Side by Side (formerly ROSMY) March 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to your monthly Side by Side newsletter!
Side by Side youth,
Sarah Law
Side by Side with Local Youth Leader

Sarah (or Slaw, as they frequently go by) is a senior at Maggie Walker Governor's School and was one of the first youth to participate in our Middle School Support Group, which started in 2013. They have participated in our Youth Engaged in Leadership (YEL) program for the last two years.

In the fall of 2015, Sarah spearheaded and served as the Executive Director for a regional GSA/LGBTQIA+ student group conference for student groups around the greater Richmond area to come together and collaborate on how to best serve the LGBTQIA+ students at their schools. In its inaugural year, the conference had over 75 participants. Slaw headed up the conference again this year, and have established it in such a way that it will be carried on in the future.

During their time working with YEL, Sarah has served on the leadership team to organize the Q-Summit, a collaborative annual summit for Queer youth in the South between Side by Side and the University of Richmond, lobbied their state representatives, and written curriculum for our youth support groups.
 
Slaw plans to attend college after graduation, but have not yet decided between James Madison University and Ithaca College. They hope to major in communications and history.

Click here to learn more about YEL: Youth Engaged in Leadership. 
Side by Side Team Grows to Meet Increased Need

In just the first few months of 2017, Side by Side has seen an increase in not only the number of youth attending our groups, but also the number of youth experiencing acute crisis including suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness. To meet this growing need and support our community, we are excited to welcome Micky Jordan to our team as our Richmond Youth Programs Coordinator. Micky will work in collaboration with Jess Cook, Youth Programs Director, to facilitate and lead our LGBTQ+ youth support groups in Richmond.

We may continue to see challenging times ahead and many of our youth are seeking support from their families, their community and Side by Side. We will continue to grow our team and ensure high quality programming and support for LGBTQ+ youth in our community. We are fortunate to have a wonderful community in our Side by Side family who support our efforts and our youth. Thank you for your continued dedication to Side by Side and we hope you'll continue your support moving forward.

Click here to learn more about the full staff team at Side by Side.
Side by Side staff, youth, and partners from ACLU-VA, and Equality Virginia
Side by Side Town Hall on Title IX & Supporting Transgender Youth

In the wake of the Trump Administration's decision to rescind guidelines to protect transgender youth in schools, Side by Side partnered with the ACLU-VA, Equality Virginia, and the Nationz Foundation to host a Town Hall on Title IX & Supporting Transgender Youth. The event provided an opportunity for transgender youth, their families, and our community to ask questions, and learn some tangible ways to support transgender youth right now. Special thanks to Justin and Braden, our youth panelists!

Additionally, Side by Side partnered with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities for a webinar for local educators to ensure they had to tools to best support their transgender students. If you're interested in learning more about this webinar and viewing the video contact us at info@sidebysideva.org.

" Beginning in middle school I didn't see a future for myself because of my identity and just this year I realized I'm going to graduate high school, which was not something I thought would happen even with my good grades. But now that I finally see my future, that's why I'm here right now, because I want other people to also see their future. Every day I'm proving 7th grade me wrong." - Justin, 17

Check out the media coverage of the event from the Richmond Times Dispatch, GayRVA, WTVR-CBS6, and WRIC-ABC8.  
 
Side by Side Celebrates Women's History Month
 
March is Women's History Month and we are celebrating by sharing stories of all the amazing accomplishments women in our community have made. We are grateful for the opportunity to uplift women's contributions!

Follow us on Facebook to learn more. 
Side by Side welcomes new Junior Board members!
 
The Side by Side Junior Board helps spread the word about the work of the organization and assists with fundraising campaigns.
Side by Side (formerly ROSMY) | 804-644-4800 | Email | New Website

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