as our Outreach Coordinator.  Her expertise and organizing experience will allow us to grow the network and enhance our programs to meet the needs of our students across Iowa,” said Ryan Roemerman, Iowa Pride Network Executive Director.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Iowa Students Respond to the Murder of Marcellus Andrews

IOWA STUDENTS RESPOND TO THE MURDER OF MARCELLUS RICHARD ANDREWS

Des Moines, Iowa– August 25 – Iowa Pride Network’s Leadership Team, made up of high school and college students from across Iowa issued a statement today regarding the brutal killing of 19 year old Marcellus Richard Andrews in Waterloo, Iowa. 

Marcellus 

“This Sunday, many of us were getting ready for our first day of classes. However, as we all now know, one person was not. Upon hearing the story of Marcellus Richard Andrews, we were deeply disturbed that such violence and persecution happened here in the state of Iowa; however we were not entirely surprised that this sort of incident happened. We know firsthand that discrimination and bigotry both exist here, as in other places in the nation, despite our outward progressive appearance.

Let us not as citizens become so naïve as to think occurrences such as these are confined to places that are always elsewhere and never “here,” ever close to home. This has served as a reminder that the fight for equality is not over. We as youth need to vocalize what is happening in our schools and communities to better ensure the safety of all. We need to report every incident, every time so that issues such as these do not go unnoticed. By bringing these issues to the forefront people can become educated and help eliminate tragic events like this one. It is our hope that one day all youth will feel safe to live out in the open, as who they truly are.”

              Benjamin Alley, University of Iowa
Holly Wilson, Southeast Polk High School
Sean Hernandez, University of Iowa                                      
Dane Buchholz Iowa State University
Rachel Anderson, Grinnell College                                         
Alan Toussaint, University of Iowa
Joy Dannelly, Roosevelt High School                                     
Mika Covington, IWCC
Nicholas Muntz, University of Iowa                                        
Brittany Banks, Waldorf College
Stephen Boatwright, DMACC                                                   
              Sara Puffer, University of Iowa



Thursday, June 2, 2011

IPN to Present at First Federal LGBT Youth Summit

IOWA PRIDE NETWORK TO 
PRESENT AT FIRST-EVER FEDERAL LGBT YOUTH SUMMIT IN D.C.


Des Moines, Iowa– June 2 – Iowa Pride Network has been invited to the nation’s capital to present at the first-ever Federal Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth Summit on June 6 and 7th. 

Iowa Pride Network is a statewide nonprofit organization working to make schools and colleges safe for all students by empowering students to combat bullying, homophobia, tranphobia, and hate. The network has become a nationally recognized leader in student leadership development and safe school policies.

Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director of Iowa Pride Network will present on a policy panel discussing strategies to improve public policy at the state, local and national levels to create safe and suppotive learning environments for LGBT youth.

Erin Kraber and Alexandra Nassif, both students at the University of Iowa and Sarah Mowitz, recent Roosevelt High School graduate, will co-present a workshop with the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance entitled, "The Power of Youth Leadership in Passing and Implementing Enumerated Bullying Policies at the District and State Level."

“We’re proud to be invited to participate in this historic summit and for the opportunity to highlight Iowa’s pioneering work regarding safe school policy and student leadership,” stated Roemerman.

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius will kick off the two day summit along with Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.


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About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight bullying, homophobia, transphobia and hate 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 visit
www.iowapridenetwork.org

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Help lead our Movement!


The Iowa Pride Network Leadership Team and Youth Council is a diverse group of youth leaders from college and high schools all over Iowa. As a member of the Leadership Team and Youth Council you will learn skills to become a stronger activist and work towards creating a safer climate at your school for LGBTQ youth and straight allies. You will get support around creating a campaign, event planning or starting a GSA club on your campus. In addition, members are responsible for giving input and helping guide the programs of the Iowa Pride Network. Members will represent the needs of college GSAs and youth activists from their campus as well as plan events and lead peer to peer workshops, leadership trainings, conferences and other organizing projects. 


In addition you'll have opportunity to:
o        Help plan and run youth led conferences or present workshops at local and national conferences
o        Plan and participate in Iowa Pride Network social activities
o        Apply to become a peer-to-peer youth trainer
o        Discuss emerging trends in the LGBTQ and greater social justice movement
o        Provide occasional technical assistance to other GSAs

To Apply:
College Students: Apply HERE
High School Students: Apply HERE

Thursday, May 5, 2011

IPN to Launch Weekly Podcast!


 Become a Fan and Like us on Facebook by clicking HERE

We are very excited to announce that we’re currently in production of our official podcast which will appropriately be known as Pridecast. This weekly audio podcast will help us keep students up-to-date on IPN events and other happening across Iowa and be available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  This will also allow us to connect with like minded persons throughout the country and around the globe!!

This is a very exciting project for us!!  The most exciting part will be YOUR involvement.  This is YOUR podcast.  This is YOUR voice.  We have an idea of what the podcast will sound like, but we are more interested in what YOU want to hear.  What’s going to make the podcast interesting for you?  What will keep you involved week after week?

The last few months have been spent in development and the first show will be released during the first week of June 2011!!  So, during the next couple weeks, we NEED YOUR HELP!  Send us your topic ideas, segment ideas, and show ideas!!

If you have ideas, email them to: outreach@iowapridenetwork.org with the “pridecast” in the subject line! 

NO idea is a bad idea... we want them all!!! Looking forward to hearing from everyone!!  And...WELCOME TO PRIDECAST!!!

Sincerely,

Billy Dohrmann
Pridecast Producer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Make it Better, Iowa" Project Launches!


 View the Main website HERE!

About the Project
The mission of the project is to use theatre training and storytelling to help make Iowa a better place for LGBT youth to grow up. Make it Better, Iowa  is a collaboration between Working Group Theatre, The UI Center for Human Rights, and Iowa Pride Network with support from Prairie Lights Bookstore and Hotel Vetro. It is divided into 3 parts. Read about them below to find out how you can be a part of Make it Better, Iowa.

Part One: The Training
Theatre Training for WGT Company members with Dr. Karen Mitchell, a Theatre of the Oppressed/Forum Theatre specialist from the University of Northern Iowa. Don’t know about Theatre of the Oppressed? Dont know about the Theatre of the Oppressed?  Read up.

Part Two: The Workshop
April 2nd: 9am-12pm, 1:30pm-4:00pm
IP COMMONS
WGT and UICHR will offer a free public workshop, open to anyone who works with LGBT youth and is interested in using theatre as a tool to combat oppression and facilitate discussion.  Led by Dr. Karen Mitchell with assistance from WGT. Interested in participating? Send an email here to register and receive more details.

Part Three: The Event
IOWA CITY— Working Group Theatre has teamed up with The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, Iowa Pride Network, Prairie Lights Bookstore, and The Hotel Vetro to present Make it Better, Iowa. It will be held Sunday, April 17th at 4pm in the Hotel Vetro’s Grand Ballroom. The event will feature a theatrical performance, personal storytelling and a Skyped in appearance by Dan Savage who will be talking about the release of “It Gets Better” the book. Prairie Lights will have the book available for purchase at the event and a portion of all proceeds will go to the Iowa Pride Network and United Action for Youth. Admission is free and open to the public.

Check out the "Make it Better, Iowa" website!


 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Save the Date: Spring Soiree set for 4-28-11

(Principal Financial, 2010 Partner in Progress Award winner stands with Iowa Pride Network student members at last year's annual Spring Soiree and Honors Benefit) 

Iowa Pride Network Event Benefits LGBT Students and Gay-Straight Alliances

Iowa Pride Network (IPN) will host its annual Spring Soiree and Honors Benefit for LGBT students on Thursday, April 28th from 7-9 p.m. at zart1312 located at 1312 Locust Street in downtown Des Moines.

This exciting event highlights Iowa's best high school and college Gay-Straight Alliances; honors those who better the lives of Iowa's students with the annual Roger F. Wendt Education award, and recognizes those that further IPN's mission with the Partner in Progress Award. 

Save the Date and make plans now to attend this annual event to benefit LGBT students!

To nominate a person or organization for the Roger F. Wendt Education Award, or to nominate you Gay-Straight Alliance, please click HERE.

(Guests at last year's annual Spring Soiree and Honors Benefit)

(Southeast Polk High School with their award for Best High School GSA)

(Waldorf with their award for Best College GSA)

(Students with Representative Roger F. Wendt)



                                               

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zach Wahls to Keynote GSA Conference


Zach Wahls, University of Iowa student will be one of Iowa Pride Network's keynote speakers at this year's Gay-Straight Alliance Conference to be held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa on April 23rd.  The son of two lesbian mothers is known for his speech to the Iowa House of Representatives defending their right to marry. Recently Zach was seen on the Ellen Degeneres Show and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC.

Admission to the GSA Conference is FREE and also includes a keynote from Danielle Askini, Transgender Rights Activist and National Program Manager of the National Association of GSA Networks.  The conference will end with a concert by Leslie Hall and her band, Leslie and the LYs. The concert is free for conference attendees and $10 for the public)

Register for this FREE conference HERE.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Now Accepting "Best GSA Award" Nominations

THE IOWA PRIDE NETWORK AWARD
Recognizing & Honoring Iowa’s Best Gay-Straight Alliances

-NOMINATION APPLICATION FORM -
APPLICATION DEADLINE April 15th, 2011

The Iowa Pride Network Awards are designed to recognize and honor Iowa’s best middle school and/or high school Gay-Straight Alliance and college and/or university LGBT group.  The awards go to LGBT student organizations that have shown a committed effort to raise awareness of LGBT issues on their campus and in their communities; and have pioneered programs that have increased the respect for LGBT people. 

Iowa Pride Network Award winners will be recognized at Iowa Pride Network’s Spring Soirée and Honors Benefit in Des Moines, Iowa April 28, 2011. Applicant’s student leaders and/or advisor(s) must be able to attend the official ceremony in April.  Award winning organizations will also receive $250.00 in support. 

Download the Nomination Form and mail in your supporting materials by clicking HERE.
 OR
Nominate your GSA Online and upload your supporting materials by clicking HERE

 (Ames Spectrum GSA holding a meeting, photo taken by the Ames Tribune)



Now Accepting Nominations for Education Award

THE ROGER F. WENDT EDUCATION AWARD
Recognizing & Honoring those who Champion Efforts
that Better the Lives of Students in Iowa

-NOMINATION APPLICATION FORM -
APPLICATION DEADLINE April 1, 2011

Iowa Pride Network’s Roger F. Wendt Education Award serves to recognize and honor those who champion efforts that better the lives of students in Iowa.  The award is named after Representative Wendt, a lead sponsor of Iowa’s historic Safe Schools Law which protects students from harassment and discrimination. The individual’s or organization’s achievements to date will be key to the selection committee’s appraisal; promise for ongoing advancement of their work will be considered.

Nominee Criteria and Eligibility:
  • Award winners will have an exceptional record of substantive, innovative contributions in educational initiatives that have bettered the lives of students in Iowa.
  • In keeping with Iowa Pride Network’s mission, award winners will support the full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
  • Award winners must be nominated by a third party.
  • Award winners must participate in Iowa Pride Network’s awards ceremony at the annual Spring Soiree and Honors Benefit on April 28th, 2011 in downtown Des Moines.
  • Nominations must be received no later than April 1st, 2011

Nomination Process:
  • Complete the nomination form by either mailing in the form to Iowa Pride Network offices with supporting documents or by filling out the form online and uploading the supporting documents.
  • Click Here to download the nomination form OR
  • Click Here to nominate an individual or organization online  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

IPN Winter Benefit set for 2-27-11

EVERY STUDENT DESERVES A SAFE SCHOOL
AND THIS IS YOUR MOMENT TO HELP

Please Join Iowa Pride Network
for
The Annual Winter Benefit for LGBT Students
& Help End Anti-Gay Bullying and Suicide

Hosted by Bob Denny
Sunday, February 27th, 7-9 p.m.
At the Clarion Inn
5826 University Ave. Cedar Falls, Iowa

Every Student Deserves a Safe School...
Unfortunately for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender 
(LGBT) students in Iowa Schools are:
- Two times more likely than their straight peers to be verbally harassed
- 84% more likely to report being physically harassed or assaulted
- 56% more likely to report that they had considered suicide

And this is your moment to help...
Join us at the Benefit and learn how you can invest in Iowa Pride Network's
programs that create safe schools and connects LGBT students to reduce isolation.

You'll enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres and hear from our student 
members--Iowa's next generation of LGBT leaders at 8:00 p.m.

Please consider your most generous gift as all gifts are tax-deductible.
A minimum donation of $100 is suggested. (Students attend free)

To RSVP, please email Ryan Roemerman: ryan@iowapridenetwork.org

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IPN Releases College Climate Survey

IOWA PRIDE NETWORK RELEASES
COLLEGE CLIMATE SURVEY
First Study of Iowa College and University Campuses Show
Gaps in Support and Areas of Opportunity

Des Moines, IA – February 16 – Iowa Pride Network announced findings from its first ever Iowa College Climate Survey (ICCS) today at Drake University. The survey is the organization’s first to examine life on college and university campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allied (LGBTA) identified students.

“The ICCS reveals that harassment remains commonplace on college campuses across the state,” said Iowa Pride Network Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ryan Roemerman; “But it also makes clear that faculty, staff and administration can make a difference.”

Some of the key findings from the ICCS reveal:

·         Verbal harassment and lack of intervention is common:
82% to 95% of students have heard racist, sexist, homophobic comments or negative comments about gender expression from students on campus. When these comments are made, respondents say very few professors or students intervene.

·         Unsafe campus climates affect both LGBT and straight students:
LGBT students face more physical harassment, because of sexual orientation or gender expression, more cyber-harassment and are 25% more likely to consider suicide than their straight peers. Straight students experience more harassment because of their gender than LGBT students, while 44% of all respondents reported experiencing sexual harassment within the past year.

·         Anti-harassment  and anti-discrimination policies matter:
Students who attend a college or university feel safer if they know that their institution has an anti-harassment and non-discrimination policy; and even more safe if they know how to report harassment and discrimination. Additionally, policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity also make LGBT students feel safer. 

·         Supportive staff and resources create safer institutions
Colleges and universities that had staff that are viewed to be “supportive” or “very supportive” of LGBT students had fewer students reporting verbal harassment, physical harassment, assault, or cyber-harassment.

College and university students were on hand at the press conference and detailed their experiences as an LGBT or straight allied individual in an Iowa college. Stephen Wayne Boatwright, a freshman at Des Moines Area Community College, spoke of his transition to college. “I realized that my safety now lied in the hands of whatever university I chose and it made me research that university’s policies, which ultimately helped me make my decision.” 

(The door in this photo was vandalized at a central Iowa college. The door led to a female athlete's dorm room.)

Thao Pham, a sophomore at Iowa State University, explained a time when she personally encountered discrimination towards her sexual orientation while living in the dorms, “Regardless of the great policies that my school has on discrimination and harassment, there’s still a huge bureaucracy when it comes to reporting.”

“In a large school with a population of least 20,000 students, anonymity can be an issue and the discrimination and harassment that occurs may be overlooked. Training for RA’s and professors and educating college students early in their enrollment about how to name and stop hate and bias is important.” 

At the press conference, Iowa Pride Network called upon colleges to:
·         Meaningfully implement and enforce inclusive anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies that have clear instructions for reporting;
·         Engage faculty, staff, students and community members to appropriately intervene when bias and hate occur, wherever they occur, every time; and finally,
·         Colleges and Universities must exhibit on-going institutional support for LGBT students through student engagement, data, resources and support.

“My hope is that with the Iowa College Climate Survey, we are more aware of the kinds of issues LGBT students face in Iowa colleges,” Pham said, “And can initiate a dialogue about how to improve the climate on campus.”   


###



The Iowa College Climate Survey included responses from 276 LGBT, allied and non-allied high school students from 31 public, private and community colleges across the state. This biennial statewide survey is the only survey that measures the levels of racism, homophobia and sexism in Iowa colleges and universities. Key findings, the complete survey and additional information about methodology and demographics may be obtained by calling the Iowa Pride Network at 515-471-8062 or by visiting the Iowa Pride Network website.


About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network works directly with LGBTA youth to cultivate advocates and leaders who fight homophobia and transphobia and strive for social justice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Iowa Celebrates GSA Day!

“IOWA CELEBRATES
GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE DAY”
A Day to Honor and Celebrate Student Groups that Work to End
Violence and Harassment in Schools and Colleges


Des Moines, IA – January 26 – Today is “Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day”.  The day, organized by Iowa Pride Network, is meant to honor GSA groups, students and staff who work to end violence and homophobia in Iowa schools and colleges.

According to recent Iowa School Climate Surveys, nearly 38% of gay and lesbian students are physically harassed and 21% are physically assaulted in Iowa schools because of their sexual orientation.  However, students with a GSA in their school are 23% less likely to be assaulted.

“Having a GSA is a simple, cost-effective way to create safe schools,” stated Joshua Merritt, Iowa Pride Network Outreach Coordinator.  “That is why having a day that raises awareness of GSAs and the positive impact they have on schools and colleges is so important.”

Hundreds of students from dozens of secondary schools and colleges are expected to take part in activities to address the serious problems of anti-gay bullying and harassment, while advocating for solutions - like GSAs and implementation of Iowa’s Safe School and amended Civil Rights laws.

Sarah Mowitz, a senior at Roosevelt High School and Iowa Pride Network board member, is part of a GSA at her high school.  “The point of the GSA is to make students think twice before using anti-gay slurs or other forms of harassment.  There are students out there who get picked on for being gay or being perceived to be.  This day let’s them know that they aren’t alone and that they’re supported.”

The event, now in its fifth year, continues to gain momentum.  Four years ago Iowa had approximately 50 GSAs, today more than 100 exist.  Iowa is the only state in the nation with such a day.  “We’re proud of the impact our GSAs have made across the state and appreciate the efforts of students and staff who work tirelessly to create safe schools,” stated Mowitz. 

###

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 visit: http://www.iowapridenetwork.org/gsadayfaq.pdf.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Danielle Askini to Keynote GSA Conference


Danielle went to high school in Southern Maine where she worked tirelessly as a youth educator and activist to change school climate through GSAs. She is a former foster youth, who worked for a number of years with other foster youth to change state and federal policies affecting young people in the child welfare system. 

She is a successful graduate of a pilot program in Maine to waive in-sate tuition for youth-in-foster care, a law she helped pass. She obtained her MSW from the University of Southern Maine where she also went for her undergraduate education in social work and gender studies. Her work has focused on ending discrimination against LGBT young people, rights for youth-in-foster care, ending hate crimes, immigration rights, and HIV education. 

Before she became the Program Manager for the National Association of GSA Networks, Danielle worked in Seattle at Verbena Health providing culturally competent care to LGBTQ clients, and the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence in Portland, Maine. 

8th Annual GSA Conference set for 4-23-11

Mark your calendars and get ready to register for the 2011 Gay-Straight Alliance Conference! This year's theme: "WE CREATE EQUALITY"

On Saturday, April 23—Iowa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and straight allied (LGBTQQA) high school and college students will converge on Iowa State University to celebrate the diversity and culture of our communities; collaborate across the spectrum of our identities an...d experiences; and discuss challenges, issues and ideas facing our movement today.

We’re excited to announce our keynote speaker: LGBTQQA movement leader, Danielle Askini, National Program Manager for the National Association of GSA Networks who will kick-off the conference AND Leslie and the Lys will wrap it all up with a special concert, FREE for conference attendees!

FREE t-shirts will also be given to those that register early (only about 125 t-shirts will be made so register early!)

Registration information and applications for workshop proposals will be available soon—only on Iowa Pride Network’s main website at http://www.iowapridenetwork.org/, so check often!

DON’T MISS THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

5th Annual Iowa GSA Day set for 1-26-11



IOWA PRIDE NETWORK’S FIFTH ANNUAL IOWA GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE DAY - JANUARY 26, 2011
Taking place on high school and college campuses across Iowa!

What is Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day?
Now in its fifth year, the goals of Iowa GSA Day are to:

• Honor GSAs around that state that work to end violence, homophobia and transphobia in Iowa schools and colleges.

• Honor students, teachers and community members that have shown dedication for keeping all students safe, and insuring a quality education for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

• Raise awareness of the need for GSAs in schools and colleges and how they are a proven, effective tool in combating hostile and unsafe learning environments for all students.

• Increase the visibility of the important bond between LGBT people and their straight friends and family.

For the most up-to-date information, and to register yourself or your GSA group, please visit Iowa Pride Network's website at: http://www.iowapridenetwork.org/



Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

When is Iowa GSA Day and where is it held?
Iowa GSA Day will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. Iowa GSA Day events will happen on high school and college campuses throughout the state.

How Do We Participate In Iowa GSA Day?
To participate, register your GSA with Iowa Pride Network at http://www.iowapridenetwork.org/ , click the “Iowa GSA Day” logo and fill out the form and describe what your GSA is planning to do and why your GSA is important to you. Each GSA across the state can design activities to fit their school or college based on our three main areas of focus:

• BE VISIBLE:
 -- Make sure that people know your GSA exists and why.
 -- Make t-shirts.
 -- Make fliers and hand them out at lunch.
 -- Have a panel discussion or lead a staff training to discuss your GSA.
 -- Hold a GSA meeting where you bring your friends—just be visible and let people know why you love and appreciate your GSA and how
they can be involved!

• SHOW APPRECIATION:
 -- Do you have a fantastic GSA advisor? Do you have supportive teachers, administrators or community members?Let them know by giving them a card or thank-you note.
 -- Show appreciation for your group by discussing your group’s history.
Take the time to research your GSA’s history, or if you started it, write down your history and pass it on to new GSA leaders.
 -- Understanding and appreciating where you’ve been will help the group feel confident in creating change for the future!

• GET ORGANIZED:
Sit down with your GSA and plan for the future.
 -- What are your goals for the GSA?
 -- What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to increase attendance, improve programming, or make your school safer?
 -- Do you know who next year’s leaders will be?

• JOIN IPN’S GSA VIDEO CAMPAIGN:
Tell the world about all the great things your GSA is doing be creating a video—you can be as creative or simple as you want!!
 -- Create a short video
 -- Create a YouTube page and upload your video
 -- Send IPN the link to your video and we’ll post it on IPN’s website!
 -- Check out IPN’s website for more information on the video campaign