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January 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to 2022! This year has already been a busy one, as we’ve been grappling with a number of damaging laws being put forward in the Arizona Legislature this year. If passed, these bills would harm LGBTQ+ and trans students in Arizona schools and throughout the state. Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, administrator, or community member, you play a role in helping to fight anti-LGBTQ bills. See our full list of bills we’re watching and find out how you can help at Read on to find out more about how you can get involved with local politics, including the upcoming Lobby Day, as well as the other great virtual events we have coming up this month.

Welcome our New Co-chairs!

This month we welcome two new Co-chairs, Shawnte Rothschild (she/her) and Andi Young (she/her) to lead our organization. Their terms will overlap with outgoing Co-chair, Leslie Redmon-George, who will stay on until the end of May. We want to send a sincere thank you to Leslie for all her guidance and hard work over the years, and we’d like to celebrate the plans Shawnte and Andi have for the GLSEN Phoenix Board moving forward:

Shawnte Rothschild

I look back on my school years with great joy. Feeling valued and respected allowed me to navigate through those early years as my authentic self. So when asked to join the GLSEN Phoenix board, where I can help ensure future generations have the same opportunities, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, I jumped at the opportunity. I am excited and honored to work alongside such impactful and transformative leaders. In partnership with the local community, we will continue advocating for a more inclusive and affirming world for all LGBTQ+ students, parents and community members.

My overall goal as a board co-chair goal is very simple:

  • To help ensure a sound future for the chapter and organization.

  • Position GLSEN Phoenix as the Arizona thought leader in K-12 LGBTQ+ education issues

  • Improve board operations and increase leadership development opportunities

  • Increase and foster connections with local like-minded organizations

Andi Young I am honored to serve as the co-chair of the GLSEN Phoenix Board. As a mother of a transgender child in Arizona’s public schools, I am passionate about GLSEN Phoenix’s mission and values. I am currently a graduate student at ASU, graduating in May with a Master of Social Work. Upon graduation, I plan to work as a mental health clinician focusing on LGBTQ youth and their unique challenges. As co-chair, I will draw from my knowledge as a parent, clinician, and advocate to help grow GLSEN Phoenix's tremendous impact on the safety, health, and equity of LGBTQ and all other students in Phoenix and across Arizona. I am excited for this new challenge!

Feb. 6: SHINE Series: The Spread and Effects of Inaccurate Information Among the LGBTQ+ Community

Please join us for this final session of our virtual series, as SHINE Student Jaime Lauriano discusses how inaccurate information can spread in the LGBTQ+ community and the effects that can have on community members. Join us for this seven-part presentation series as we continue to work together to educate ourselves and strengthen our GSAs and school communities.

Register Now

Feb. 23: Equality Lobby Day

Join us on Feb. 23 for #Lobbyday2022! With the anti-trans and LGBTQ+ bills moving through the AZ Legislature, this is a great chance to let your voice be heard! Organized with our partners at Equality Arizona, this is our biggest opportunity for face-to-face communication between members of the Arizona legislature and LGBTQ+ communities across the state.

Register now

New Training: Storytelling for Legislative Testimonies

GLSEN Phoenix is currently developing a new training about storytelling for legislative testimonies. During the training, participants will learn what legislative testimony is, understand the key components of good testimony, receive updates about the kinds of bills currently being heard in the AZ legislature, and receive important logistical information about testifying. Although the training is primarily informational, it is intended to equip community members – including students, educators, and parents – with the knowledge needed to prepare and deliver your own 2-minute testimony. You will have the opportunity to participate in the storytelling training leading up to Equality Lobby Day on Feb. 23rd. Make sure to register for Lobby Day to start receiving updates! For more information about GLSEN Phoenix’s policy work, visit

Perspectives on "How to Stand in Solidarity with LGBTQ Students"

During the fall Back to School Summit, we sat down with GLSEN Phoenix Board Co-Chairs Shawnte Rothschild (she/her) and Andi Young (she/her) to hear their thoughts on what it means to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ students. Shawnte shared that showing up in solidarity takes time and is a daily practice cultivated over the course of our lives. Sometimes, displays of solidarity are loud and visible. But other times they happen by answering questions from friends or family members and engaging in ongoing and sometimes difficult dialogue. Andi adds that solidarity means showing up for people when they are not able or not willing to show up for themselves, and it also means standing beside them when they are to help make their voice even louder.

Click the photos above to watch a quick video.