An international public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, that is working to help schools - at home and all over the world - become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
1.) MLK Day is today. Here is a quote and an essay: "Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did"
2.) Event & Resources: This is Name-Calling Week - from GLSEN and GROUNDSPARK
3.) Event: "A Great Wilderness" - Seattle Rep Play & PFLAG Panel
4.) Event: Gender Odyssey 2014: August 14 - 17 - Seatte, WA
5.) Interview with LAUSD's Judy Chiasson About AB1266
6.) Job: Illinois Safe Schools Alliance - Chicago, IL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT
7.) IMPORTANT: Safe Schools Coalition's next meeting is TOMORROW - Tuesday, January 21st in Seattle!
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Got a problem at school with anti-gay harassment?

In Washington State:

1-877-SAFE-SAFE (1-877-723-3723) 24 hours a day - the phone line is answered at the Sexual Assault Hotline and they will have a Safe Schools Coalition Intervention Specialist volunteer get back to you within 24 hours.  

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1.) MLK Day is today. Here is a quote and an essay: "Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did"

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." 
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Essay: Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did

by Hamden Rice - MON AUG 29, 2011 
This will be a very short diary. It will not contain any links or any scholarly references. It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective.
The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished. 
What most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans. And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general. His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer. That's why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not color blind.
Head below the fold to read about what Martin Luther King, Jr. actually did. 

2.) Resources: This is Name-Calling Week - from GLSEN and GROUNDSPARK  

GLSEN: Happy No Name-Calling Week!

The lessons we learn from educators when we are students can have an impact for years to come. GLSEN created No Name-Calling Week 10 years ago to help educators teach students about the importance of being kind to one another in words and deed and to spark a conversation about valuing and respecting what makes us different.

Teaching empathy can drastically change a school's culture.

To help us celebrate GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week, author Tim Federle stopped by the office to share how a teacher helped him deal with bullying and, as a result, changed his life.

How to change a student's life | Tim Federle on No Name-Calling Week
GLSEN - Published on Jan 14, 2014

Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever and 5, 6, 7, Nate shares the impact a teacher made on his life when he was a student being bullied -- and offers advice on how teachers today can change their students lives.



Watch the trailer for Tim's newest book: 
Connect with Tim: 

-- AND --


Thanks to the generosity of GroundSpark's donor community, we are thrilled to be able to offer free streaming of two of our award-winning Respect for All Project documentary films for No Name Calling Week, January 20-24.

We are proud to partner with the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Simon & Schuster Children's publishing to offer free previews of Let's Get Real and Straightlaced-How GenderÔ€™s Got Us All Tied Up to schools and community programs that want to use the films as part of their NNCW programming this year.

Let's Get Real is recommended for students in grades 5 - 9 and Straightlaced is terrific for grades 8 - 12. Both films are also excellent teaching tools at the college level for students in education, gender studies, adolescent development, social work, and more.

After you preview, you also can receive an amazing 50 percent discount off the institutional price for these two films. Just use discount code NNCW14 and place your order by January 31, 2014.

The theme of this year's No Name Calling Week is "Celebrate Kindness". GroundSpark believes that the more students, staff, parents and guardians are supported to understand and address bias, gender norm stereotyping, and homophobia, the more likely it will be that students will actually celebrate kindness. As proud partners for NNCW, we are glad that our films and curriculum guides can help support discussion that opens up dialogue on these critical issues.

Please spread the word! Share this news on Facebook and Twitter or pass this email along to a friend who works with youth. Free streaming of GroundSpark films for No Name Calling Week!

3.) Event: "A Great Wilderness" - Seattle Rep Play & PFLAG Panel
A play about being lost and found.

A Great Wilderness is having its world debut in Seattle at the Seattle Repertory Theater January 17 - February 16, 2014, and the Seattle Repertory Theatre is partnering with PFLAG Seattle and PFLAG Bellevue for a February 15th matinee performance.

The play is by award-winning playwright Samuel D. Hunter.

About the play: 
Walt has devoted his life to counseling teenage boys out of their homosexuality at his remote Idaho wilderness camp. Pressured to accept one last client, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel with the arrival of Daniel. When Daniel disappears, Walt is forced to ask for help - both in finding the missing boy and reconciling his past with the present. A Great Wilderness explores the issues that challenge all of us with gentle clarity and enormous humanity.

It is about a retiring reparative therapy counselor and his last 15 yr. old client.  The client goes missing in the woods of Idaho and from the description, the mother, counselor and child go through some sad realities.  

The artistic director, Jerry Manning, for Seattle Repertory theater, commissioned award winning Samuel D. Hunter to write a play with a gay theme.  He is thrilled with the result and has said the teen they have hired from the 65 who auditioned, all of whom had parents willing to let them play a gay role, is only 16 and really wonderful. All the actors are local people.

The Seattle and Bellevue PFLAG chapters have been asked to have a panel for a discussion at the February 15th matinee performance, moderated by Mr. Manning.

Whether or not you can attend with PFLAG, we hope you can attend one of the performances and will send this information on to your connections.  We feel that Seattle is at the forefront with this play and it will cause some controversy but will also cause many important discussions to take place across the Northwest.

"A Great Wilderness"

4.) Event: Gender Odyssey 2014: August 14 - 17 - Seattle, WA

Registration is now open! You've got choices.

If you are ready to register for Gender Odyssey, we are ready for you.  We've grown!  We've added an automated online registration process that we hope will streamline things for all.  It will look a little different when you go to register.  Know that we have kept our sliding scale options, early bird pricing from now until Mar 23rd, free registration for children 12 and under, and a way to contribute to our scholarship fund.  Speaking of scholarships, we have a new way to apply that should be simpler for all.  If you don't already know, we have three websites for three sets of programming.  Take a peak below.

Gender Odyssey
Gender Odyssey (GO) is an international conference focused on the needs and interests of trans* and gender nonconforming people.  Anyone interested in the thoughtful exploration of gender may attend.  Since 2001, GO has been growing and maturing right along with our community.  To learn more and to register, visit the GO website.

Gender Odyssey Family

Gender Odyssey Family (GOF) is a conference for families who are working to navigate the day-to-day realities of raising a transgender or gender nonconforming child.  The GO Kids Camp has been rocking it since 2007 and we have a full 3-day teen track.  Our presenters offer some of the best expertise that you'll find anywhere in the world.  Learn more here.

Gender Odyssey Professional

This two-day professional conference is for those professionals or students seeking to advance their understanding and knowledge of gender variance and transgender identities.  Gender Odyssey Professional (GO Pro) serves as a prelude to the GO and GOF conferences or as a stand alone event.  Register early and add either the GO or GOF conference for a significantly reduced rate.  Continuing education credits offered. Sign up now! 


5.) Interview with LAUSD's Judy Chiasson About AB1266

Interview with LAUSD's Judy Chiasson About AB1266 (Part 1)
by Autumn Sandeen - January 18, 2014 -

On Monday, January 13, I interviewed Judy Chiasson of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for a bit under an hour. You may remember that she was the LAUSD representative

who gave testimony before the California Senate Education Committee

in June of 2013. The interview for the most part was about AB1266 and what the Los Angeles Unified School District policy regarding transgender students.

Key parts of the interview include her take on whether LAUSD is going to change their transgender policy as a result of AB1266, how many school districts have contacted LAUSD about using LAUSD's transgender policy as a model for their school districts, what she thinks about the idea that male students will pretend to be transgender to enter a school's girls bathrooms, and how inappropriate behavior by any male student pretending to be transgender would violate LAUSD's misconduct policy.

Interview with LAUSD's Judy Chiasson About AB1266 (Part 2)
by Autumn Sandeen - January 19, 2014 -

On Monday, January 13, I interviewed Judy Chiasson of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for a bit under an hour, and this post is the second segment posted of this interview. You may remember that Chiasson was the LAUSD representative who gave testimony before the California Senate Education Committee in June of 2013. This segment of the interview for the most part was about AB1266 and what the Los Angeles Unified School District policy regarding transgender students.

This second posted part of the interview is about privacy in locker rooms and bathrooms at L.A. Unified. We who've been out of school in California for more than a decade will find our memories of school locker rooms, bathrooms and privacy in general are no longer accurate depictions of how locker rooms and bathrooms operate today not only in L.A. Unified, but in most California schools.

Read the interview at:

Background - see: AB-1266 Pupil rights: sex-segregated school programs and activities. (2013-2014)

6.) Illinois Safe Schools Alliance - Chicago, IL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT


The Alliance is a 7-year old organization created out of the merger of Creating Safe Schools for Illinois (CSSI-formerly GLSEN Chicago) and the Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation (CESO). The mission of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance ("the Alliance") is to promote safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research.

The Alliance envisions a world in which youth develop to their fullest potential, learning in safe and nurturing schools, living in communities that accept and honor differences, where everyone has the freedom to express their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The work of the Alliance includes: 1) Youth Organizing: To engage youth across the state of Illinois to become leaders in the LGBTQ safe schools movement and be agents of change in their own schools and communities; 2) Professional Development and Public Education: To educate and involve school personnel, community organizations, parents, public officials, youth and the general public in Illinois, regarding sexual orientation and gender identity issues and the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools; 3) Policy Advocacy: To conduct advocacy activities that will result in the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity issues in the programs and policies that support the safety and well-being of youth; and 4) Research: To gather and evaluate data on the impact of school policies and practices on the well-being of LGBT youth.


The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance is seeking a full-time Executive Director who can provide strategic and visionary leadership to the organization. We are seeking an experienced, inspirational, strategic, dedicated and self-starting leader who can engage our various constituencies to share in the Allianceʼs growing reputation and influence in the safe schools national movement. We are seeking an individual who is a social justice champion and one who understands the intersection of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

The Executive Director is responsible for managing the daily operations of the Alliance and implementing the vision, strategic goals and objectives of the organization. The Executive Director supports the Board, directs the staff, builds and maintains stakeholder relationships, develops and manages sources of income, and ensures the quality and effectiveness of policy and program-related work. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.


1. Organizational Development/Communications
  • Establish and maintain strong partnerships with internal stakeholders (e.g., the staff, volunteers, and board members) to build the Allianceʼs capacity.
  • Establish and maintain strong partnerships with external stakeholders (e.g., other LGBT organizations, other safe schools and education justice organizations, funders, elected officials).
  • Monitor the strategic plan, and oversight of new planning as needed.
  • Be the primary ISSA spokesperson with the media and at special events/public gatherings. Share role as appropriate with youth and other staff.
  • Ensure consistency of messaging and efficacy of outreach efforts.
  • Maintain the credibility, reputation, and good standing of the organization.
2. Program Development and Policy (in conjunction with program staff)
  • Ensure programming is developed and carried out in line with strategic plan goals.
  • Ensure that programs are mission driven and youth focused in delivery and content.
  • Oversee program evaluation tools to ensure programs are meeting outcomes.
  • Oversee research that can inform the work of the Alliance, and of the larger safe schools movement.
  • Lead policy and advocacy efforts with local, state, and national-level policymakers.
3. Fundraising (in conjunction with the development staff)
  • Establish, maintain, and grow strong partnerships with external stakeholders such as individual donors, elected officials, corporations, foundations, and local & national LGBT groups, to build the Allianceʼs capacity.
  • Direct grant research, writing, and reporting.
  • Create, design, and implement an annual fundraising plan to increase the donor base and overall dollars raised.
  • Provide leadership and direction for special events, including the annual fundraising event.
  • Provide guidance and training to Board of Directors to support their fundraising efforts.
4. Financial and Operational Management
  • Develop and monitor the Allianceʼs annual budget and cash-flow model.
  • Maintain financial records in coordination with the Board finance committee, treasurer, and accountant/auditor.
  • Properly manage income and expenses.
  • Prepare and present monthly financial reports to the Board.
  • Work with auditors to ensure a clean, unconditional annual audit.
  • Monitor the Alliance's fiscal agreements.
  • Negotiate and manage relationships with consultants.
  • Negotiate office lease/space.
  • Supervise/guide all staff, including hiring, firing, performance reviews, and professional development.
  • Oversee Board relations, including development of materials and staffing committees.
  • Ensure recruitment and retention of volunteers.
  • Demonstrated understanding of LGBT youth issues, intersectionality of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
  • Experience in fund development, with demonstrable results.
  • Senior-level nonprofit management experience, preferably including experience serving on nonprofit boards of directors.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, with an ability to grow and maintain key relationships with multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Bachelors or Masters degree in a relevant field, or comparable experience.

    Organizational leadership skills, including:

  • Capacity for, and comfort with, building a team-based work environment.
  • Ability to hire, retain, and supervise paid, intern, and volunteer staff.
  • Ability to manage finances and prepare/execute an annual budget .
  • Ability to implement strategic objectives and annual program plans.
  • Ability to multi-task and juggle competing projects and interests.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Willing and able to travel (state-wide regularly and nationally as necessary).
  • Skilled using technology for planning, management and communications, including Microsoft Office, web platforms, and social media.
  • Substantive experience with local, state, regional, and national LGBT entities and leaders.
  • Experience working with youth (preferred).
  • Experience with advocacy, youth organizing, professional development and public education, and/or research (preferred).
  • Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Please include salary history and requirements in cover letter.
  • Health and hospitalization coverage, short-term and long-term disability insurance, and life insurance.
  • Paid vacation, sick leave, and personal holiday leave as part of a Paid Time Off (PTO) accrual plan, in addition to other paid holidays.

The Alliance has engaged Morten Group to assist in this recruiting effort. Applicants should email a cover letter and resume to Christina Smith at with subject line "The Alliance Executive Director Search."

Documents should be emailed in .doc or pdf format and should include your last name in the title of each document (e.g., SmithResume.doc, SmithCoverLetter.pdf, etc.). Cover letters are required, as they will be evaluated as a writing sample; resumes without a cover letter will not be considered.

Interested candidates should apply no later than Friday, February 7 by 5 p.m. CST for best consideration. Questions must be directed to Christina Smith at the email address above. No phone calls, please.

Please note that due to the number of applications we receive, we will only respond to those candidates whom we would like to invite to interview for the position. If we are interested in your candidacy for the position, we will contact you directly. However, even if you do not hear from us, your materials will remain on file at Morten Group for future executive searches.

The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, and women are strongly encouraged to apply.



Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Chicago Office: 70 East Lake Street, Suite 900 | Chicago, IL 60601
Champaign Office: 1103 North Neil Street, Room 29 | Champaign, IL 61820


7.) IMPORTANT: Safe Schools Coalition's next meeting is TOMORROW - Tuesday, January 21st in Seattle!
The next Safe Schools Coalition meeting is Tuesday, January 21st from 3-5pm at Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA.

Contact Matthew Wilson, the lead chair if you have agenda items to suggest or if you need instructions about attending in person or calling in by conference call.
Use this contact form on our website or call: 253-671-2838. 

All are welcome! You do NOT need to be a Coalition member to attend.

For more information, see this page:


Leadership Team:



  • Lead Chair -- Matthew Wilson (Oasis Youth Center): send a message or call 253-671-2838   
  • Back-up Lead Chair -- Seth Kirby (Oasis Youth Center): send a message or call 253-671-2838  


Mailing List Managers:

  • Wazina Zondon and Elena Jaime - Resource & Lesson Planning Guide messages
  • Gabi Clayton - Coalition Announcements, Action Alerts, News, Law & Policy, Legislative/Elective messages, Events, and Member Organization Only Fundraising* messages and more! 
  • Interested in being a SSC Mailing List volunteer? Great! Contact Gabi!

* Note: Fundraising messages are only sent for Safe Schools Coalition member organizations. Join the Coalition!  


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