What is Ally Week?
Ally Week, taking place this year October 12-18 is a whole week where we can engage in a national dialogue about how everyone can work to become better allies to LGBT youth. Whether you’re a lesbian adult working to make schools safer for today’s youth, or a gay student organizing to create safe spaces for your trans friends, everyone has an opportunity this week not only to recognize their allyship but to take action!
Suggested prayer petition for Oct. 19 (At the conclusion of Ally Week)
“Creator God, how marvelous and glorious is the human family which you have made in your image. Thank you for opening the hearts of this community to welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. May we and all other Reconciling In Christ congregations and faith communities continue to receive your Word with joy, that the welcome we have here received may be reported to all the nations!”
What is an Ally?
We refer to Allies as people who do not necessarily identify as LGBT, but support this community by standing against the bullying and harassment LGBT folks face. Anyone who takes a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment can be an ally.
Why do we need an Ally Week?
The unfortunate truth is that anti-LGBT bullying, violence and harassment are not only commonplace in America’s schools, but can occur in our congregations as well.
Why is ReconcilingWorks involved?
ReconcilingWorks understands that bullying doesn’t just happen in our schools, but in our congregations and communities as well. As people of faith, we can show God’s love by standing up for victims of bullying behaivor wherever they may be.
Actions in a minute:
- Make a personal and intentional vow to explore what it means to become an Ally to LGBT identified youth.
- Tweet about GLSEN’s Ally Week using hashtag: #AllyWeek and #BetterAllies TWEET!
- Post a link to our Ally Week website on your Facebook page
- Learn how to become an Ally to trans* and gender nonconforming youth here.
Actions for an hour:
- Pay attention to how often you hear anti-LGBT bias language in your life, empathy is often the driver of change.
- Print out our “I am an Ally” selfie resource and post it on the GLSEN Facebook page
- Purchase and send a Safe Space Kit for your classroom, or your alma materRead GLSEN’s Educator’s Guide to Ally Week!
- Learn how to support Trans* and gender nonconforming students.
Actions for an afternoon:
- Learn about LGBT students experiences in school by reading GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey Executive Summary
- Seek out Power, Privilege and Oppression training workshops at an LGBT Center near you.
- Ask about someone’s experience and create space for story sharing.
- Build a lesson plan to help your class think deeply about the ways homophobia, transphobia, racism and classism impact students on a daily basis. For reference use: Working with LGBT Students of Color: A Guide for Educators
- Learn about how to become a GSA (Gay, Straight Alliance) advisor. If you are already an advisor watch a webinar about supporting your GSA.
Also don’t forget to check out ReconcilingWorks’ allies against bullying curriculum and devotional booklet. Help end the cycle of bullying!
Where All Can Safely Live – Revised and Expanded
This anti-bullying curriculum is an introduction to what bullying is, how it functions, and why we as Christians are called to prevent it from happening in our communities. It was developed with the help of the staff at the Pacific Violence Prevention Institute, from the pioneering research on bullying by Dan Olweus, and materials created by the United States government. Revised and expanded in 2013.
This curriculum is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to stopping bullying. However, this guide provides a basic understanding of how bullying works and offers suggestions for steps in creating a congregational bullying prevention plan.