A major organizing manual for campus activists -- one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive of its kind in the gay movement -- is now available from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.
"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Campus Organizing: A Comprehensive Manual," contains resources, strategies, suggestions, tips, photographs, charts, lists and other information for gaining anti-discrimination protections, forming support groups, increasing visibility and securing equality in higher education.
The manual is based on extensive research conducted by leading educators and activists, including National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Campus Project Director Curtis Shepard, who co-produced the publication. The 335-page manual features contributions by students, faculty, staff and alumni from campuses and organizations nationwide.
"The user-friendly manual is designed to help campus activists transform colleges and universities into safe and welcoming places for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people," said Shepard. "The manual is revolutionary because a vast array of information now exists all in one place."
The publication is divided into three main sections: Building a Healthy Organization; Practical Applications; and Resources.
Chapters include "Educating Your Campus," "Building Your Group," "Organizing for Non- Discrimination Policy," "Organizing Against Hate," "Responding to AIDS," "Establishing a LGBT Resource Center," "Ending ROTC Discrimination," "The Radical Right," "Organizing Floors in Residence Halls," "LGBT Studies," and more.
The manual costs $24 plus $6 shipping and handling ($30 total) and may be ordered by calling NGLTF Publications at (202)332-6483, ext. 3327.
NGLTF's Campus Project has built a network of more than 1,200 campus organizations representing nearly 1,000 different universities and colleges -- almost one-third of the total number of higher education institutions in the U.S. At least 240 campuses have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation. Some 30 campuses offer health benefits for the domestic partners of lesbian and gay employees. And nearly 40 campuses -- more than double just two years ago -- have l/g/b/t resource centers operated by paid staff members.
"Gains such as these have not come easily," says NGLTF's Shepard. "On many campuses attempts to institute policies and programs supportive of l/g/b/t students, faculty and staff have been opposed, if not thwarted, by politically conservative or radical right forces."
Shepard points out that at Notre Dame the l/g/b/t student organization has been banned by university officials from meeting on campus, despite nearly a decade of visibility and presence. And at Ole Miss, the Christian Right- controlled student government has denied student fee funding to the l/g/b/t organization, despite that group's official status.
"The manual is a tool to help groups organize, grow and secure equal educational opportunity for gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender people," said Shepard. "This has profound implications for higher education."
Financial support for the publication was provided by The David Geffen Foundation; entertainment industry lawyer Alan Hergott; film and television producer Leslie Belzberg; Texas physician Clark L. Carrol, M.D.; Skip Paul and Van Fletcher; entertainment executive Stanley Newman; Sam Watters; and OUT Magazine. Main contributors, besides Shepard, include Felice Yeskel, Ed.D., long-time activist, author and educator; and Charles Outcalt, director of UCLA's LGBT Resources Center, plus others.