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

Recognizing & Honoring Iowa’s Best Gay-Straight Alliances


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 SoirĂ©e 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.
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

Recognizing & Honoring those who Champion Efforts
that Better the Lives of Students in Iowa


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


Please Join Iowa Pride Network
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:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IPN 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.