Since its founding in 2008, MSSC has taken steps to make schools safer for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The coaltion’s work is made possible through a grant from the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Queer Youth Fund, making MSSC the first Mississippi LGBT youth advocacy group to receive foundation funding. Below are some of the highlights of MSSC’s recent work.
Southeastern LGBTQ Activist Camp
July 2013 – Mississippi
The first Southeastern LGBTQ Activist Camp took place in the summer of 2012. The event marked the first time this large of a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight youth came together to learn about anti-oppression work. The coalition of five states sponsoring the 2012 event brought together approximately 50 youth from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Arkansas. Participants range from 14-23 years old who have experience working on social justice issues. The goal of the camp is to create safer schools and communities for LGBTQ youth and their allies by providing a more intersectional approach to Gay Straight Alliance work. The 2013 Camp will be hosted by Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition in Mississippi.
MSSC works to give young people skills to take back to their communities. 2010 marked the third annual MSSC Queer Youth and Allies Summit with nearly triple the attendance from MSSC’s founding conference in 2008. An estimated 150 LGBT youth and allies left better prepared to fight discrimination in their schools.
Students do not surrender all of their rights while they are at school. When a Jackson public high school prohibited students from bringing a same sex date to prom in 2008, MSSC successfully intervened at the school to change the policy. This case inspired a project called PromWatch, which encourages students to report discriminatory practices in prom season. Check out our Prom page to find out more.
- LGBTQ Black History Month (February)
- National Day of Silence (April)
- LGBTQ Latina/o History Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15)
- LGBT History Month (October)
- Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20)
Out-of-State trainings we’ve attended
MSSC members have had travel opportunities to national trainings. Including:
- School-to-Prison Pipeline Action Camp; New Orleans, LA (2013)
- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change; Atlanta, GA (2013)
- S.O.N.G. & ARC‘s Better Together Southeastern Cohort (2013)
- School-to-Prison Pipeline Action Camp; Raleigh/Durham, NC (2012)
- The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change; Baltimore, MD (2012)
- GSA Network’s National Gathering; Washington, DC (2011)
- U.S. Department of Education’s Federal LGBT Youth Summit; Washington, DC (2011)
- GLSEN Safe Schools Advocacy Summit; Washington, DC (2011)
- GSA Network’s National Gathering; Austin, TX (2009)
- GLSEN Student of Color Organizing Conference; Atlanta, GA (2009)
- University of Michigan School of Social Work National Youth Policy Leaders Institute; Ann Arbor, MI (2009)