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New Jersey Gay Straight Alliance Forum will meet in Middletown

November 17, 2018
BRCSJ+Chief+Activist+surrounded+by+love+of+GSA+kids

GLSEN Central New Jersey and the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice will present the 15th Annual GSA Forum on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Middletown South High School.

The event, which runs from 9 am to 4 pm, brings together high school and middle school students, their advisors, allies, parents and supporters for a day of celebration, education, and networking. More than 500 participants are expected to join together to express their pride, and to gain renewed strength for themselves and their communities.

“We are pleased to bring outstanding youth activist Gavin Grimm as keynote speaker for the conference,” said Carol Watchler, co-coordinator of the Forum event. “As a high school student, Gavin brought a critical legal challenge to his school board, rebuking their decision to disallow him to use bathroom facilities that comported with his gender identity. He courageously took a groundbreaking step that inspires us all.”

Gavin Grimm Middletown GSAGrimm’s case moved through the federal court system all the way to the Supreme Court, which sent it back to the lower court in Virginia. That court then denied the school district’s request to dismiss the case, agreed with the ACLU that the school violated the rights of transgender students under Title IX, and ordered a settlement conference. Grimm is waiting to find out whether the school will try to appeal or settle the case.

Forum workshop topics include diverse subjects such as youth leadership; GLSEN Days of Action; planning your future; knowing your rights; and middle school GSAs, with specific workshops for GSA advisors, school staff and parents. Certificates of attendance for educators will be available.

Registration for the Forum is $35 for adults and $10 for students, which includes breakfast, lunch and an information packet. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Register at RustinCenter.org/gsaforum where payment options are online. Checks should be payable to GLSEN Central NJ and sent to P.O. Box 261, Hightstown, NJ 08520. Purchase orders can also be sent to that address.

The website details opportunities for vendors, program book advertisers, donors, and updates about the Forum program. Questions about the NJ GSA Forum can be sent to centralnj@chapters.glsen.org or rustincenter@gmail.com.

GLSEN Central New Jersey strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community.

The organization welcomes any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.

The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRCSJ) is a community activist center, educational enclave and a safe space for all diverse communities. It ensures that every individual – whether in a school, workplace or everyday life – feels safe, protected and loved.

BRCSJ supports the need to teach in the classroom, inspire in the streets, and be a force in communities. Visit RustinCenter.org to learn more.