A New Opportunity in GSAFE’s Leadership

It is with mixed emotions that I announce that I plan to depart GSAFE in early February 2016.

I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity to have served in a leadership role at GSAFE since 2011.  When I came onto GSAFE’s staff, I could clearly see my role in helping GSAFE become a multiracial LGBTQ+ racial and trans justice organization and imagined that the ultimate sign of my success would be to work myself out of a job.  I believe that moment has come.

I am extremely proud of the work we have done together.  During my time with GSAFE, we

  • Launched our Racial Justice Program, which focuses on building the leadership of LGBTQ+ youth of color;
  • Successfully advocated for the passing of transgender-inclusive student non-discrimination policies in several school districts across the state;
  • Made progress in working to become a multiracial LGBTQ+ racial and trans justice organization;
  • Began our Trans Justice Program, which focuses on building the leadership of transgender and gender nonconforming youth; and
  • Strengthened our fiscal health, built a more robust fundraising program, and doubled in size as an organization.

Having moved past the scope of work I saw on the horizon when I first began at GSAFE, I see moving forward an incredible opportunity for GSAFE to take the work deeper and be a role model in racial and trans justice organizational transformation both in Wisconsin and nationally.  This is an exciting moment!

I believe change in organizational leadership is healthy and that organizations thrive when their leaders are the best match for the work at that particular moment in an organization’s evolution.  I no longer see myself as the best person to help lead GSAFE through this next stage of work and am resigning so that GSAFE can bring in an Executive Director who is the best person to help lead us through this next stage of organizational transformation and to deepen our work particularly around racial and trans justice.

I want to thank GSAFE’s youth, staff and Board of Directors for the tremendous opportunity to collaborate with you in our work to create just schools for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin.  I have been inspired by the many fierce LGBTQ+ youth leaders, educators, and families across the state who continuously work to make a reality our vision of ending the school to prison pipeline and creating educational justice for all students, especially queer and trans youth of color.

It has been an honor to serve GSAFE.

Kristen Brock-Petroshius