After a three-year initiative to improve safety and advocacy for LGBT students, the Safe Space Campaign, created by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), has provided 63,000 middle and high schools with LGBT ally education.
The Safe Space Campaign PSA can be viewed below.
Through the campaign, each school was given project kits complete with posters, stickers, and a 42-page guide to being an ally.
Following the culmination of the campaign, GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard expressed her pride in the success of the project and thanked its many supporters.
“Today we celebrate the completion of a campaign that rallied a broad and powerful network of communities, organizations, and individuals determined to ensure that every LGBT student in this country has access to potentially life-saving support,” said Byard. “We launched this campaign at a time when the nation was awakening to the costs and dangers of bullying, and GLSEN needed to get proven resources out to the tens of thousands of schools where action is so crucial.”
GLSEN believes that in order for students to be successful in school, they need to feel safe in that environment.
“Every student deserves to feel safe in school, and today we are confident that schools are safer for LGBT students than they were three years ago,” said Byard.
When the project started back in November of 2010, GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey found that eight of every ten LGBT students had been harassed because of their orientation, and six of every ten due to their gender expression. The Safe Schools Campaign mission was to change those statistics by educating students and staff to be more supportive and inclusive of LGBT students.
“Completing this campaign required the support, partnership, and commitment of so many people, corporations and organizations,” said Byard. “We are so grateful to everyone who stood with GLSEN to take action to make our schools safer and more supportive places for LGBT youth. I hope they are all proud of what we have done together.”
During the three-year campaign, GLSEN partnered with the American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Nurses, Nation Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Independent Schools. Additionally, GLSEN received support for corporate partners, including Wells Fargo, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Deloitte, the Gill Foundation, AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, MassMutual, Verizon, the Colin Higgins Foundation, and the State Farm Foundation.
The Safe Space Campaign also received support from various celebrities, including Kyra Sedgwick and husband Kevin Bacon, who filmed a GLSEN PSA back in 2010.
While the project has ended, kits can still be purchased on the GLSEN website.