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SGDA (Sexuality Gender Diversity Alliance)
SGDA (Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance)
Advisors: Brian Bishop, Felipe Merizalde, Joseph Gramolini, and Lina Lopez
The SGDA is a student led and teacher supported initiative for the inclusion of diversity awareness with a focus on sexuality and gender identity in regard to the school curriculum as well as a support for members of our community. The SGDA meets after school and occasionally during the school day. Middle and high school students who want to provide support for the community members to better understand this complex topic are invited to join the SGDA. Interested students should contact faculty members.
The SGDA encourages students to promote diversity within the school’s community with a focus on sexuality and gender identity. The SGDA provides students and teachers with the necessary tools to accomplish CNG’s school mission of: “Serving a diverse student population by preparing responsible global citizens through an accredited American/Colombian college preparatory program focused on motivating students to achieve their individual potential for excellence.” We believe students should be knowledgeable and learn to respect all types of diversity in order to become responsible global citizens now and in the future.
SGDA students aim to create a healthy environment in which students are respected regardless of their differences. This is accomplished by educating the school community about homophobia, transphobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Educating the school community about these issues is essential in promoting equality amongst the student body, this is why SGDA students play a major role in standing up to and stopping discrimination, harassment, and violence related to these topics in and out of school.
WHY WE ARE NEEDED
Across Colombia and the world youth are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning at younger and younger ages. Far too many of these students face pervasive harassment and violence at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Research shows that youth harassed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are:
• More than twice as likely to report depression and seriously consider suicide
• More likely to report low grades, smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs
• More likely to become victims of violence
• Three times as likely to carry a weapon
• Three times as likely to report missing school in the last 30 days
With the existence of the SGDA, the youth harassment will be reduced and work will be done to ensure the curriculum reflects student body diversity in religion, culture, race, ideologies, gender identity, and sexuality.
Our strategy for fighting homophobia and transphobia in our school is to encourage students to educate the school community and advocate for just policies that protect LGBTQ youth from harassment and violence.
Our program benefits the school in three critical ways:
1. Ending Isolation through Building the SGDA: Our alliance creates a “safe zone” for enhancing the well-being of youth suffering from isolation, harassment,
discrimination, and violence.
2. Developing Leaders: The SGDA helps students develop youth leadership capable of effecting positive change in their school and community.
3. Making the School Safer: We help student organizers learn how to educate teachers and student peers to reduce slurs and work with the school administration to implement school policies that prevent harassment and violence.
Updated April 23, 2014