GLSEN RVA

A nonprofit organization

$10 raised by 1 donor

GLSEN RVA believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. We are a local chapter of a national network of educators, students and community members working to make this right a reality.

Our research and experience has shown that there are four major ways that schools can cultivate a safe and supportive environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression:

Student GSAs, Supportive Educators, Comprehensive Policies, and Inclusive Curriculum.



GLSEN RVA Support for Student GSAs and Educators


At our founding in 2000 there were no GSA clubs in Central Virginia - today there are 35+ Gay Straight Alliance clubs active in schools throughout Central Virginia's urban and rural areas.  Peer-to-peer student interactions and norm-setting are extremely effective in increasing acceptance and reducing bullying in schools.  Our goal is to have no less than 100% of the schools in the Central Virginia area have safe and inclusive space for GLBTQ+ students.  

GLSEN RVA sponsors two free Summits each school year to help build GSA leadership, strengthen GSA programs and support educators.  Our first post pandemic in person summit in October 2022 had more than 30 participants.  We also provide free program materials to GSA clubs for Ally Week, Day of Silence, and other GLSEN programs.


GLSEN RVA Work for Comprehensive Policies and Inclusive Curriculum

By participating in various community public festivals and events, our Outreach Program educates and provides resources about GLBTQ youth to the community at large.

We also monitor legislation filed in the Virginia State Assembly that may be detrimental to school GSA clubs and GLBT+ youth to help educate and fight against such measures.  So far, in the 2023 Virginia Legislative Session, we are monitoring more than 50 bills impacting public schools or GLBTQ+ youth.  


GLSEN RVA Stands Against Banned Books

In 2022, GLSEN RVA took a stand against the current wave of book bans and challenges.  The majority of the challenged books focus on LGBTQ issues, discuss racism in America, or document the Black experience or the experiences of other BIPOC individuals.   In other words, GLSEN sees book challenges and bans as part of a crusade to suppress already-marginalized voices,  sending a clear message that certain ideas are not acceptable in society.  These bans weaken education and prevent people from learning to think for themselves.

Virginia is, obviously, not exempt from book challenges and bans.  Local news media have reported that 23 school districts across the Commonwealth have pulled books from their shelves in the past two school years.  “Gender Queer,” an autobiographical graphic novel by a non-binary and asexual author, was the most challenged book in Virginia.  In the past two school years, the book has been placed under review in at least nine school districts and removed from shelves in five, including districts in Central Virginia.   

Of course, the reality is that books help young people see themselves mirrored and feel valued and validated, which is so important for GLBTQ+ youth.  One of the activities we can all participate in to stand against book bans is to actually read books that have been challenged and banned, and engage in conversations about the ideas and narratives portrayed in those books.  GLSEN RVA stands against book bans by hosting banned book readings and discussions.  Additionally, to ensure GLBTQ+ youth continue to have the opportunity to see themselves represented in school literature, GLSEN RVA raises funds and promotes the Rainbow Library, GLSEN's program to put sets of age appropriate inclusive books into school libraries across the country. 


As a totally volunteer organization, 100% of your donations go directly to programs and services for GSA youth in schools. 

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Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

GLSEN RVA

other names

GLSEN Richmond

Address

1407 Sherwood Ave.
Richmond, VA 23220