Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Veteran activist returns to Madison

Veteran activist Judy Greenspan, who made herself known by running for the Madison School Board as an out lesbian in 1973, will return to Madison to discuss her progressive campaign.
Greenspan will address the annual meeting of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network of South Central Wisconsin Wednesday.

Greenspan plans to discuss her school board campaign, which was prompted by the Madison School Board’s 1972 decision to ban openly gay speakers from its campuses.

She also plans to discuss her successful efforts to build multi-issue coalitions to advance the cause of broad-based social justice.

In response, the Madison School Board has set a resolution to commend Greenspan for her actions.

Jason Rasmussen, co-chair of GLSEN SCW, said Greenspan’s work greatly contributed to activism at UW-Madison.

“Earning 6,115 votes in the election and campaigning at a pivotal time when activist Mayor Paul Soglin was elected, Greenspan got a progressive movement on campus going,” Rasmussen said.

He also said that Greenspan’s work eventually led to the election of Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., to the House of Representatives.

“[Greenspan] built the base that built the base for the school board to come 180 degrees,” Rasmussen said.

The Madison Metropolitan School District recently hired a full-time

Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender resource teacher, Bonnie Augusta, who will introduce Greenspan at the meeting.

“The timing of Judy’s visit is perfect,” Rasmussen said. “As we celebrate the victory of the hiring of a full-time LGBT resource teacher, we must remember the years of work by so many individuals and groups that led up to this moment.”

GLSEN SCW’s mission in the Madison school system is to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“We work to end anti-gay bias in K-12 schools,” Rasmussen said.

According to the GLSEN website, 90 percent of LBGT students receive anti-gay comments in K-12 schools.

GLSEN SCW is involved in teacher training and advocacy with district administrators to combat anti-gay school environments.

Rasmussen said Greenspan’s work will continue to be the base for relieving anti-gay bias in schools in the future.

“Judy inspires us to know that each of us can continue to make a difference, that we can end the anti-gay bias that continues to be a pervasive force in our educational system,” he said.

Brian Juchems of the UW LGBT Center said Greenspan’s visit is a welcome connection to the past.

“She really put herself on the line, and this is a great opportunity for people working to create a safer environment in Madison to connect with her past work,” Juchems said.

He hopes Greenspan sees the difference she has made in Madison.

“This is an opportunity for [Greenspan] to see that the seeds she planted have come to fruition,” Juchems said.

Greenspan currently lives in Berkley, Calif., and continues to be an activist.

The event will be held Wednesday from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Warner Park Community Center, 1625 Northport Dr., in Madison.

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