Our Work

Our goal is to act as an organizing body, leadership development organization, and vehicle to support and advocate for LGBTQ youth in Mississippi. Since 2008, we have worked directly with young people to build programs, events, and partnerships that reflect and work to address the needs of our communities from Cleveland to Gulfport.

Serve on National Committees

Addressing the issues of LGBTQ youth in schools cannot be left to national dialogue, that is why MSSC youth serve on national committees and boards. We ensure that Mississippians have a voice in these dialogues.

MSSC is a member of the National Associaton of GSA Networks. This helps to bring Mississippi youth issues to the forefront of national organizing around educational justice. Each year, as a member organization we send one staff/adult member and one youth member (14-18) to National Gathering, which gives our youth the opportunity to join their peers from across the country to collaborate, share stories, and exchange resources to build the GSA movement. If you are 14-18 or would like to nominate a youth for this yearly position please contact us at info@mssafeschools.org

Focus on Intersectional Work

Gay straight alliances and other student organizations often try to serve a diverse group of youth. MSSC works with these organizations to try to expand the scope of their work.

MSSC was founded on the goals of networking LGBTQ youth leaders in the state and helping to create more student organizations in schools, colleges, and communities. As we began to work towards this goal, QYAB began to realize that training youth on how to start organizations and staff on how to support them was not enough, so in 2010 we began a two-year long partnership with Gay Straight Alliance Network to incorporate Racial Justice and Educational Justice into our LGBTQ youth work. This would help us to meet the needs of our entire communities. As a result, MSSC now conducts workshops, participates in workgroups, and trains MSSC leadership in what it truly means to be involved in social justice work.

Further we recognize our work is not finished. We will continue work to improve upon our work on racial justice, juvenile justice, and educational, while expanding our competency to discuss issues of immigration, foster care, and homelessness.

Southeastern Partnerships

By working with similar organizations in our region, we become better prepared for addressing the specific needs of Southern students, youth and organizers. This is why MSSC focuses on building stronger coalitions with our Southern allies. In 2011 we began to collaborate with other southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee) to host an annual QYLTS Action Camp. This collaboration helped to deepen relationships for adult organizers and youth organizers alike, providing a Southern focus on the work already being done. In 2013, MSSC hosted the camp in Jackson, MS.

MSSC also began to participate in other work in Mississippi and with regional leaders. In 2012, MSSC participated in the Race Forward (formerly Applied Research Center) program Better Together: Bridging LGBT & Racial Justice. The program aimed to connect and support a diverse set of Southern leaders working at the intersection of racial and LGBT justice in their communities.

In May 2013, Southerners on New Ground (SONG) invited representatives from Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition to Greensboro, NC to participate in their new rural outreach initiative Small Town Cross Roads. The meeting took place at the historic Beloved Community Center. SONG released their report entitled, "Small Town Cross Roads" in early 2014. To view the report please visit:http://southernersonnewground.org/