From aqueerendeavor: "We're "breaking the silence" around gender and sexual diversity so that all kids have access to safe & affirming learning spaces in schools."
Who We Are
Bethy Leonardi and Sara Staley are educators responding to a pressing need to prepare and support our teachers to create safe, inclusive spaces in classrooms and schools for LGBTQ students and their allies. LGBTQ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer. “Trans*” is an umbrella term that includes a range of gender identities (e.g., transgender, transsexual, genderqueer) across the gender identity spectrum.
In partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Education and our local community, we are working to “break the silence” around topics of gender and sexual diversity. Our aim is to support teachers and communities to do this important work.
Why We Must Act Now
What We Are Doing
In April 2013, we hosted “An Evening with LGBTQ Youth and Allies” that focused on starting the conversation among local youth and 75 pre-service and in-service teachers. We filmed the event, along with over 30 interviews with students, teachers, and LGBTQ community members.
We are seeking funding to use this footage to complete a documentary film, Breaking the Silence: Honoring the Voices of LGBTQ Youth and Allies in Supporting Our Teachers. The film is being narrated by renowned poet/ activist Andrea Gibson.
The funding will also support the development of four short curriculum videos and companion materials focused on:
- Addressing LGBTQ topics in the elementary grades;
- Supporting LGBTQ teachers in the field;
- Using the school library as a resource and safe space; and
- Developing K- 12 lesson plans that include gender and sexual diversity.
The film and curriculum will be used for professional development with K-12 educators and for teacher preparation. They will also serve as resources for direct engagement with parents and local communities-at-large. Our goal is to “break the silence” across the country.
How You Can Support Us
We are asking our community to help us grow this project. Here are 3 ways you can help:
1. DONATE to our community project: Any contribution gets us one step closer to safe and inclusive school spaces.
2. START the conversation: Please spread the word about our project to your friends, family, and colleagues.
3. BREAK the silence: Host a screening/ discussion with us in your community. Visit our web page at www.colorado.edu/education/aqueerendeavor.
Thank you for your support!