Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), the national youth leadership organization empowering young people in student-led GSA clubs, is thrilled to announce the launch of GSA Network Southeast to build the GSA youth movement in the Southeastern United States.
“The South has a long history of resistance against oppressive conditions, policies, and systems, and Southern youth have been leaders in the GSA movement since the beginning,” said Anna Davis, who will be leading the work in the Southeast as GSA Network’s Southeastern Regional Organizer. “GSA Network Southeast, in collaboration with local organizations, will focus on building our communities’ capacity to lead queer, racial, and economic justice work in a way that prioritizes youth leadership.”
Davis, born and raised in Mississippi, is an experienced youth organizer who co-founded the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, which networks Mississippi GSA clubs, and helped organize the annual Queer Youth Leading the South (QYLTS) camp.
“As a queer/trans young person from Alabama, so much of the media and resources I had access to as a GSA leader were geared towards students based in the Northeast,” said Foster Noone, a leader on GSA Network’s National Youth Council. “I’m so thrilled by this shift in national organizing towards valuing and working with Southern queer and trans folk, particularly Southern young people. Our brand of organizing is so powerful, and our voices are so key in national organizing.”
Several national organizations including GSA Network have been working with local organizations to bring LGBTQ youth voices in the South to the forefront. In June 2014, GSA Network was among the first organizations in the country to receive a grant from the LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund to deepen GSA Network’s work in the South, including through a partnership with the New Orleans-based Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) to launch the New Orleans GSA Network. NOLA GSA Network, housed at YEP, provides youth leadership training to LGBTQ youth who have already been pushed out of school and are now in alternative school settings, while also strengthening school-based GSA clubs.
GSA Network Southeast, based in New Orleans out of the office of local LGBTQ youth organization BreakOUT!, will support and connect young people and organizations throughout the region.
Youth can connect with GSA Network Southeast through Facebook: facebook.com/GSANetworkSouth.
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a national youth leadership organization that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools by training student leaders and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout the country. GSA Network operates the GSA Network of California and the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites 39 statewide networks of GSA clubs.