The Iowa GSA Network is a program of Iowa Safe Schools, with the mission of empowering students to create safe spaces in Iowa schools through youth activism and community support. It is designed to provide resources and support to LGBTQ and allied students in Iowa, as well as educators and GSA advisors. The Network connects GSAs across the state, and assist students interested in starting a GSA get their group off the ground.
What is a GSA? Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender-Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) are student-run clubs or groups in schools that serve as a safe space for all students, regardless of their orientation or gender identity/expression. GSAs provide a place for students to meet, support and listen to each other about their experiences, talk about issues related to orientation and gender identity/expression, and work to end homophobia and transphobia in their school. If you have a GSA, we want you to be a part of the GSA Network! Joining the Network will provide you with the opportunity to interact with other GSAs around the state, access a wide range of resources for LGBTQ students, and be the first to get your hands-on exclusive GSA Network swag! Join the Iowa GSA Network here! What is the GSA Network and what does it offer students? The GSA Network is a program of Iowa Safe Schools, with the mission of empowering students to create safe spaces in Iowa schools through youth activism and community support. It is designed to provide resources and support to LGBTQ and allied students in Iowa, as well as educators and GSA advisors. The Network connects GSAs across the state, and assist students interested in starting a GSA get their group off the ground. The GSA Network is designed to allow students to create change through active involvement! Our ultimate goal of enriching LGBTQ youth lives through partnerships with student leaders and GSAs is accomplished through collaboration with GSA leaders, advisors, and community partners. The GSA Network offers resources, support, and direct interactive services to GSA groups, students, and their advisors. The Network can provide your GSA with an e-toolkit of materials and ideas to help the group:
The GSA Network also helps groups connect with each other! We believe that students should collaborate with and support each other, and we help provide spaces for GSAs to do just that. Some of the events the Network hosts for students include:
Virtual Hangout is a weekly virtual drop in for LGBTQ youth in 6-12th grade as a safe, supportive, and affirming space to discuss a variety of topics that are important to them. The Hangout uses Zoom, a free online platform, for connecting youth across Iowa.
It is Iowa Safe Schools’ commitment to provide safe and supportive environments for our students, even if it is through technology. There will be new activities and topics each week, so fill out the form below and we will keep you updated!
If there are any questions, ideas for topics discussed during the meetings, requests to have a one-on-one meeting with our GSA Coordinator, or requests for an individual group meeting with our GSA Coordinator, contact Kaylyn Fisher at email@example.com or Madi Brauer at firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER: Iowa Safe Schools reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or terminate meetings under our discretion. Due to the changing nature of COVID-19, we will keep all interested informed if these meetings need to be rescheduled.
January 15th: Damian (he/him) will be talking about political advocacy and what Iowa Safe Schools is advocating for in the upcoming year
January 22nd: Discussion on setting boundaries, coming out, and healthy relationships
January 29th: Being LGBTQ in the professional world- Becky (she/her) gives insight as Iowa Safe Schools’ Executive Director
The Iowa Safe Schools’ Student Leadership Council (SLC) is the cornerstone of the Iowa GSA Network. The members of the SLC represent Iowa high school LGBTQ and allied students ages 16-18 who are actively involved in their GSA, and are advocates for safe and inclusive schools. SLC members engage in projects they are passionate about and explore their strengths and goals for being a more impactful leader. Iowa Safe Schools is elevating tomorrow’s LGBTQ leaders, empowering students to create positive change in their communities. For the 2020-2021 school year, they’ll be dedicating their time and passion to represent the many voices of GSAs across Iowa. The SLC will meet to discuss ways that GSAs and LGBTQ students can empower themselves to create safe and affirming schools for all students. They’ll help the Iowa GSA Network create youth-centered resources, programming and campaigns; motivate GSAs to reach their full potential; and represent Iowa Safe Schools in the media as well as conferences and events. Some of the projects student leaders will work on this year:
Applications can be found here.
If awarded the ZBH Courageous Scholarship, recipients must agree to: