ONE’s LGBTQ Educational Initiatives
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is the country’s leading expert on LGBTQ history and has been involved on many levels with the implementation of California’s Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act (SB 48), which became law on January 2012.
LGBTQ Inclusive Curricula Create Safer Schools
As a result of the FAIR Education Act, all California schools are required to integrate age appropriate, factual information about the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans and people with disabilities into social studies classes.
Recent studies published by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), have shown that LGBTQ students who learn LGBTQ history as part of a classroom lesson were much more likely to report a stronger sense of belonging and community at their school.
- Less than a fifth of LGBTQ students at schools with LGBTQ inclusive curriculum reported high levels of verbal harassment, physical harassment, and physical assault, compared to about 1 in 3 other students.
- Less than half (42.1%) of LGBTQ students in schools with LGBTQ inclusive curricula felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation, compared to almost two thirds (63.6%) of students in schools without this resource.
ONE Archives gave a LGBTQ History presentation at the GSA’s Queer Youth Advocacy Day in Sacramento.
FAIR Education Act Community Coalition
LGBTQ-inclusive lessons positively impact school safety in almost all contexts. In an effort to create safer schools for LGBTQ students, teachers need to receive professional development training, supplemental materials, and resources so that they are prepared to comply with the education code requirements updated by the FAIR Education Act.
ONE’s Director Joseph Hawkins giving a LGBT History presentation at the Hayward FAIR Act regional training institute
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is part of a coalition of community organizations working together to ensure that each school district in the state of California has the resources they need to comply with the FAIR Education Act. This coalition includes organizations such as the California Foundation For Independent Living Centers, The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and several other LGBTQ and disability community activists.
ONE and the FAIR Education Act
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is involved with the implementation of the FAIR Education Act in several key ways:
- At the State level: As a community partner of the Gay-Straight Alliance, we are an important part of their FAIR Education Act implementation negotiations with the California Department of Education. We provide resources to supplement their work and serve as LGBTQ history experts in meetings and interactions with the CDE.
- At the Grassroots level: As a community coalition partner with the California Foundation For Independent Living Centers, we work alongside local disability historians and activists to provide FAIR Act education seminars and professional development trainings to teachers, students, and community organizers at CFILC training institutes throughout California.
ONE’s Director, Joseph Hawkins, gives a LGBTQ History presentation to the students attending the GSA’s Queer Youth Advocacy Day and Leadership Academy in 2013.
- At the Local level: Through our partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Project SPIN at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, we are creating and dispersing supplemental materials about LGBTQ History to all LAUSD area teachers in order to assist them with compliance with the FAIR Education Act.
- At the University level: Through our ONE Archives LGBTQ History Internship Program, we are working with students from many different universities in Southern California to create traveling LGBTQ History exhibitions that explore topics such as LGBTQ Literature, The History of the Gay Rights Movement, and African America Gay History, among many others. These exhibitions are then used to teach LGBTQ history in high school classrooms statewide.
A sample panel from the ONE Archives “Growth of the Lesbian Press” panel exhibition