History

The Speakers Bureau was founded in 1978 by Tom Ammiano and Hank Wilson in direct response the Briggs Initiative, a statewide ballot prop- osition seeking to ban gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public schools. While this initiative was defeated—due in large part to work done by openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk—it was clear to Ammiano and Wilson, both of whom were gay teachers with San Francisco Uni ed School District, that humanizing queer people to students was crucial to helping stop homophobic violence.