Archive for the ‘Straightlaced’ Category

A Film About Gender to Engage Students for Ally Week 2017



By | blog, LGBT, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced

We all have a role in supporting students who are LGBTQ. This year, it’s especially important to show that no matter who sits in the White House, school communities will always protect and support students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

That’s why we’re proud to once again partner with GLSEN for Ally Week, which will be September 25 – 29, 2017. GLSEN’s Ally Week is a student-powered program where LGBTQ K-12 students and LGBTQ educators lead the conversation on what they need from their allies in school.

To help you begin that conversation, we’re making our award-winning documentary, Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up available to stream for free for the last two weeks of September. Straightlaced, which explores the pressures that ALL teens face when it comes to dealing with gender norms and sexuality, is the perfect tool for sparking dialogue and community action around these issues.

Sign Up for Free Streaming

Order DVD and Curriculum Guide

Make Connections: Race, Culture, Gender, and Sexuality

You can also purchase the DVD and our comprehensive curriculum guide at 50% off for the entire month just by using discount code AWSG17 when you make your purchase.

Each DVD set comes with a free, 165-page curriculum guide on how to use the film to open up critical classroom discussions for middle, high school, and college students about the gender binary, transgender students, homophobia, dating pressures, and much more.

The activities in the guide are correlated to National Sexuality Education Core Curriculum standards as well.

Two young people smiling, with silhouettes outlined in rainbow. GLSEN Ally Week.

Chasnoff to Address IBPA on Supporting Students in Today’s Political Climate



By | blog, Events, LGBT, Professional Development, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced

GroundSpark’s president and senior producer Debra Chasnoff will be the kickoff speaker at the International Bullying Prevention Association’s upcoming conference in San Diego, Inclusion Through Kindness and Community: One-day summit supporting our LGBTQ youth.

headshot of Debra ChasnoffDebra’s talk, “Culture Change Strategies for Addressing Bias” will focus on how educators can find ways to address the bias issues which have become much more charged for students in today’s political climate.

She’ll be focusing on how we can open up critical discussions about race, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexism, ableism, religion and more to protect our students and encourage everyone to be strong allies.

In an interactive session, Debra will use excerpts from our Respect for All documentaries to model strategies educators can use in their schools.

“Debra Chasnoff was the first person we thought of to kick off the event,” says IBPA executive director Lynn Lonsway.” Her message to confront prejudice, discrimination, and bias is powerful and will be more timely and critical than ever to our attendees.”

Lonsway says the conference will sell out soon, so if you are an educator in the area, register now.

Debra is also available to share her presentation at other conferences. Visit our website to learn more.

 

International Bullying Prevention Association logo

 

Meet Rey and Help Resist Trump’s Exec Order



By | blog, LGBT, Professional Development, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced

This is Rey. When we filmed her, she was a high school senior. Watch this clip from our film, Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, and try to envision Rey being forced to use the boys’ bathroom.

The Trump administration does not have a clue what it is like for students like Rey to navigate the school day and stay safe.

While we are outraged by the administration’s latest action, we know that we have the ability to support teachers and administrators to do the right thing in their own schools.

When we go into school districts, as we did last year in San Diego, and show this award-winning documentary, we see the light bulbs go on. When caring professionals meet Rey on film, they gain new insights into the challenges their own students must be facing. They think about the youth in their own schools and get passionate about ways they can help protect their transgender students.

Trump can issue all the executive orders he wants, but that is not going to stop GroundSpark from connecting with educators and supporting them to stay strong and keep all of their students safe.

We’ve seen an uptick in distribution of Straightlaced since Trump was elected. We know that means that more schools are trying to grapple with how gender norms affect their students.

Will you help?

Please consider buying a copy of Straightlaced, which comes with a comprehensive teaching guide, and sharing it with a teacher or school administrator you know who may not be aware of this important resource.

Buy Now

And we are also on call, ready to send our education team to provide professional development to school districts that want more training on these issues.

Thank you for standing with us to protect every student’s safety.

GroundSpark to Help Address Students’ Fears in Michigan



By | blog, It's Elementary, Latest News, Let's Get Real, Professional Development, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced, That's A Family!

“Our immigrant students thought they’d need to pack their bags because they would have to leave America.”

That’s just one of the reasons Julie, Mushing, the diversity coordinator for Kent County, Michigan, has decided to have GroundSpark conduct a two-day Respect for All Institute for teachers and staff.

Students come from 89 different countries in this district
Photo courtesy of Kentwood Public Schools

There are 20 public school districts in the county including Kentwood, where there is a significant refugee population, students speak 61 different languages, and come from over 89 different countries.

Ms. Mushing started to field calls throughout the presidential campaign, but once the election happened and after November 8th, the situation has gotten much worse. “There is a huge fear among our Muslim students that there will soon be a national Muslim registry,” she says. “Even our African American students think they are going to be sent back to Africa.”

One of the county’s school districts is in a rural area that has a predominantly white middle-class farming community. In recent years, families of other racial and ethnic identities have moved in, and, of course, their children go to school. “People there have the mindset that these kids are not part of the community,” Mushing says. “I wish we could have this training next week!”

During our Respect for All Institutes, our education team uses our documentaries That’s a Family!, Let’s Get Real, Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, and It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School to help teachers become more skilled and comfortable creating safe learning environments. All participants are provided with copies of the films and their teaching guides.

“I hope the teachers who attend will take what they learn back to their schools and help others who work in their building support those students who don’t fit some kind of social norm.”

For the Kent County institute, we’ll be focusing on supporting educators to be more inclusive of students from diverse family structures and to address bias-based bullying.

A portion of the expenses for the Institute will be covered by a generous gift from Irene and Regina Dick-Endrizzi.

If your school district is facing an uptick in bias-based bullying connected to the election, please contact us. We’re here to help.

No Name Calling Week Discount on Our Anti-Bias Documentaries



By | blog, It's Elementary, It's STILL Elementary, Let's Get Real, LGBT, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced, That's A Family!

We were proud to offer free streaming of all of our Respect for All Project films for No Name Calling Week. This month, hundreds of school social workers, guidance counselors, and teachers signed up for the free streams and showed the films to thousands of students during No Name Calling Week. It’s been exciting to hear the feedback from educators.

Amber Schweitzer, a teacher at Castle Rock High School in Castle View, Colorado told us that because of their screening, the school will be inviting a panel of LGBTQ speakers to speak with students.

“Our school is not very diverse.
Straightlaced opened my students’ eyes to not only gender norms,
but also cultural differences they are not used to considering.”

-Amber Schweitzer, teacher

Jen Cusa, a social worker at the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women in Brooklyn, NY showed Let’s Get Real to 60 students. The highlight for her was after the film, students shared their own experience with name calling and how they coped. They talked about “how they will support others going through similar experiences and help create a safe/kind community.”

For the rest of January, you can still take advantage of the No Name Calling Week 50% discount on all educational purchases of the full quality DVDs and curriculum guides, or educational streaming licenses of these films. Just use discount code NNCW17 when you place your order.

We know these resources are especially valuable as schools work to counteract the messages of bias and division that the presidential race and aftermath has brought.

RAFP films

The Respect For All Project includes five highly acclaimed documentaries, each crafted for targeted age groups:

All the films have accompanying curriculum guides. The films are available close captioned in English and with Spanish subtitles.

The 50% discount in honor of No Name Calling Week ends on Tuesday, January 31 so order your DVDs or streaming licenses today!

Purchase a Film with the No Name Calling Week Discount

Once you select the films you want to purchase, you will be sent to our distributor, New Day Films, and upon checkout you enter the discount code NNCW17 to receive 50% off! You also can enter a purchase order number during check out.

Free Streaming for No Name Calling Week 2017



By | blog, It's Elementary, It's STILL Elementary, Latest News, Let's Get Real, LGBT, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced, That's A Family!

As you have probably heard, students across the country have been experiencing increased levels of bias-based bullying connected to the tenor of the presidential race and its aftermath. That’s why this year’s No Name Calling Week is more important than ever.

nncw17-banner

GroundSpark is proud to partner with GLSEN for No Name Calling Week 2017. To help create safe schools free of name-calling, bullying and bias, we’re offering free streaming of all of our Respect for All Project films during the month of January!

Sign Up for Free Streaming

Our free streams allow educators and youth group leaders to preview five highly acclaimed documentaries, each crafted for targeted age groups:

All titles are excellent discussion starters for college students and professional development as well.

Whether you’re an educator, student, or another kind of school leader, these films are excellent resources for organizing transformative events in your community during No Name-Calling Week.

“GLSEN and GroundSpark are long-time partners in promoting respect for all in our schools. GLSEN connects teachers and students with the tools they need to make a difference, and when used leading up to and during No Name-Calling Week, these powerful films can help foster respectful dialogue around issues of bias and bullying.”
                            –Eliza Byard, Executive Director, GLSEN

Help us spread the word about this amazing opportunity! Share the news on Facebook and Twitter or pass this email along to a friend who works with youth.

Time For A New Kind Of Locker Room Talk



By | blog, Latest News, Straightlaced

Read this entry in the Huffington Post or below.

I have a hard time believing the men who are coming forward now and saying that they have never heard guys talk like Donald Trump in their locker rooms. Why? Because when I interviewed high school students for a documentary about the pressure to conform to gender norms, Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, I heard that kind of talk all the time—in every type of school, all over the country.

In fact, most of the male students I interviewed confided to me about the pressure they face to prove their masculinity by bragging about sexual conquests, fabricating the number of female students they slept with, and making demeaning comments about young women’s bodies.

I sent my (male) camera crew into one high school locker room to see what happened, and it didn’t take long for the basketball players to start naming the females on the cheerleading squad that they were going to “get” any day now.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-12-08-35-pm

“It’s hard for me to act in a different way,” one high school senior told me, “when all I know is the way I’ve been taught….I’ll go back to school and grab a girl’s ass and say, ‘you look really nice in those jeans. And not in a flattering way…in a fully sexual way.”

The pressure on boys to talk trash about girls and to view female bodies as theirs to grab whenever they feel the urge starts early on. It’s sewn into the fabric of our culture’s messaging about what you need to do to be a real man, to not be perceived as gay, to be the king of the crowd.

It’s so insidious that now the man who is one step away from the presidency thinks he can brush away his behavior by labeling it “locker room talk” as if that chatter has no impact on women’s lives, or men’s values.

There will always be #lockerroomtalk, but how about we change what that banter is all about? Boys can grow up to see women as peers instead of animals at their disposal to be stalked and conquered. Men can find healthy ways to feel powerful that don’t require a sexual scorecard.

We’ve seen an explosion of rage about the impact on women of Trump’s sexual assault bravado. But let’s also look at where this behavior starts, and what it will take to really move the dial on the pressure men feel to act like Donald Trump and Billy Bush on the bus. It certainly isn’t going to change with Trump as role-model-in-chief.

Learn more about Straightlaced at www.straightlacedfilm.org. GroundSpark also provides professional development for school districts on gender norm issues.

Start Streaming GroundSpark’s Award-Winning Documentaries Today



By | blog, Choosing Children, Deadly Deception, Homes and Hands, It's Elementary, It's STILL Elementary, Let's Get Real, One Wedding and A Revolution, Straightlaced, That's A Family!

If you are affiliated with a college or university, you may now have a way to access all of GroundSpark films and share them with your students, colleagues and staff on campus. Hundreds of colleges and universities are subscribed to Kanopy, a streaming service for institutions of higher education. If your academic institution is subscribed, you can get instant access to our films at no extra cost to you or your students. Explore all the GroundSpark films:

1kanopy

Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up

A69C0585.JPG Phyllis Lyon, left, and Del Martin, who have been together for 51 years, embrace after their marriage at city Hall.

One Wedding and…a Revolution

4kanopy

It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School

5kanopy

It’s Still Elementary

7kanopy

Let’s Get Real

That’s a Family!

8kanopy

Choosing Children

2kanopy

Homes and Hands: Community Land Trusts in Action

3kanopy

Deadly Deception—General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment

Learn more about each of these films here and please contact us if you have any questions about how Kanopy streaming works for these titles!

What’s New for Ally Week 2016?



By | blog, Events, LGBT, Straightlaced

What’s new for Ally Week 2016? This year we are focusing on supporting schools to help students examine how race, class, culture, and ethnicity impact any person’s experience when it comes to gender and sexuality.

Faces of Four Racially Diverse Youth

Faces of Four Racially Diverse Youth

Put yourself in the shoes of these high school students who appear in the film and analyze how their experience of gender norms is affected by their particular backgrounds.

Once again we are proud partners with the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Gay Straight Alliances everywhere for Ally Week, which will be September 26 – 30, 2016.

We are making our award-winning documentary, Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up available to watch for free for the entire month.

 

Watch TrailerAlly Week 2016 (1)

Sign Up for Free Streaming

Order DVD and Curriculum Guide

Make Connections: Race, Culture, Gender, and Sexuality

You can also purchase the DVD and our comprehensive curriculum guide at 50% off for the entire month just by using discount code AWGS16 when you make your purchase.

Each DVD set comes with a free, 165-page curriculum guide on how to use the film to open up critical classroom discussions for middle, high school, and college students about the gender binary, homophobia, dating pressures, and much more.

The activities in the guide are correlated to National Sexuality Education Core Curriculum standards as well.

During Ally Week, participants across the country will consider what they can do to become an even better ally to another person, or group of people. Straightlaced, which explores the pressures that ALL teens face when it comes to dealing with gender norms and sexuality, is the perfect tool for sparking dialogue and community action around these issues. What’s new for Ally Week 2016? This year we are focusing on supporting schools to help students examine how race, class, culture, and ethnicity impact any person’s experience when it comes to gender and sexuality.

How We are Helping Reduce Suicide in Georgia



By | blog, Latest News, LGBT, Professional Development, Respect For All Project, Straightlaced

Did you see the recent New York Times article about how difficult daily life is for students who identify as LGBT? It’s alarming.

The Center for Disease Control finally did a study of high school youth who identify as LGBT.

40 percent of them have considered suicide.

Why?

  • They are three times more likely than straight students to have been raped.
  • They skipped school far more often because they did not feel safe;
  • At least a third had been bullied on school property.
  • They were twice as likely as heterosexual students to have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property.

That’s why GroundSpark is stepping up our efforts to help prevent suicide among youth and young adults. Our professional development program which is centered around using Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up is proving to be an excellent way for educators to grasp what they can do to make school safer for all students who don’t conform to the so-called norms of gender and sexuality expression.

Mental health professionals who work in colleges and universities across the state of Georgia recently formed the Georgia’s College Suicide Prevention Coalition.

For their very first event, GroundSpark teamed up with our partner, SOJOURN (the Southern Jewish Resource Network), to provide a three-hour training.

GroundSpark Facilitators Serian Strauss and Eileen Nathanson introduce our Pyramid of Peace

Participants

  • learned the statistics about how heteronormativity increases suicide risks;
  • reflected on the early messages they received about LGBTQ people;
  • practiced responding to LGBTQ issues that commonly arise in their work setting;
  • unpacked stereotypes, assumptions, and concepts related to identity and intersectionality.

Scenes from Straightlaced brought youth perspectives into the room and helped jumpstart the dialogue.

Our lead trainer, Eileen Nathanson, knows that these kinds of exercises help mental health providers to understand what their clients may have experienced as well as increase their own self-awareness. “As a psychotherapist,” Eileen says, “I see the ongoing mental health impact of growing up in a world that largely communicates that we must hide or bury ourselves if we are to be safe and loved. Expanding our thinking about the impact of homophobia and rigid gender stereotypes allows us to better partner with students in all aspects of their healing.”

 

Participants stand back-to-back, waiting for their next prompt in our “pair-share” exercise. In this activity GroundSpark trainers present real life scenarios so participants can practice spontaneous responses to provide support or advocacy involving LGBT students or colleagues.

 

Do you want to bring a GroundSpark training to your university or network? For more info or to schedule a workshop or presentation in your area, please email us at info@groundspark.org and tell us a little bit about what you are looking for.