The Gender and Sexuality Alliance Leadership Forum

Registration for the GSA Leadership Forum 2020 is underway. Check below here for updates on how your can apply to take part.

The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity is proud to present our annual national Gender and Sexuality Alliance Leadership Forum. The year 2020 marks the seventh year that we are hosting this program, which invites 75 GSM (gender and sexual minorities) and allied students (ages 14-17) from across the country to participate in a week of leadership education. This training event will take place Ottawa  from May 12th-May 16th, 2020. The students will learn to be leaders in their school and youth communities on topics of GSM identities, diversity, anti-bullying, anti-racism, and mental health. Concurrently, the participants of the event will be trained on how to run a successful Gender and Sexuality Alliance club and related activities at their school.

Check out our video from 2018

The highlights of this training include:

  • Learning effective team management, conflict resolution, and active listening skills;
  • Information on 10 specific projects to bring back to schools;
  • An understanding of gender diversity, the panoply of GSM art and culture, and the depth of GSM history;
  • Awareness of the evolution of GSM rights locally, nationally, and internationally;
  • And an exploration of the diversity of the GSM community and the intersections of gender and sexual orientation with youth mental and sexual health.
  • Also, see our Forum’s Frequently Asked Questions

Our innovative format includes:

  • Workshop series and keynotes designed to give the students resources and real-life stories on various topics within the GSM community;
  • Arts-based workshops and activities;
  • A field trip downtown to trace the steps of queer and trans history in Ottawa;
  • A community fair to connect participants to key resources;


Due to limited space at the event, we ask that participants apply to attend. The forum costs the CCGSD approximately $350 per person (plus travel costs), we are looking for dedicated and passionate students to apply. The event is free to attend and this will include travel costs, although this is subject to change/pending our renewal of a grant for travel funds. Ideal applicants will be:

      • Non-graduating students who plan to attend the 2020-2021 scholastic year at their current school;
      • Students aged 14-17 at the time of the forum;
      • Students who feel that with the training they can successfully carry out 3 initiatives in their school;
      • Please note that we welcome past participants to apply but students who have not participated in the GSA Leadership forum will be given priority to attend. We also encourage past participants to apply to be a Youth Mentor;

The deadline for student participant applications is Monday, February 9th, 2020. However, please note that we are accepting application on a rolling first-come first serve basis and there is a limited number of spaces.

Top 5 reasons why YOU should apply:

  1. You are someone who wants to make the world a better place.
  2. You are involved in your GSA, Rainbow Alliance, or Anti-Bullying Club.
  3. You want to learn how to take what you are doing to the next level.
  4. You want to meet and share with other students like you.
  5. You believe school should be a safe place for all GSM students

How To Apply:

  1. Click here to apply! 
  2. Successful applicants will be contacted within 1 or 2 weeks of their application submission to schedule a quick interview.
  3. Deadline to apply: Monday,February 9th, 2020. Please note that acceptances are being sent out on a rolling first come first serve basis. Spaces are filling up quickly!

Want to be a youth mentor for the GSA Leadership Forum 2020?

  • Click here to apply!
  • Youth mentors are exceptional alumni from across Canada who have attended a past GSA Leadership Forum who would like to return to the forum in a leadership role.
  • As a youth mentor at the forum, you will be expected to take on certain responsibilities, such as leading participants throughout the forum, facilitating check-ins, helping set-up and tear-down, and doing nightly bed-checks.
  • Youth mentors will have the opportunity to join calls throughout the year to interact with other mentors and CCGSD staff to help shape the programming of the forum.
  • Youth mentors will travel to Ottawa on Monday, May 11th, 2020 and participate in a full day of training on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020
  • This year we are looking to fill the following roles
    • Team Leads: Will be responsible for supervising groups of delegates, supporting other mentors,
    • Logistics Mentor: Will support staff and fellow mentors with forum logistics, workshop set up and take down, managing social media throughout the forum;
    • Arts & Recreation Mentor: The person chosen for this role will be responsible for engaging participants during break times, organizing art activities throughout the forum, overseeing a larger art project and managing the talent show.
    • Deadline for applying to be a youth mentor is Monday, January 6th, 2020.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Leila at or 613-400-1875.

The applications to be a youth mentor is now OPEN

Click HERE to apply to be a participant