ALLY WEEK is October 18-22 2010.  Since, 2005 PFLAG National has joined our friends at GLSEN in sponsoring this nationwide, weeklong event to support and celebrate allies.  Please visit our website at www.straightforequality, www.pflag.org or GLSEN’s website at www.allyweek.org for more ways to get involved.  Once again, PFLAG National is proud to support this year’s Ally Week. As we begin celebrating this week, please take a look at some of the exciting things you can do, everyday day, to show your support.

Day One:  GET UP and AT EM’

Ø  One of the easiest ways to meet other supportive straight allies is to attend a PFLAG meeting.  With more than 250 chapters around the United States, attending a PFLAG chapter meeting is a sure way to show your support, get involved in your community and make new friends.  Our LGBT families and friends need to know they have your support, so why not attend a meeting and get UP and AT EM’.   To find a chapter in your area, please visit https://pflag.org/find-a-chapter

Day Two:  Straight for Equality      http://straightforequality.org/

Ø    Don’t know what Straight for Equality is? Well it’s time to get in the loop and become part of a community of straight supporters working toward equality.  Visit the Straight for Equality website for tips on becoming the best ally EVER!  Take the Pledge, learn about our Straight for Equality in the Workplace training http://straightforequality.org/, plan to attend our 2011 Straight for Equality Awards Gala or travel in style with a Straight For Equality tote bag, the possibilities are endless.   Actions, big and small, are important in the pursuit of inclusiveness, love and support for our LGBT families and friends.

Ø    Already familiar with Straight for Equality?  Well, reacquaint yourself with the movement.  Stay current and informed as you live your life as a straight ally.  PFLAG National is always promoting new activities and ways to provide support.

Ø  So… what are you waiting for, go to http://straightforequality.org/ for exciting updates or visit our website at www.pflag.org to see pictures from our 2010 LA Event.

Day Three:  SPEAK UP!

Ø  Show your support by having meaningful conversations.  Use your voice to share the benefits of becoming a straight ally or why it’s important to continue your support.  Chat over coffee or lunch, share at a religious gathering, talk to your child’s teacher, share your story on the Straight for Equality website, write a letter to your state representative or chat while trying on new shoes.  It’s a win-win situation, you get a new pair of shoes and you continue to support the LGBT community at the same time.  Remember, starting conversations allows us to rally more folks and continue our support efforts.   So SPEAK UP!

Day Four:  Collaboration-POWER in Numbers

The African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Let’s apply that important message to working as straight allies.  We can’t do it alone and we don’t have to. Here is what you can do:

Ø  Sign up for the PFLAG action alerts https://pflag.salsalabs.org/signup/index.html to reach out and collaborate with others in your community and all over the United States that are taking part in ally activities.   You will be able to learn many exciting ways to collaborate and work with others.  You will also find ways to start your own programs and attract support.  Remember, there is power in numbers.

Ø  Find an organization, local or national group, or gather some friends with a mission of unity and work on a project together to support our LGBT community.  There are many groups that are dedicated to equal rights for ALL.  There are cities that sponsor community days, colleges that sponsor fundraisers, community centers that host after-school programs for students or work with your local group that organizes annual Pride celebrations.  Volunteering your time, services and expertise will ensure that allies are present in all spaces and activities.  We need bodies on the front lines and working with others to create change.

Day Five: Share the Wealth

We want schools, community centers, groups, organizations and other straight allies to have access to current support resources to educate and promote inclusive conversations, sustain active participation and rally other straight allies.

Ø  Create and distribute resource packets to members of your community.  Many of these resources are free (Yes, free!) and can be downloaded in seconds.

Ø  PFLAG’s Safe Schools training is proud to provide a tool box of strategies to help deliver packets to counselors, principals and teachers.  PFLAGErs, if you have participated in one of our trainings, and have not delivered the counselor packets, now is your chance to provide schools with current support resources.

Ø  Want to save paper, no problem!  Create email resource packets and send them to friends, families, co-workers, organizations, etc.  Email is a fast and easy way to rally straight allies.

Ø  Do you have live on Facebook and Twitter? Well, what are you waiting for?  Update your status with a message about the importance of being a straight ally.  Post a link to a great website.  You can find some websites below to help you get started.

Ø   Tweet about ways you support our LGBT community.  Did you go to an event? Tweet about it! Are you volunteering at an LGBT inclusive organization? Tweet about it!  Tweet about why it’s important to be a straight ally.

Remember, support takes place EVERYDAY!  Gandhi said it best, “We must be the change we want to see.”

Below is a list of FREE resources that will help you continue your work as a straight ally.  That one brochure, lesson plan, donation, publication, conversation, volunteer activity or video might save a life, change an opinion and create change.

If you are like me and love to share how you support our community, then please contact me anytime at Mekina Morgan-Safe Schools and Diversity Coordinator at mmorgan@pflag.org or call 202-467-8180 extension 212.  I would love hear about your stories, events, activities and support programs or if you just want to chat, I would love that too.

Thanks so much for ALL you do,

Mekina J

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Check out these free resources to get things rolling:

Free Straight for Equality overview: https://www.straightforequality.org/

PFLAG Field Guide to Straight for Equality: https://pflag.org/publication/straightforequalityhealthcarechapterguide

Check out these websites for more information:

PFLAG National: www.pflag.org

Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network:   www.glsen.org

Southern Poverty Law Center:  www.splcenter.org

GroundSpark:  http://groundspark.org/

Trevor Project:  https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Students Against Violence Everywhere:  https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/our-programs/save-promise-club/

Safe Schools Coalition:  http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/safe.html