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A young student holding a small clear blue pyramid.

Children are multifaceted like a prism. They all deserve an education that reflects their unique identities.

Our Mission

Students of color, those from low-income areas, and those who identify as LGBTQ+ face oppression based on their multiple identities. Teach For America is committed to safety, fairness, and dignity for all students. That’s why we’re taking a stand.

Our LGBTQ+ Community Initiative aims to create a more intersectional movement to end educational inequity by encouraging more LGBTQ+ leaders to teach.

Inclusiveness at the Heart of Our Work

In 2018, Teach For America’s LGBTQ+ Community Initiative added the plus (+) in our name in order to ensure that we will always be inclusive of the identities, both known and emerging, that define our dynamic and evolving community.

80%

LGBTQ+ students surveyed say they’ve been verbally harassed at school.

3X

The dropout rate for LGBTQ+ youth is three times the national average.

75%

LGBTQ+ students in schools with an inclusive curriculum said their peers were accepting of LGBTQ+ people, compared to 39.6% of those without an inclusive curriculum.

41%

LGBTQ+ students with supportive staff at their school felt unsafe, compared to 78.7% of LGBTQ+ students with no supportive school staff.

LGBTQ+ Education Summits

In partnership with regional and national partner organizations, the LGBTQ+ Education Summits offer corps members and alumni the opportunity to engage in learning and development, and receive resources to support LGBTQ+ students and educators.

Summits are held annually in regions across the country and are open to all LGBTQ+ and allied corps members, alumni, staff, partners, and students. Summit attendees make recommendations for teacher preparation, student support, school culture, policy, and more.

View video highlights from the 2015 LGBTQ+ Summits held in the Northeast and Deep South.

Submit a Workshop Proposal

Each summit traditionally includes LGBTQ+-inclusive professional development, community engagement, social networking, and brave testimonies. Leadership development workshops aligned with these tracks are 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 LGBTQ+ Education Summits, please complete this form.

Join a PRISM Learning Community

Our PRISM coalition is a network of LGBTQ+ support groups in each of Teach For America's regions. The PRISM coalition mobilizes TFA alumni leaders, staff members, teachers, and community members to support LGBTQ+ students and educators as we collectively work toward educational equity.

Summit participants who are interested in launching a PRISM coalition in their region can sign-up for this intensive workshop, which will be held at each summit.

Resources for Educators

  • Campus Pride logo.

    Campus Pride

    Campus Pride represents the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBTQ+ students.

  • The Center for Black Equity logo.

    The Center for Black Equity

    The Center for Black Equity is committed to supporting leaders, institutions and programs that promote equity for the LGBTQ+ community of African descent.

  • First Book logo

    First Book

    First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, educational resources, and other essentials—including coats, snacks, and hygiene kits—to educators serving children in need.

  • GLSEN Logo.

    GLSEN

    GLSEN (formerly the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is an education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools.

  • Human Rights Campaign logo.

    Human Rights Campaign

    The Human Rights Campaign is the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights advocacy group in the United States.

  • Trevor Project Logo

    Trevor Project

    The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

Headshot of Tim'm West

Tim'm West

Senior Managing Director, LGBTQ+ Community Initiative

Teach For America

Tim'm plays an integral role in Teach For America's ever-expanding organizational effort to eliminate educational inequity through developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the LGBTQ community.

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