February 2016: GSA Day for Racial Justice is an annual day of action to mobilize for racial justice and celebrate the multiple identities we hold as trans, queer, and gender expansive youth. In 2016, GSA Day for Racial Justice celebrated #BlackFutureLegends. Our local organizations showed how our national movement building work continues to engage in dismantling many intersections of oppression through direct action, teach-ins, and social media . We believe that the fight to end racism is the fight to end transphobia and homophobia. We believe that coming out is only one step in challenging the gender binary that oppresses us all.
November 2016: GSA Day for Gender Justice debuted in 2016 and focuses on advocating for gender justice as well as celebrating gender diversity. Stay tuned for the next #GSADay4GJ in 2017!
Inspired by the current fight to build a more just world where #blacklivesmatter, #BlackFutureLegends Month uses Black History Month as an opportunity to look at past inspirations from movement history and highlight the voices of today’s queer and trans youth of color who are fighting for our nation’s future in Ferguson, NYC, Oakland, Wisconsin, DC, and across the country.
What is Black Future Legends Month?
Every February, Black History month is celebrated to teach the history and contributions of Black Americans in this country. But Black communities are still under attack with constant state violence directed towards the community. #BlackLivesMatter and other groups are working together to bring attention to the future of the Black Communities through Black Future Month. In honor of the Black LGBTQ Legends who have laid the foundation for and inspired the next generation, GSA Network is putting an LGBTQ spin on this celebration with Black Future Legends Month. It will be a month of actions, teach-ins, teach-outs, rallies and protests that will educate about the history of Black Queer Resistance and the continued struggle today of QPOC liberation. Throughout the month we will hear from youth organizers who are Legends in their own right. Please join us in organizing your own action for GSA day for Racial Justice on February 19th, 2016 and continue taking action after February.
What does this have to do with our GSA?
The 1969 Stonewall Riots are said to have started the mainstream LGBT movement, but did you know that there were riots before that, also led by people of color? Did you know that Martin Luther King’s chief strategist and organizer of the march on Washington was a gay man named Bayard Rustin? And today, #blacklivesmatter was started by three Black queer women. Black queer resistance has been at the forefront of the LGBTQ and Civil Rights movements, but too often these legends are silenced by transphobia, racism, and homophobia. Today, we are seeing Black trans and queer people pushed out of school, engaged in the juvenile justice/prison systems and killed by police officers because they are transgender AND queer AND black. As youth-led social justice clubs, GSAs have a responsibility to take action and address these issues head on and support #blacklivesmatter. Creating inclusive spaces and promoting QPOC leadership is just the first step! We need action!
What is an action?
Actions are events that organizations, communities, individuals and GSAs do to educate, bring attention to and attempt to change culture and policy. There are different ways to take action and we at GSA Network hope that your GSA can employ one or more of the following:
Organizing your own action
- Identify the issue (please visit www.GSADay.org for ideas)
- Identify a place for the action (school, juvenile detention center, police station, etc)
- Look in your organizing toolbelt to identify tool(s) you would like to use:
Create a #BlackFutureLegends Video:
Create a #BlackFutureLegends video about how past or present Black activists or movements have inspired you and why it’s important for LGBTQ people to fight with people of color. Upload it with the #BlackFutureLegends hashtag by February 19th for National GSA Day for Racial Justice.
Get the resources you need:
Rally your community and allies for support
Tweet, tag and let GSA Network know what you are doing by using the hashtags: #blackfuturelegends #GSAs4Justice
Connecting to an action
- Identify the issue your GSA would like to be involved with
- Get collective agreement from your GSA
- Contact your local GSA network or visit the GSA Day Website (www.GSADay.org)
- Let them know you are interested in connecting to a larger action
- Identify what you are comfortable with doing and ask them what can be done
- Organize your GSA and other clubs at your school/in your area to attend the event
Keep the momentum going!
Change takes time, energy and resources, we will not be able to create the type of change we’d like to see in a month’s time. We must continue to celebrate, collaborate and organize on #blacklivesmatter throughout the year. For ideas and resources of ways to make your GSA a stronger social justice club please visit www.gsanetwork.org/gsas4justice