Day of Silence
So, I had intentions of posting this yesterday, but it didn’t work out for me, so I’m a day late and a dollar short, but my intentions are still good. Yesterday was the Day of Silence… below is more about it. I like to be aware of all that goes on around me, and this is one of those things…The following was taken from the Day of Silence website at DayofSilence.org.Please read on for more information…
About Day of Silence
Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence® has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence® at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 1,900 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2002, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.
Here’s a brief history.1996 – The Day of Silence® is born. Students organized the first Day of Silence®, its original name, at the University of Virginia. With over 150 students participating, those involved felt it was a great success. The Day of Silence® received extensive local press coverage and a positive response from the UVA community members, motivating Maria Pulzetti to take the Day of Silence® nationally. 1997 – From one, to one hundred, National Day of Silence® takes off With a web page and much dedication, Pulzetti and then 19-year-old Jessie Gilliam, developed the project to be used in schools across the country. It was renamed the National Day of Silence®, and that year nearly 100 colleges and universities participated. Some schools in Australia heard about the project and modeled a similar day for Australian schools. 1998 – The Day keeps growing, the Project begins Pulzetti and Gilliam realized they could not expand the National Day of Silence® alone, so they organized a team of regional coordinators who could assist schools better by working with and understanding local networks. Expanding from a one-day vow of silence to include additional actions and educational events, the Day of Silence® was officially inaugurated. That year, for the first time in a recognized number, students in high schools joined the organizing efforts, helping double the number of participating schools to over 200. 1999-2001 – More people, more time, a message of unity sets in Through the sponsorship of Advocates for Youth, Gilliam worked part-time over the summer of 1999 to maintain and expand the Day of Silence®. A first in the project’s history, a team of volunteers met for a weekend in Boston to discuss strategy and develop future plans towards assisting schools. The Day of Silence® continued to support high schools, colleges and universities around the country with volunteers led by then 18-year-old Chloe Palenchar, as the National Project Coordinator. Over 300 high schools participated that year. 2001 – Day of Silence®; still growing, still strong Chris Tuttle, GLSEN’s National Student Organizer, Gilliam and Palenchar developed a proposal to provide the Day of Silence® with new funding, staff, volunteers and an official organizational sponsor, GLSEN. To ensure its success, GLSEN developed a first-ever Leadership Team of high school students to support local high school organizers around the country and a partnership with the United States Student Association, to ensure colleges and universities receive equal support. 2002 – Making noise, making history In what has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools, the April 10th Day of Silence® was organized by students in more than 1,900 schools across the country, with estimated participation of more than 100,000 students. Representative Eliot Engel introduces the first ever resolution on the Day of Silence® in Congress, which received support of 29 co-signers; additionally, Governor Gray Davis of California issued an official proclamation making April 10, 2002 the National Day of Silence®. Local Day of Silence® organizing efforts appear in over fifty media stories across the country, including USA Today, MSNBC, CNN, Voice of America and a live broadcast on NPR. Breaking the Silence rallies are organized with tremendous success in Albany, NY, Kalamazoo, MI, Missoula, MT, Ft. Lauderdale & Sarasota, FL, Eugene, OR, Boulder, CO and Washington DC, among other places. Today – The possibilities are endless Just imagine: tens of thousands of students, from San Francisco, California to Irmo, South Carolina, united in a visible silence to create real change in local schools. Whether used to educate classmates on the damaging effects of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment or to demand passage of a statewide nondiscriminatory act inclusive of LGBT people, the Day of Silence® is an awesome opportunity to create more inclusive school environments and make some noise.