GLSEN, Campus Pride Announce Partnership to Support Campus Pride National LGBT-Friendly College Fair Program, Host First-Ever Virtual College Fair
Partnership to Expand National Fairs to Most Locations Since Launch in 2007, Tap into GLSEN’s Network of Chapters, Gay-Straight Alliances, Student Leaders
Rebby Kern, Campus Pride (704) 277-6710
Daryl Presgraves, GLSEN (646) 388-6577
NEW YORK, June 18, 2014 – GLSEN, the leading national organization working to make K-12 schools safer and more affirming for LGBT students, and Campus Pride, the leading national organization working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students, are excited to announce a partnership to expand the reach and impact of the Campus Pride National LGBT-Friendly College Fair Program and better support LGBT and ally youth as they transition to college. The organizations will also partner on the Campus Pride & GLSEN National Online College Fair & Prep Day on March 19, a first-of-its-kind virtual college fair.
The national college fair tour, which will reach eight cities in the fall with GLSEN’s support, is designed to address the concerns of LGBT and ally students related to academics, student life and campus safety. Campus Pride founded and has expanded this vital resource over the past seven years. GLSEN will leverage its chapter and student networks, including its local Jump-Start Student Leadership Teams and work with more than 4,000 Gay-Straight Alliance clubs, to connect more students nationwide with essential information about LGBT-friendly campuses and the college admissions process.
“Since launching the Campus Pride National LGBT-Friendly College Fair Program in 2007, Campus Pride has directly connected thousands of youth with LGBT-friendly colleges, helping them make informed decisions about their future and better positioning them to succeed in life,” Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer said. “Partnering with GLSEN, one of the most respected organizations in all of education, will allow us to expand the reach and impact of one of the most successful initiatives ever launched to support LGBT and ally youth in their journey to college.”
The 2014 fairs will take place in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn., New York, Roanoke, Va., and Vancouver, Wash. Each location is in partnership with local community LGBT organizations and LGBT youth-serving organizations/centers. GLSEN’s Middle Tennessee chapter will be the lead organizer for the Nashville fair, and GLSEN’s chapters will support the other fairs in their coverage areas. (See below for a complete list of locations, local partners and dates.)
“We are honored to partner with Campus Pride to build a stronger bridge for LGBT and ally youth as they prepare to transition from high school to college,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. “This is a perfect example of how two organizations can work together toward a mutual goal of ensuring that youth have access to real opportunity to succeed and thrive. Our expansive network of chapters and Gay-Straight Alliances coupled with Campus Pride’s longstanding work to create more LGBT-friendly colleges will help countless additional LGBT and ally youth forge their own path and build their future.”
Despite hardship and barriers that LGBT students often face in K-12 education, including extreme levels of victimization that can lead to missing school and lower academic performance, an overwhelming majority of LGBT youth still plan to attend post-secondary education. Of the more than 8,000 LGBT middle and high school students who participated in GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey, 93.1% said they planned to pursue at least some college education.
The Campus Pride National LGBT-Friendly College Fair Program in partnership with GLSEN works in tandem with the Campus Pride Index, the only national online listing of LGBT-friendly colleges and universities, to ensure that LGBT and ally students have access to support and information as they make decisions about things like college choices, scholarships and financial aid.
The fairs, which serve a high population of first-generation students, youth of color and transgender youth, also allow students the opportunity to meet directly with college representatives to ask academic questions as well as learn about scholarship and financial aid processes.
“Accessibility to higher education is still a real problem for many of our LGBT youth of color and trans youth – and especially those LGBT youth who are first generation college students,” Windmeyer said. “This partnership is about prioritizing educational equity as a means for LGBT advancement and ensuring a diverse representation of future leaders in our LGBT social justice movement. Nobody should be denied opportunity to education.”
The first-ever virtual Campus Pride & GLSEN National Online College Fair & Prep Day will ensure that students across the country can access Campus Pride and GLSEN’s knowledge about the transition to college, regardless of whether they can attend an in-person fair. The virtual fair will function just like an in-person fair, but youth will be able to review information and speak to college representatives through an online platform with interactive booths, chat rooms, videos and resources. The fair will be accessible from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST for youth to browse college resources, watch videos and drop off notes. College representatives will staff their booths from 1:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. ET. Campus Pride and GLSEN will broadcast live discussions with LGBT youth leaders and college experts throughout the day.
“Greater access to information and support can transform the opportunities of a young person,” Byard said. “GLSEN and Campus Pride are committed to reaching and supporting as many youth as possible. The groundbreaking Campus Pride & GLSEN National Online College Fair & Prep Day will allow students to learn and ask questions about LGBT-friendly colleges regardless of where they live. It will also allow colleges across the country an opportunity to share what they are doing to ensure that LGBT students are safe and respected with a broad national audience of engaged potential applicants.”
Registration to attend the fairs is free and open to the public. Prospective students and families are encouraged to RSVP online, and colleges and universities may register to participate. Learn more about dates, times and locations as well as register online at CampusPride.org/collegefair.
Click here for a complete schedule of events.
About Campus Pride
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and nearly 1400 campuses annually. Learn more online at CampusPride.org.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.