Search Results

Groundspark Launches First Ever Respect for All Institute; Educators Applaud Hands-On Workshop

One by one, rocks with words like courage, humor and perseverance began to pile up. The participants of the first-ever Respect for All Institute introduced themselves, and brought these stones, on which they had written their strengths, to a common table. This activity, “We Rock,” was just the first of many that would build attendees’ […]

We Do The Math—GroundSpark’s Multiplier Efffect

When we first started distributing our Respect for All Project professional development, our focus was on waking people up to how serious a problem bullying is and how critical it is for educators to address the bias issues that often fuel it. Today, however, most educators get the picture. Now our role is to help them take action. Our strategy […]

Groundspark celebrates 10th anniversary of release of Groundspark film It’s Elementary

San Francisco, CA, October 1, 2007 …GroundSpark – formerly Women’s Educational Media – today announced events celebrating the 10th anniversary and upcoming re-release on DVD of It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School. The groundbreaking documentary was the first film to show how elementary and middle school teachers can facilitate age-appropriate classroom discussions that include […]

GroundSpark Welcomes New Executive Director

On behalf of GroundSpark’s board of directors and staff, I am delighted to announce we now have a new executive director! Please join me in warmly welcoming Susan Mooney to GroundSpark, where she will work in partnership with our board, staff, and founder, Debra Chasnoff, to lead the organization into our next exciting chapter. Susan […]

Groundspark Responds to Tragic News of Teen Suicides

In the fall of 2010, the national media was filled with stories of the deaths of many teenagers who took their own lives. The news reports indicated that these young people committed suicide after being subjected to harassment and ridicule because they were gay, thought to be gay, or behaved in ways that didn’t conform […]

GroundSpark’s work in Lake County highlighted tonight on KQED’s “California Report”

GroundSpark’s work in Lake County, California is featured in an important story on today’s “California Report” airing on public radio throughout the state at 8pm today. Reporter Scott Shafer wanted to do a follow up story on the two-year anniversary of the tragic murder of Ventura County openly gay eighth grader Lawrence King. With a […]

Teaching Tolerance and GroundSpark’s That’s A Family!

The acclaimed Teaching Tolerance program recently released a great new activity for young people in efforts to explore family diversity and the different ways in which to define a family. Making use of the 2010 Census and GroundSpark’s film That’s A Family!, the activity challenges students to explore diverse configurations that form families. Check out […]

GroundSpark Remembers Bonnie Tinker

A few weeks ago, I received an email from one of the teachers who helped us find some of the students in Straightlaced, letting me know that Bonnie Tinker, the founder of Love Makes a Family in Portland, Oregon had died. Here is an article about the accident.  Bonnie, who was 61, was hit by a […]

GroundSpark Needs Volunteers!

GroundSpark Needs Volunteers! We are looking for a few special people to help with mailings, processing film sales, data entry and database maintenance (must know Filemaker). If you are in the Bay Area and can commit to a few hours per week, please join us! Please contact Zeena Batliwalla, Development Associate, to get involved.

GroundSpark in the San Francisco Chronicle

Straightlaced director Debra Chasnoff and producer Sue Chen were interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle this week about the film and the upcoming East Bay premiere in Oakland. Read on for the article or click here to visit the Chronicle’s website.

Straightlaced Sparks Change in Chicago

This past Tuesday over a hundred diverse community leaders, educators, and youth joined GroundSpark staff at the Chicago premiere of Straightlaced. Following marriage victories in Iowa and Vermont, change was in the air, and people entered the screening already feeling the desire to make a difference in their own community.

Meet Some GroundSpark Heroes!

At GroundSpark we stay pretty busy—and passionate about social justice—not just during the week day but in our “off hours” as well. Take Cristy Chung, for example. She’s the Community Programs Manager here at GroundSpark, where she specializes in helping underserved school communities take steps to build more safe and inclusive learning environments— but her […]

GroundSpark forms Rapid Response Team for the Safe Schools Movement

After experiencing a controversy over a small school district’s use of our family diversity film that amplified into a national news story, GroundSpark realized that the LGBT safe schools movement needed more coordination to create an effective response when our efforts come under attack by the right wing. With this vision, we called together leaders […]

GroundSpark To Be Honored!

GroundSpark will be recognized this Friday by Community United Against Violence (CUAV) at their annual benefit gala. CUAV will be celebrating 30 years of “supporting LGBTQQ survivors of hate violence and domestic violence, and educating our broader communities.” We are thrilled to be honored for our work by such a great organization and are proud […]

Stream GroundSpark Films!

Great news! GroundSpark’s Respect For All Project films are now available for streaming right onto your computer! If you would like to watch It’s Elementary, It’s STILL Elementary, That’s A Family! or Let’s Get Real online you can–just go to and look for any of our films by title.

Camp Buddy From 30 Years Ago Sparks Change In Greensboro, NC

[vPIP class="hVlogTarget" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" onclick="vPIPPlay(this, 'height=240, name=STLPremiere_VideoFootage, flv=true', 'bufferlength=5', ''); return false;"] Audience reactions to the Greensboro, NC premiere of Straightlaced — How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up. Join our Straightlaced group on facebook! In the 1970s, I was a counselor at Camp Rim Rock in Yellow Springs, West Virginia. In 1977, the last year […]

Introducing the GroundSpark Blog!

We are launching GroundSpark’s blog today in memory of Lawrence King (LINK to our press statement), the eighth grader who was murdered by a fellow student in class a year ago simply because he didn’t conform to conventional ideas about what young men are supposed to look or act like.

We hope that by spreading the hope and wisdom of the young people in all of our Respect for All Project films—Let’s Get Real, That’s a Family!, It’s Elementary, It’s STILL Elementary, and now Straightlaced, — we can help ensure that young people like Larry King can safely and joyously discover whoever they truly are.

Last month was a milestone for me and everyone here at GroundSpark. We had the world premiere of Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up in San Francisco! We literally finished the film at midnight the night before. And, as with the debut of all of our other films, I was a bit of a nervous wreck sitting in the audience, wondering how the 750 people in the packed house would respond.

GroundSpark Exclusive: Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon’s Wedding Video

In memoriamDel MartinMay 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008 Play the video On June 16, 2008 lesbian rights pioneers Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were married in the first same-sex marriage ceremony since the California Supreme Court ruled in May that it was unconstitutional for the state to deny the right to marry to gay […]

Partnering with SOJOURN to Bring Respect For All to the Southeast

We’re headed down south to help transform community conversations from Atlanta to Birmingham! Joining forces with the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN), GroundSpark will help bring powerful new educational programming to communities across the Southeastern United States later this month, centered on our award-winning Respect for All documentary series. “GroundSpark’s […]

Free Streaming for No Name-Calling Week

For the last ten years, Groundspark has proudly partnered with the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for No Name-Calling Week, a week dedicated to celebrating kindness and working to create safe schools free of name-calling, bullying and bias. In recognition of this powerful decade-long commitment, we’re offering FREE STREAMING of all of our Respect for […]

The First Bay Area Respect for All Project Institute!

As 2014 came to a close, breaking news heightened many people’s awareness of how important it is for educators to find compelling strategies to address diversity and school safety issues. Across the country there is a much greater concern about racial stereotyping by police. And tragically we saw the suicide of 12-year old Ronin Shimizu in […]

Reporting Back From China!

“Tell us about those plots of farmland in front of those old buildings,” I asked the two journalism students who picked us up at the airport in Shantou, China. “The farmers had a protest against the government because the government plans to take away the land to put up new buildings,” one of them said. […]

Standards Alignment

Showing Straightlaced, and using our curriculum guide, are excellent ways to implement national sexuality education standards, part of the national core curriculum mandates established in 2011. Straightlaced can be used to addressed the following standards: Puberty and Adolescent Development addresses a pivotal milestone for every person that has an impact on physical, social and emotional […]

2014 Ally Week – Oct 13 to 17

Monday marks the beginning of Ally Week, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) national week of action to identify new allies to LGBT youth, and a chance for us all to reflect on our own role in the movement for equality. In recognition of this week-long campaign, Groundspark is proud to partner with GLSEN […]

Respect for All Project Institute Training Feb. 6 & 7, 2015

SPARK POWERFUL, CUTTING EDGE CONVERSATIONS AND ACTION IN YOUR SCHOOL OR YOUTH PROGRAM! For the first time ever, GroundSpark will be hosting a Bay Area two-day Respect for All Project Institute February 6 & 7, 2015 to provide professional development in creating inclusive, safe schools and communities for young people of all identities and cultures. Join us […]

Respect for All Project Institute

In our two day RFAP Institute we bring together all of the films in the Respect for All Project series to give professionals who work with youth the opportunity to learn about many aspects of diversity and inclusion work with K-12 age youth. We address: How to create a safe environment for all children, families […]

These Pros Were Happy to Give Up Their Saturday. We would love to make you happy on your day off too!

On a beautiful sunny Saturday, forty professionals showed up to watch Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up and learn strategies for how to open up conversations about gender and sexuality with their students. They came from 10 counties and wore many different hats: foster care program coordinator, health education specialist, teacher and director of curriculum […]

Make a Donation – Split Outreach Campaign GroundSpark is proud to serve as a fiscal sponsor for the outreach and education work connected to SPLIT, the documentary film about kids’ experience of divorce. Thank you for supporting this critical work.   Please complete the form below to make your tax-deductible donation online. If you would […]

Messaging Toolkit

Messaging Tool Kit for Supporting LBGT Inclusive Curriculum and Policies It isn’t always easy to build community support for schools that openly affirm people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. When talking about sexual orientation or gender identity, emotions can run high, misconceptions can spread, and divisive politics sometimes can get in the way […]

Bay Area spring Straightlaced training—free to local educators!

Skirts for Sasha was a beautiful act of solidarity, courage and resistance. Now what? What can we do the rest of the year? Join GroundSpark’s Respect For All Project for a FREE one-day professional development workshop and help spark powerful, cutting edge conversations and action! WHO: Calling all middle and high school teachers, counselors, health […]


You can stream most of our films online. Showcases the diverse and unscripted voices of teenagers who speak about their experiences with pressures around gender roles and sexuality. Read More » Features youth speaking frankly about their varied and often painful experiences related to bullying at school, and helps open dialogue about the underlying prejudice- […]

Deadly Deception DVD

This 1991 Academy Award®-winning documentary uncovers the disastrous health and environmental side effects caused by the production of nuclear materials by the General Electric Corporation.

One Wedding and a Revolution and Celebrating the Life of Del Martin DVD

Reveals the inspiration, motivation and political challenges at San Francisco City Hall during the frantic days leading up to the first government-sanctioned same-sex marriage.

It’s Elementary and It’s STILL Elementary DVD

The groundbreaking film that addresses anti-gay prejudice by providing adults with practical lessons on how to talk with children about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Part of The Respect for All Project.

That’s a Family! DVD

That’s a Family! is an entertaining documentary that breaks new ground in helping children in grades K-8 understand the different shapes families take today. Part of The Respect for All Project.

Let’s Get Real Curriculum Guide

This 132 page Curriculum Guide includes an extensive selection of pre- and post-viewing activities designed to engage youth discussing issues from the film. Contained in the guide is a list of supplemental readings and resources for youth and adults.

Let’s Get Real DVD

Examines issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others. Part of The Respect For All Project.

Straightlaced Curriculum Guide

Extensive selection of pre- and post-viewing activities designed to engage youth discussing issues from the film. Contains a list of supplemental readings, film clips, and resources for youth and adults. 160 pp.

Straightlaced DVD

How gender messages shape young people’s daily decisions, and the toll that deeply held stereotypes and rigid gender expectations have on all our lives.

67 minutes. DVD includes Spanish/English subtitles, interview with the producers, and trailers from other GroundSpark films.

Film Outreach

GroundSpark is now sharing our expertise on how to maximize the impact of social issue documentary films with other filmmakers who are handling their own educational distribution. We serve as strategic thought partners to help filmmakers expand their distribution, organizational collaborations, and earned income. Our services designing and monitoring a comprehensive strategic plan to expand […]

Let’s Get Real Press Kit

Name-calling and bullying are at epidemic proportions among youth across the country, and are often the root causes of violence in schools. Let’s Get Real gives young people the chance to tell their stories in their own words–and the results are heartbreaking, shocking, inspiring and poignant. Unlike the vast majority of videos made for schools about the […]

Historic Film, Choosing Children, Now Out On DVD!

We are fast approaching the 30th anniversary of Choosing Children, GroundSpark’s first film (from back when we used to be called Women’s Educational Media). To celebrate, we are releasing a newly mastered version of this historically significant documentary on DVD. The DVD also features in-depth interviews with me, Kim Klausner—the co-producer/director of the film, and […]


See the endorsements and media reviews of our films. Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up Let’s Get Real That’s a Family! It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues In School It’s STILL Elementary Celebrating the Life of Del Martin One Wedding and a Revolution Homes & Hands Wired for What? Deadly Deception Choosing Children

Streaming FAQ

How does streaming work? Streaming requires no special equipment or software, other than a high-speed internet connection. Most of GroundSpark’s films can be streamed via our educational distributor, New Day Films. For detailed setup instructions, go to the New Day Digital FAQ page. For individuals: A high-speed internet connection and audio card is all that’s […]


Making a compelling documentary film is just the first step toward using film to ignite change. For each of our films, we identify key organizations with which to partner to ensure that we reach the right target audiences, the people who can best use the films to make change. For That’s a Family! and Let’s […]

Facilitated Community Forums

Would you like your school or community to be a safer, more welcoming and inclusive place for all young people? GroundSpark’s Respect for All Project can help! Respect for All Project facilitators work with PTAs, schools, religious communities, and social service centers to facilitate conversations and create action plans to reduce bias and bullying, welcome […]

Launching a New Program for Parents and Guardians to Address Bullying and Build Positive School Climate

PTA Meetings Here We Come! San Francisco, CA  - October 7, 2013 Contact: GroundSpark, Eileen Glaser, Education Coordinator GroundSpark and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF) launched a new initiative today to support parents and guardians in addressing bias-related name-calling and bullying in their children’s elementary and middle schools. Through our Respect for All […]

Launching a New Program for Parents and Guardians to Address Bullying and Build Positive School Climate

PTA Meetings Here We Come! When I was making Let’s Get Real, my oldest son was a middle school student. He had graduated from an elementary school that did a good job at community building but then found himself in sixth grade at a school site that didn’t do anything to acknowledge–let alone address –the […]

Staff Training & Community Workshops from Respect for All Project

School’s in full swing and so is our program to help schools ensure community wide respect for every student. Our highly skilled facilitators help open up dialogue, expand staff expertise and strengthen community support for: Cultivating a safe school climate Preventing violence Addressing bias-based bullying Closing the achievement gap Improving emotional health Welcoming family diversity […]

Let’s Get Real – Welcoming Schools


Streaming —Institutional Licenses

Stream Respect For All Project Films For school, classroom, or other institutional use, choose the option that works best for you—short term or multiple year streaming licenses.  You can stream off of our servers, or if you prefer, acquire a digital file for your institution to stream off of its own servers. You also can […]

Streaming —Home or Student Use

Stream Respect For All Project Films For home or individual student use, select an individual streaming license.  Note – the quality of this stream is designed for personal computer use and is not designed nor authorized to be shown to a large group or classroom. For educational streaming licenses, please visit our educational streaming page. […]

Stream our Films

Stream Respect For All Project Films Showcases the diverse and unscripted voices of teenagers who speak about their experiences with pressures around gender roles and sexuality. Read More » Features youth speaking frankly about their varied and often painful experiences related to bullying at school, and helps open dialogue about the underlying prejudice- related to issues […]

Using Film to Address Bias, Reduce Bullying and Improve School Climate

Join us at the 2013 International Bullying Prevention Association conference (November 10, 2013). I’ll be heading back to the annual convening of the International Bullying Prevention Association this year. Last fall I was honored to be the keynote speaker. This fall I’ll be going back to conduct a special pre-conference intensive session on how educators […]

What We’re Working On Now

Look Inside GroundSpark! Our latest annual report.  GroundSpark partners with Oliver Stone’s Untold History  to provide Deadly Deception as a resource for those seeking other perspectives about US nuclear weapons production. GroundSpark is now working with other filmmakers to strategize distribution opportunities around important social issues. Choosing Children re-released on DVD! With special “Back Story” […]

One Wedding and a Revolution Free Stream

We are delighted to provide free streaming of One Wedding and a Revolution in conjunction with the historic Supreme Court rulings about Proposition 8 in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The roots of Prop 8 date back to February 2004 when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom decided to grant marriage licenses to gay […]

Respect For All

Through our Respect For All Project, GroundSpark facilitates the development of inclusive, bias-free schools and communities by providing media resources, support and training to youth, educators and service providers.

A Foot in the Door Partners

Executive Producers CFED is a champion of asset building and advocates for the creation of children’s savings accounts across the country.  CFED was a key advisor to the City of San Francisco in setting up Kindergarten to College.  Contact us to learn more about children’s savings accounts. Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to […]

Who Should See This Film

A Foot in the Door is recommended for: Policy advocates and government agencies. Use the film to spark discussions about the long-term economic benefits of programs like Kindergarten to College, both city and nation-wide. It can be used as a model for establishing similar initiatives and as a tool for fostering partnerships with other agencies, organizations, […]

Straightlaced Goes to the Head of the Class GSA Network’s Study Proves Inclusive Curriculum Makes Schools Safer

Many years ago when Helen Cohen and I were producing It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School, we came up with a list of all the reasons why it is important for educators to find age-appropriate ways to incorporate respectful discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into K-12 curricula. We knew it was […]

A Foot in the Door

Children who have a college savings account in their own name are seven times more likely to actually go to college than those who don’t—regardless of how much money is saved in the account. Making sure every student has their own college savings account not only increases the chances that they will go on to […]

Production Credits

A GroundSpark (formerly Women’s Educational Media) production in association with The National Center for Lesbian Rights Produced and Directed by Debra Chasnoff Co-Produced and Edited by Kate Stilley Special Thanks (in order of appearance) Kate Kendell Joyce Newstat Mabel Teng Gavin Newsom Del Martin Phyllis Lyon Cinematography Sophie Constantinou Fawn Yacker Music Miriam Cutler Title […]

Photos and Flyers

Photos These are just some of the screen shots from the film available for use in your print or online publication. All images should be credited “GroundSpark” and are protected by international copyright. If you would like images in another format, size or resolution, please email us or call 415-641-4616. TO DOWNLOAD HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES (300 […]

Photos and Flyers

These are just some of the screen shots from the film available for use in your print or online publication. All images should be credited “GroundSpark” and are protected by international copyright. TO DOWNLOAD HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES (300 dpi) Click on the image you want to save (or the link below the image). Right click or […]

Photos & Flyers

Photos These are just some of the screen shots from the film available for use in your print or online publication. All images should be credited “GroundSpark” and are protected by international copyright. If you would like images in another format, size or resolution, please email us or call 415-641-4616. TO DOWNLOAD HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES (300 dpi): 1. […]


“Let’s Get Real” is another powerful example of the value of kids teaching kids. The portent underlying this video is the contemplation of what happens after the taunting and name-calling have ended. How does it make someone feel, and how long do those feelings last? The video and guide take the subject of bullying by […]

Get Involved (Monthly)

View our 2013 – 2014 Annual Report   Make a Donation I want to help GroundSpark ignite change through film. Please use my contribution today to bring GroundSpark’s culture changing films and educational tools to communities across the country! Please complete the form below to make your tax-deductible donation online. If you would prefer to […]

Jumping Into the Stream

A short custom excerpt goes here.

Who Should See This Film

Straightlaced can be used in a variety of settings to open dialogue about issues of teens, gender, sexuality – and to inspire both youth and adults to create safer and more inclusive environments for everyone. These settings include: Classrooms and schools. Include the film and discussion activities as part of a high school English, social studies, […]

In Production

The Back Story – How Choosing Children Got Made In the early 1980s, I lived in Somerville, Massachusetts. My partner at the time, Kim Klausner, was involved with a local film group called Angry Arts. Once a month, this collective would show a political film, usually a documentary, on a 16mm projector in the basement […]

Our Approach

GroundSpark’s workshops are both practical and inspiring. All of our professional development programs are centered around one or more of the films in our Respect For All Project. We use film to bring people together, open dialogue and inspire action. Our highly acclaimed, award-winning documentaries are crafted to open hearts and stretch minds, and always […]

Professional Development

GroundSpark’s professional development workshops draw on the power of our Respect For All Project films to support educators, youth and human service providers, and other community leaders in addressing some of the most pressing educational and social issues of our times. These issues include: Understanding differences Inclusive school climate Bias-based bullying Gender, race and sexuality […]

Speaking Engagements

GroundSpark’s President and Senior Producer, Debra Chasnoff, is often invited to be a guest speaker at conferences, screenings, and other events. Debra’s presentations are usually offered in conjunction with a screening of one or more of the films she has directed for GroundSpark, or include selected excerpts from films with relevant subject matter. Presentation Topics […]

GLSEN Free Streaming Promotion

We are proud to partner once again with GLSEN, (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network). GroundSpark is presenting a special offer as part of Ready, Set, Respect! GLSEN’s Elementary School Toolkit. For the first time, you can stream the educator training version of our acclaimed film It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School and receive a […]

Free Streaming

GroundSpark has teamed up with GLSEN to provide educational resources this year. Please enter your information in the following form, then enjoy your free streaming of “It’s Elementary,” courtesy of GroundSpark and GLSEN! * First Name * Last Name * Organization * Job Title * Mailing Address * City * State * Zip * Email […]

Honoring a Trailblazer, Honoring our History

Kim Westheimer, Director of Welcoming Schools at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, guest blogs for GroundSpark following an event last week hosted by HRC and the St. Louis Chapters of the Anti-Defamation League and the National Conference on Community and Justice. The event took place at the Missouri History Museum: Too often, we get so busy doing our […]

Let’s Get Real for No Name-Calling Week

GroundSpark is offering free streaming of our film Let’s Get Real in support of GLSEN’s National No Name-Calling Week.

“Why Should I Be the One To Leave?”

Since we released Straightlaced, we’ve seen more and more parents become visible advocates for their transgender and gender non-conforming children. Sam’s story makes us more determined than ever to get Straightlaced screened in as many high schools as possible this year.

Reports and Plans

  Annual Reports 2013-2014 Annual Report 2012-2013 Annual Report 2011-2012 Annual Report 2010-2011 Annual Report   Board Policies 1. Conflict of Interest Policy 2. Whistle-Blower Policy 3. Document Retention Policy 4. CEO Compensation Determination Policy   Financial Reports 990 Tax Records 2012 Audited Financial Statement 2011 Audited Financial Review

Straightlaced Curriculum Guide

GroundSpark’s comprehensive, accessible 160-page curriculum guide is designed to enhance the use of Straightlaced in school, community group and professional development settings. “This excellent companion piece provides educators with activities and tools to truly deepen the conversation and learning sparked by Straightlaced.” —Beth Yohe, Associate Director of Training and Curriculum, National Education Division, Anti-Defamation League […]


AUDIO Podcasts for Leaderful Schools interviewed Debra Chasnoff re her keynote speech at Oakland Univ Sexuality & Gender Issues in Education conference Bullying intervention and prevention: What works, what doesn’t and what you can do on WILL 580 am Hear Debra Chasnoff on KCRW Discussing LGBT History in California Schools Debra Chasnoff on Birmingham, AL […]

Wisps of Change in Idaho

As the organizers were closing up the main meeting room Friday night at the Northwest LGBTQ Youth Conference for Hope, in Meridian, Idaho, one of them approached me and whispered, “there’s a young woman in the audience who is in tears and she’s asked to speak with you.” I looked up and saw her. Cute […]

Marriage Equality in New York? It’s Elementary!

Sixteen years ago, producer Helen Cohen and I were at PS 87 in New York City filming a fifth grade class during a civics lesson. “Today the law says that if you’re the same sex —two men or two women— you can’t get married, it is against the law,” their teacher explained. And then he […]

Production Stills

Click to view/download full size image. Photo credit: Rick Gerharter Click to view/download full size image. Photo credit: Rick Gerharter Click to view/download full size image. Photo credit: GroundSpark

Celebrating the Life of Del Martin

Legendary lesbian civil rights pioneer Del Martin passed away in 2008. To honor her incomparable contributions, San Francisco celebrated her life with a moving civic celebration in its City Hall grand rotunda. Phyllis Lyon, her partner for over 50 years, was, of course, in attendance, along with a who’s who of city’s pioneering community of […]

Debra Chasnoff at Northwest LGBTA Youth Conference for Hope

GroundSpark is proud to announce our Founding Director Debra Chasnoff will be the keynote speaker at the 2nd Northwest LGBTA Youth Conference for Hope. There will also be a screening of our film, It’s STILL Elementary. This conference was inspired by the 2009 LGBTQIA Youth Conference for Hope, hosted by the Odyssey Youth Center in […]

Your Story Needed for Civil Rights Commission Report

GroundSpark has learned that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will turn its attention to peer-to-peer bullying, harassment, and violence in schools this May—and your stories are wanted. Beginning with a day-long briefing on peer-to-peer violence in K-12 public schools on May 13th, the Commission’s report will examine bullying and other types of peer-to-peer violence where […]

Announcing Our National Straightlaced Partners!

Announcing Our National Straightlaced Partners! Last week, the White House hosted a conference on combating bullying. The same day, both houses of Congress reintroduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect the rights of LGBT and gender non-conforming students in our nation’s schools. We can’t think of better timing to proudly announce our national partners for […]

The President Gets a ‘B’ on Bullying — Grading The White House Conference

Originally published in The Huffington Post Hats off to the Obamas for drawing national attention to the problem of bullying in our school communities. Hosting a conference at the White House to draw more media attention to bullying is an excellent step forward. Like most symbolic White House gatherings, though, this conference recommended some good […]

Straightlaced Events

Interested in organizing a screening of Straightlaced in your school, organization, or community? Check out our screening kit for suggestions, tips and other helpful resources! And be sure to let us know the details about your event, so we can list it on our events calendar. We are also happy to provide the following: Editable promotion flyer for your Straightlaced screening Free […]

Straightlaced Partners

Following is a list of current Straightlaced partners. For more information about partnering with the Straightlaced campaign, please contact us. Our partnering organizations include: Anti Defamation League The ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute is a leading provider of anti-bias and diversity education training programs and resources used by PreK-12 schools, universities, businesses and […]

School District Does the Right Thing:
Vallejo Won’t Let Students “Opt-Out” of Anti-Bullying Curriculum

Last night the Vallejo Unified School District 30 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, voted 4 – 1 to continue its anti-bullying curriculum for students in its elementary, middle, and high schools. The curriculum was put in place as the result of a settlement negotiated by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California […]

Choosing Children: 25th Anniversary

In 1985, Kim Klausner and Debra Chasnoff produced the landmark documentary film, Choosing Children. The film explored the then-almost-unheard-of idea that lesbians and gay men could have children — after coming out. Choosing Children helped launch the LGBT baby boom and opened up the possibilities for each of us to create our own definition of “family.” Many […]

We’ve Lost a Young Violinist/Google Steps Forward

I had planned to send out a blog post today announcing our new partnership with Google, but now I need to also let you know about another tragedy that has occurred in the midst of our gratitude. Yesterday we learned of yet another young teenager who was being harassed daily with anti-gay slurs and who […]

Addressing LGBT Bullying?
We Can Do Better

As news of five suicides committed by youth who were targeted with homophobic harassment has spread across the country, GroundSpark has redoubled our commitment to helping communities do a much better job of addressing anti-LGBT bias, particularly in school. We are making some of our tools available for free for the next two months in […]

Call to Action to Stop anti-LGBT bias in Schools

We believe schools can be caring communities in which everyone has the opportunity to be engaged, included and respected, regardless of his or her sexual orientation or gender expression. We envision schools that are free of anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender prejudice and harassment, in which all students can realize their full potential. For the well-being of youth […]

Press Releases

2007 GroundSpark Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Release of Groundbreaking Film It’s Elementary (10/1/07) 2000 (links to press releases coming soon) Report from Coalition of National Experts Highlights Need for Schools to Address Gay Issues (1/5/00) 1999 (links to press releases coming soon) Public TV Misses a Chance to Help Youth (12/2/99)  It’s Elementary Receives Annual […]


Respect for All Project films are screened throughout the country to spark dialogue and action on creating safe, bias-free and inclusive communities and schools. Contact us to schedule a screening in your area. Find out more about upcoming screenings.

Before the lawsuits hit…

As a documentary filmmaker, it is so rewarding when your work is used in communities affected by the very issues your films raise. Every year we hear from school staff, community leaders, religious groups, youth and parents about the ways that GroundSpark films help local efforts to reduce prejudice, increase empathy, and open hearts and […]