Make Your GSA a Success in Washington State
Welcome to The GLSEN Jump-Start Guide!
This resource is for new and already-established Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) or similar clubs. Learn how to establish or re-establish your group, identify your mission and goals, and assess your school's climate. Jump-Start your school and your GSA to create safer schools for all!
This guide consists of eight sections; all are designed to help you bring new ideas and energy to your club! They are available as PDF files to download.
Part 1 - Building and Growing Your GSA:
This section offers step-by-step assistance for students interested in forming a Gay-Straight Alliance and offers activities that can help you organize your club.
Part 2 - Tips and Tools for Organizers:
In this section, learn the basics of strategizing, creating a timeline, framing your messaging and creating an action plan.
Part 3 - Strategies for Training Teachers:
Your GSA can greatly improve the climate of your school by giving teachers the tools they need to combat name-calling, bullying and harassment. A training can also give students the opportunity to present practical solutions - and a chance for teachers to brainstorm ways to achieve these solutions
Part 4 - Understanding Direct Action Organizing:
The activities in this section focus on Direct-Action Organizing and are designed to help you apply those techniques and strategies to your work as a student club.
Part 5 - Examining Power, Privilege and Oppression:
In this section you will explore individual identities and power and privilege and learn how your GSA can work in an anti-oppression framework.
Part 6 - Creating Youth Adult Partnerships
Learn how to identify the barriers that occur while working to create youth-adult partnerships and strategies to create youth-adult partnerships.
Part 7 - Making Your Student Club Trans-Inclusive
This resource will help students develop a greater understanding of transgender people and related issues, as well as actions that can ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming people are fully included in all that GSAs do in schools.
Part 8 - Evaluation and Celebration
One of the best ways to learn from and build upon your group's experiences is by taking the time to assess your work together. It is also important to stay connected and active when your GSA does not meet. As an added bonus, this resource offers a template for creating a journal for your GSA.
Please note that we have chosen to use gender-neutral language in this resource. We recognize that replacing "he" and "she" with the gender-neutral "they" is grammatically questionable, but we hope you will overlook this in support of students who do not use "he" or "she" to identify themselves.