Seizing our moment to organize, to act, and to bring out truth to the forefront
By Juniperangelica Cordova
GSA Network has always been about possibilities. Twenty years ago, high schoolers in Salt Lake City, Utah sat in a courtroom tempted by the possibility of actually winning a court case that would allow them to form a GSA club in their school. And they did.
Twenty years ago, young organizers sat around a table tempted by the possibility of creating a national organization to support the growing number of GSA clubs. And they did.
Young people across race, region, and class lines have historically worked together in solidarity, tempted by the possibility of their own strength. During that time, many of us have become leaders for racial and gender justice. We have built up our knowledge of the world and shared our own wisdom for change.
GSA Network’s youth leadership model has supported generations of radical young people doing radical work. Activist camp was the catalyst that launched some of us into a future where we could achieve anything, because we learned how to value our life and how to believe in our power. After getting trained as youth organizers and advocates, we pushed through bills that became state law, we changed individual school districts, and we supported each other through personal tragedies. Some of us have taken our leadership to new heights as GSA Network afforded us opportunities to sit on the Board of Directors or hired us as staff, allowing us to play a direct role in the organization’s governance and make our vision come to life.
So, what now?
We continue. This year, we celebrated 20 years of GSA Network’s liberatory work and we set our sights on the next 20 years. Going forward, we will challenge ourselves to be more compassionate in understanding the experiences of others and we will continue to build upon the legacy and leadership of youth of color. GSA Network will continue to deconstruct the powers that be and rebuild a future that our people can survive in, can thrive in, can be happy within. As we look to the future, we are confident that young people will lead this movement and guide the way through the world we inherited.
What will you do for the next 20 years? Will you donate to the cause? Invest
in young people’s futures? Challenge yourself to expand your terminology and expand what it means to be queer?
Share your knowledge with the generations after you and cultivating an intergenerational movement that works for everyone?
In light of GSA Network’s mission, leadership means strength—strength
to organize, strength to be vulnerable, strength to fight for justice. There is strength inside each of us to reimagine and rebuild a society with safer schools and communities.
This is our moment to organize, to act, to bring our truth to the forefront. Liberation will come and young people will lead the way!