In the past seven years, Front Runners New York has awarded over $100,000 to a variety of LGBT-related, New York based organizations as the beneficiary of our annual Pride Run. This year, for the first time, we allowed organizations to apply on their own for consideration.
Based on responses from our membership through the FRNY 2016 Membership Survey, the GLSEN was elected to be the 2016 FRNY LGBT Pride Run Beneficiary.
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In 1990, a small, but dedicated group of teachers came together to improve an education system that frequently allowed its LGBT students to be bullied, discriminated against and/or fall through the cracks. Over 25 years later, GLSEN has become the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all K-12 students.
While the LGBT community has made great strides and celebrated many important victories, our students continue to face ongoing bullying and harassment problems in school. We have been working to change that.
At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow. To that end, all of GLSEN’s efforts focus on increasing the presence of four key supports for LGBT youth, proven to create a safe and affirming school climate. They are: supportive educators; LGBT-inclusive school policies; student leadership opportunities; and LGBT-inclusive lesson plans.
When these supports are in place, students experience increased GPAs; higher graduation rates; college and career readiness; and higher self-esteem.
GLSEN continues to be the national leader in improving the school experiences for LGBT youth. With our partners, GLSEN has helped get laws passed in 18 states that explicitly protect tens of millions of students from anti-LGBT bullying. We helped create LGBT History Month and lead GLSEN’s Day of Silence, the international day of action during which students take vows of silence to highlight the silencing effect of so many of our school climates.
GLSEN has also helped increase the number of LGBT students who can identify a supportive educator in their school from 60% to 96%, and the number of students who attend a middle or high school with a Gay-Straight Alliance student club from 0% to 50% nationwide.
Today, GLSEN’s influence extends beyond the direct benefit to LGBT students by improving school climates for all students. Our research has proven that reducing bullying and harassment of LGBT youth creates safer and more affirming school environments for everyone. More tolerant and less aggressive environments benefit all students who may feel different from their peers. Furthermore, straight students who learn to appreciate the variety of human expression are more college and career ready. Their familiarity with LGBT diversity makes them more successful in diverse college settings and in an increasingly diverse workforce.
Why GLSEN was considered to be the 2016 Beneficiary:
A) Goals: GLSEN’s research has found the best student outcomes occur in schools where four key supports are in place. It is our goal to ensure all four of these supports are present at every K-12 school in America. The supports are:
- Visible, LGBT-supportive educators.
- LGBT-inclusive policies, including anti-bullying policies.
- Student leadership opportunities, such as a Gay-Straight Alliance.
- A curriculum that includes LGBT people, history and events.
All of GLSEN’s work seeks to increase the presence of these supports in schools because they lead to markedly better experiences for LGBT students, including:
- Dramatically higher GPAs: The average GPA for students who experienced lower levels of victimization was 3.3 vs. 2.8 for students who were more often harassed.
- Students are twice as likely to consider college: Only 4.2% of students who experienced lower levels of victimization had no plans for post-secondary education vs. 8.7% for others.
- Higher self-esteem: 51% of students who experienced less victimization at school had positive self-esteem vs. only 28% of often-victimized students.
B) Programs: GLSEN accomplishes our work through four complementary program departments:
- Research & strategy, building the evidence base with insights into how students are truly affected on a day-to-day basis and which interventions help most.
- Legislation & policy, working at the local, state and federal levels to build the political infrastructure that will enable safe and affirming schools.
- School-based programs, training and empowering educators and students in schools every day to build and cultivate safe and affirming school environments.
- Organizing & advocacy, providing inspiration for all school stakeholders, including families, to stand together to demand school environments where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community.
With your support, GLSEN will continue to foster systemic change throughout our education system toward our long-term goal of creating safe and affirming learning environments for all K-12 students across the country.