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Another Step in Combating the Silence

After months of hard work and research, the Day of Silence Project has completed one of its most ambitious projects to date: The Project Manual.

The Project Manual is a collaboration between the Co-Chairs and each of the Regional Coordinators aimed to be an instructional resource for all those interested in the Day of Silence Project. It includes such sections as "About the Day of Silence" and "Voices from the Project." Perhaps the most pragmatic section is the one entitled "Planning the Project."

The manual is written in a relaxed, easy-to-read manner, and is extremely user-friendly. It leads people step-by-step through the process of coordinating and planning a Day of Silence at your school, from the conception of the idea to the follow-up. Oftentimes suggestions are given for options to structure the event to best fit one's school environment.

The manual can also be helpful when organizing other events, because it approaches the planning of a Day of Silence from many different angles. From launching a press campaign to approaching businesses or people for monetary or in-kind contributions, the manual offers step-by-step advice and sample letters. Says Co-Chair Chloe Palenchar, "This manual offers many broadly applicable strategies, we believe that activists can learn new strategies that will help make all of their efforts more effective."

One of the most valuable parts of the manual is that section called "Voices from the Project." In this section we learn the stories and motivations behind the Project. Personal experiences are shared, and the impact the Day of Silence has had on people across the nation is felt.

One participant writes of why he supports DoSP: "We all have been changed and stunted by a silence so powerful, it crosses lines of gender, race, origin, ethnic background, religion, community, and class."

Another describes her participation: "It was the best experience watching 150 people in black gather and break the silence with a loud scream at 5pm. Try it."

Jessie Gilliam, Co-Chair of the Project, has great hopes for The Manual. "This manual will serve as a comprehensive resource for those wishing to plan the most effective Day of Silence for their campus."

This year the Day of Silence is April 7. By encouraging students to access The Project Manual on the World Wide Web, it is the Project Team hopes that youth can learn how to fight against the silence forced upon them.

Please visit The Project Manual through its link from the Day of Silence Project's homepage at http://www.youth-guard.org/dayofsilence. If you have any questions, or if you plan on participating in the Project, please contact Jessie Gilliam, Co-Chair, at jmg8r@virginia.edu or Chloe Palenchar, Co-Chair, at cpalenchar@hotmail.com.

Day of Silence Project is a non-profit, youth-run organization that helps high schools and colleges in the United States and Canada to organize a Day of Silence at their school. Day of Silence Project aims to recognize and combat the silencing of the GLBT community throughout history and today.


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