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Detroit LGBT community ready to make NOISE for safe schools

By Dawn Wolfe

Following a successful open house on Dec. 11, Detroit NOISE, the reformed Detroit chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, is getting ready for business.
GLSEN is a nationwide organization that works to make public schools safer places for LGBT youth. According to Detroit LGBT activist Robert Clark, Detroit's chapter has been taking that fight right to the top.
"At the time I became involved, we were battling issues out with the Detroit Public School Board," he said.
"Last spring, our primary focus was demonstrating at Detroit Public School Board meetings," Clark added. "We were advocating for Gay Straight Alliance groups to be allowed to meet in Detroit schools. GSAs are a goal that we're currently still working towards and will remain committed to."
"However, with a current school board transition set to take place, we're currently working on strategizing and strengthening our infrastructure," Clark said.
Part of that work has involved reconnecting with the national GLSEN organization, something that Clark said the Detroit group hadn't had the time to do in the past.
"With a re-created list-serve and frequent phone calls, we've increased our communication with GLSEN national and are thereby more on board with the national vision for GLSEN chapters," Clark said.
Clark, a member of the board of directors for Detroit Black Gay Pride, is one of several Detroit LGBT activists who have committed to revive Detroit NOISE. While the board of directors has yet to be re-established, according to Clark that board will possibly include Nkosi Figeroa, Ilana Weaver, an activist with Detroit Summer, and Delia Roland, a former member of SPICE. All of these activists have agreed to take an active part in the reformed organization.
"We're in contact with several individuals who look promising," Clark said.
Clark reported that "about 15-20" people attended the organization's open house, which was held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church on Cass Ave.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Robert Clark at 313-522-3821 or email the group at [email protected].



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