LGBTQ Initiative

Why We Take a Stand


  • Background
  • Dates and Locations
  • Call for Workshop Proposals

The LGBTQ Community Initiative hosted four multi-regional education summits in the Northeast, Midwest, Deep South, and True West. The weekends were filled with inspirational speakers, community advocacy, and leadership development opportunities centering on the movement for educational equity and empowerment for LGBTQ communities.

LGBTQ Education Summits are open to LGBTQ and Allied Teach for America Corps Members, Alumni, and staff, as well as educators, community members and partners beyond the organization.

More information about 2016-2017 Education Summits will be posted in Fall 2016.


LGBTQ Community Initiative Logo
  • Northeast Regional Summit | Washington, DC | October 10-11, 2015
  • Midwest Regional Summit | Chicago, IL | November 7-8, 2015
  • Deep South Regional Summit | Atlanta, GA  | November 21-22, 2015
  • True West Regional Summit | Los Angeles, CA | January 9-10, 2016

Each two-day summit will include LGBTQ-inclusive professional development, community engagement, social networking, and brave testimonies. Proposals for leadership development workshops align with these five tracks were accepted:

  • Direct Student Support
  • Family and Community
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • School Culture and Climate
  • Teacher Leadership Development

If you or anyone in your network is interested in designing and facilitating a workshop at one of our future LGBTQ Education Summits, please complete this form.

Impact of LGBTQ Education Summits

Resources for Educators

  • Employment Protection Laws
  • From Teach For America
  • From GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)
  • From Campus Pride
  • From the Southern Poverty Law Center
  • From The Trevor Project
  • From Accredited Schools Online

Employment protections for LGBTQ teachers in our partner regions vary. View state laws and protections for more information about the legal landscape in our regions.

Please know that while there is no federal law that protects LGBTQ individuals from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, many of our regions are in states that have passed laws to include protections for these identities. Applicants who are concerned about employment protections should note their preferences in “special circumstances” when applying. This request will be honored to the best of our ability.

It is important to recognize that the presence of legal protections for LGBTQ people does not guarantee a culture of acceptance within a region and vice versa. Especially in regions where these protections do not exist, corps members have had positive experiences. LGBTQ teachers can make an impact in regions not traditionally associated with being LGBTQ-friendly, especially given these are often the areas where LGBTQ students most need advocates and allies. If you are willing to advocate for an inclusive learning environment in any setting, we encourage you to mobilize and fight for the students and communities we serve.

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  • 2011 report on the experiences of LGBTQ students living in rural areas

  • Guide to establishing and operating a gay-straight alliance in your school

  • Guide to working with LGBTQ students of color

  • Toolkit for elementary educators to help students feel safe and develop respectful behaviors and attitudes

  • Kit to create a safe space for LGBTQ youth in secondary schools

  • Campus Pride College Fair Program: A national LGBTQ College Fair Program hosted once a year online and in 8-10 different cities across the U.S. The program is designed to address the concerns of LGBTQ and ally students related to academics, student life, and campus safety. 
  • Campus Pride Index: An assessment tool for campuses looking for ways to improve LGBTQ campus life.
  • Camp Pride: A summer LGBTQ Youth Leadership Academy to build leadership capacity among LGBTQ and ally undergraduate student leaders and create safer, more inclusive campus communities. 
  • Advisor Bootcamp: An LGBTQ Professional Academy for Advisors to expand knowledge, enhance skills, and collaborate with others who share passion for creating safer, more welcoming communities.
  • Campus Pride Map: A database of LGBTQ student groups, support services, and resources at colleges and universities across the United States.

Guide to creating an LGBTQ-inclusive school environment

  • Curriculum examining the impact of language and actions on LGBTQ youth (includes how to recognize and respond to signs of depression and suicide)

  • Trainings to help adults understand the environmental stressors that contribute to a heightened risk for suicide in LGBTQ youth

  • Kit including educator resource guide, copy of the film Trevor, book and film list, brochures, cards, and stickers 

Comprehensive resource guide that includes interviews with researchers in the field, as well as information about scholarships available for LGBTQ students

In The News


Why our Allies are Critical

This is powerful story published by the Center For Black Equity by Lisa Lazare, a 2014 Teach For America corps member, currently teaching 10th grade chemistry in the Rio Grande Valley. Read more

Choose Dignity: A Call to Action

I was determined to change the system and show that LGBTQ educators are among the best leaders we have. I decided to become a teacher. Read more

Empowering Students From the Classroom Out

We had talked about LGBTQ rights in my classes before, and student opinions varied widely, but those conversations had arisen organically. This was our first intentional conversation… Read more

When Teaching Means Going Back in the Closet

During my first year teaching, I always put off the idea of being out to my students. Essentially, I went back into the closet. Read more