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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Gay-Straight Alliance Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources. Through peer support, leadership development, and training, GSA Network supports young people in starting, strengthening, and sustaining GSAs and builds the capacity of GSAs to: 1. create safe environments in schools for students to support each other and learn about homophobia and other oppressions, 2. educate the school community about homophobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues, and 3. fight discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools.

Results: In the past ten years, GSA Network has: ...Grown the network of GSA clubs in California from 40 clubs to over 7000 clubs, representing over 50% of the state's high schools. ...Provided training and support to over 10,000 youth activists and organizers across the state. ...Played a leadership role in grassroots organizing for the passage of ground-breaking, statewide legislation, AB 537: The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. ...Achieved a critical victory as plaintiff in the first lawsuit filed under AB 537; the three-year settlement agreement required the Visalia schools to enact sweeping reforms including mandatory teacher and student trainings. ...Helped build the GSA Movement nationwide by coordinating the National Association of GSA Networks, providing technical assistance and support to GSA organizers across the country.

Target demographics: We train and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, queer, questioning and straight ally youth in middle schools and high schools to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools! We serve GSA activists of every race, income, ability, religion and background.

Geographic areas served: USA

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Growing up black and gay in South Los Angeles, wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do. The GSA at my school influenced my life tremendously, I joined the GSA at a pivotal moment in my development which really helped me after i graduated. The acceptance and knowledge that the group provided me with allowed who i was on the inside to finally stand up and show himself on the outside. It inspired me to become an advocate in my community to ensure that other LGBT youth would have a voice as well as role model that looks like them. Thank you GSA!!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

GSA Network continues to do innovative work with youth and students--their impact is lasting as generations of young leaders further the message and movement of LGBT equality.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

GSA Network has been a leader in supporting LGBTQ and straight ally youth to create positive social change in their schools for years. I have known GSA Network for more than a decade - as a researcher I have been impressed by them because they have been an organization that consistently seeks to study / understand their impact -and adjust their strategies to best meet the needs of youth. They were talking about the role of youth in leading social change long before it was common in the field - and were essentially the first LGBTQ organization to take this lead. And their knowledge / collaboration with scholars has contributed to basic as well as practical knowledge about LGBTQ youth and youth development.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

This agency struggles with oppression in the internal workings and the board refuses to take action. Many ex-employees have written to the board to change the leadership of this organization and they still do not take action.

Review from Guidestar