"Despite the overwhelming numbers of people who tried to engage us in conversation, anger us, or otherwise entice us to talk, we [the participants] were not demoralized, and remained speechless until 3:10 when we gathered in our gay/straight alliance's meeting room and broke the silence with a resounding scream."
"You [the teachers] made it clear to me that I was not a freak, not something to hate. You helped give me whatever confidence I had at the time. Little acts mean a lot to a student with very little hope."
"Sometimes with or without a voice it's impossible to speak, and often it's the words that cannot be heard that are the most important."
These represent a small sampling of the reactions of participants in this year's Day of Silence. Do you want to become part of an exciting grass-roots organization and play a role in helping generate these reactions next year? Then apply to be a coordinator for the Day of Silence Project 2000. The Day of Silence was first conceived by UVA Student Maria Pulzetti during the University of Virginia's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Union B-GLAD (Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Days) week in April 1996. On the designated day, supporters remain silent from 8 AM to 5 PM, handing out cards explaining their reticence. At UVA, the event became an effective way to promote awareness and provoke discussion amongst the entire university community. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and allies alike participated in this event. The Day of Silence is a day to show the world how silent our worlds would really be without the input of GLBT people and their supporters, not only in aspects of sexuality, but in our daily lives. The Day of Silence has evolved into a day to create a visible, "audible" silence to protest the oppression forced upon lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people on college and high school campuses everywhere.
Due to the large geographic focus of DoSP, the US and Canada has been subdivided into seven regions, four US and three Canadian, to facilitate and enhance local advocacy efforts. Also, because high schools tend to have needs and issues distinct from those of college, the leadership decided to create a High School Coordinator position as well.
These Coordinators serve multiple roles within the infrastructure of DoSP. They organize the local activities relating to the event by mobilizing campus and public support, and coordinating the specific pre- and post-event activities, such as advertising, speakers, and forums. They also will act as resources for information and sounding-boards for potential ideas from the community.
Energetic, creative youth are needed to fill the following positions:
High School Coordinators
Chloe Palenchar, Co-Chair for DoSP '99, encourages all those interested in effecting change for this cause to apply. "Day of Silence Project is an incredible organization built by strong, open-minded, committed, youth volunteers. The experience of being a part of our National Staff will provide you with important organizing skills and confidence you can use throughout your life. Please, join us in our campaign to create equality."
For more information, please contact Chloe Palenchar, Co-Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please refer to our homepage at http://www.youth-guard.org/dayofsilence.
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.