Safe Schools Desert Cities empowers area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex youth (LGBTQI+), their allies and GSA advisors and offers opportunities that foster a sense of community and individual growth by providing education, guidance, advocacy, resources, recreational activities and opportunities for self expression.
Safe Schools Desert Cities works directly with the Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) at 14 high schools and two middle schools in the desert area. Each year Safe Schools Desert Cities presents:
- Pride Prom – over 300 LGBTQIA Youth attended the 2015 Prom.
- Rainbow Youth Summit – about 150 LGBTQIA youth participate.
Other Safe Schools Desert Cities events planned for and attended by our GSA youth and their friends:
- San Diego Pride Parade and Festival
- Palm Springs Pride Parade
- Youth Zone at the Palm Springs Pride Festival
- An LGBTQI information booth at the Indio Tamale Festival
- The Harvey Milk Day Breakfast
- Bus tours to the Los Angeles area to visit the USC LGBT Pride Center, the city of West Hollywood and the Museum of Tolerance in Rancho Mirage
- Day of Decision rally and other local LGBTQI events
- Youth leadership training
- Active participation in Spirit Day and Day of Silence at the schools
With the exception of Pride Prom, all of our activities are free to participants, including transportation.
Safe Schools Desert Cities presents approximately $11,000 in awards and scholarships to LGBTQI youth each year.
We coordinate with Palm Springs Pride each year to honor an outstanding Desert area GSA and advisor. Representatives of the Safe Schools Desert Cities Board visit the GSA’s throughout the area at least three times each school year. We maintain close contact with the advisors and are often called on for advice regarding specific GSA or other concerns at school sites.
Safe Schools Desert Cities welcomes the opportunity to work with students and families when school districts do not follow California laws that provide protection and support for LGBTQI students. We assist youth and their parents when bullying surfaces at school and when cyber-bullying follows them home.