Author, Educational Trainer, and Consultant
In 2003, Jeannie Gainsburg looked up the word gay in the phone book, found the local LGBTQ+ center in Rochester, NY, the Out Alliance (formerly the Gay Alliance), and called to ask if she could volunteer. After 2 years of volunteer work, Jeannie was hired by the agency as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. In 2013, she was promoted to Education Director, a position she held for an additional 5 years. As the Education Director her responsibilities included crafting the agency’s workshops, training the agency’s presenters, and writing the agency’s educational curriculum, professional manuals, and handouts.
Jeannie has personally facilitated or cofacilitated close to 1,000 trainings and workshops in more than 20 different states at corporations, colleges, government agencies, K-12 schools, hospitals, faith communities, and more. During her time at the Out Alliance, Jeannie transformed the education program from offering 20 workshops annually to 250. She also organized and facilitated the agency’s most successful fundraiser, Ride for Pride, growing it from a $4,000 fundraiser with 18 bikers to a $63,000 fundraiser with 75 bikers.
In 2018, Jeannie founded Savvy Ally Action, a small business that offers fun, accessible, and encouraging workshops and videos on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities. In 2020 her book, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate, was published by Rowman & Littlefield. The newly revised second edition of her book is due out in April 2023.
Jeannie has a BA in psychology from Brown University and an MA in social work and social research from Bryn Mawr College. She is the recipient of the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Community Champion Award (2015) and the Rochester LGBTQ Community Appreciation Award (2019). She was under the impression that a citation was the result of driving too fast until January of 2019, when she received one from the New York State Assembly for Distinguished Educational & Human Rights Services for her work in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.