By Amanda

Each year, GSA Network works with a core group of committed GSA activists and leaders who help lead our programs and shape how we can best meet the needs of LGBTQ and allied youth.  These leadership groups include our regional Youth Councils in Northern and Southern California and our Statewide Advocacy Council. Through GSA Network’s councils, youth leaders grow their leadership abilities, build kick-ass GSAs, and help make schools safer for all California students.

Youth Council members come from small towns and cities across California to represent the voices of youth activists and GSAs throughout the state. Youth Council members meet monthly to plan GSA Network’s programs, present workshops at conferences, and lead trainings throughout the year.

While the Central Valley does not have a regional Youth Council, it does have a planning committee for the region’s annual queer and allied youth conference, Expression, Not Suppression (ENS) in Fresno. The Central Valley’s program is currently seeking dedicated youth to help plan the conference, present workshops, and outreach to youth in the region about the conference and GSA Network’s programs.

The Statewide Advocacy Council is a diverse group of youth leaders from across California who work with GSA Network to change state laws and policies that impact LGBTQ youth in schools. Statewide Advocacy Council members help develop and promote advocacy campaigns such as our Campaign for LGBTQ-Inclusive Lessons. They also help to plan events, such as the GSA Advocacy & Youth Leadership Academy and Queer Youth Advocacy Day where youth leaders travel to Sacramento to meet with State Senators and Assemblymembers to talk about the laws and bills affecting them. Earlier this year, Statewide Advocacy Council members were a critical part of creating and passing the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act!

GSA Network is incredibly proud of our current 2011-2012 Youth Council and Statewide Advocacy Council members. They have already been hard at work at the beginning of this school year planning conferences, learning about legislation, and making their schools safe for all. Please visit our Youth Leadership page to view our current members.

Want to get involved?

If you are a youth leader in California looking to build your leadership and join the GSA Movement, we hope you will consider joining one of leadership bodies. If you are a teacher or adult who knows the perfect youth to join, consider passing this information along and encouraging them to check us out! We hope to make it better with you this school year!

NorCal Youth Council is currently seeking motivated leaders who are in middle school, 9th or 10th grades to join our team of fierce activists!

Interested in being a part of the Central Valley Expression Not Suppression Planning Committee? Apply!

SoCal Youth Council is no longer taking members. Please check back in January 2012 to see if spots have opened up.

Want to make policy change? The Statewide Advocacy Council is currently seeking activists in Northern California and the Central Valley who are interested in policy advocacy and want to make a difference on the statewide level.