Eugene’s Gay/Straight Alliance student leaders will be special guests at a meeting that will discuss equal rights for the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Oregon — and the students are excited about the chance to gain insight from statewide activists.
Basic Rights Oregon and the Lane County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are presenting “Pride and Prejudice: Fighting for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Rights in Oregon.” It will be a chance for students from Willamette, Churchill and North Eugene to present the work they are doing at their high schools and benefit from the feedback of experienced activists.
Claire Syrett, field director for ACLU of Oregon, says students are flattered to be included in the event and are eager to learn more effective ways for spurring change at their schools. “One of the requests that came back from the high schools,” she says, “was that they would like a chance to talk to adults about political activity and how to be an activist.”
“This is really going to give them (high school students) a chance to have a dialogue with folks,” Syrett says.
Afterward, the attendees will be broken up into groups to discuss what challenges lay ahead. Much of the group discussion will pertain to bullying on high school campuses and ways of gaining support for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender causes.
Members of Basic Rights Oregon plan to follow up with Gay/Straight Alliance students in the future on their campuses. Syrett will also speak about the marriage equality campaign here in Oregon and throughout the nation.
The public is invited to this event as well, which will be held from 10 am to 12:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 25, at the EWEB training room in downtown Eugene.