Safe Zones Project
On a campus where the diversity vision statement includes both sexual orientation and gender identity, it's more important than ever to understand what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). For some, just gaining a basic understanding is the starting point. For others, learning to be an active ally to LGBT members of our campus is a step they are ready to take. Regardless of where you are, the Safe Zone Project was created to provide information, break down stereotypes, and open up dialogue.
The university’s Safe Zone Project is a workshop designed to give faculty and staff the tools and resources they need to understand LGBT students and create a welcoming, affirming campus environment for all. This fun and informative half-day session can be tailored for any setting or group, and focuses on basic information and understanding. You don’t have to be an expert in sexuality or gender identity/expression to attend, just someone who is interested in helping all members of the campus community succeed.
Participants in the workshop receive a comprehensive resource manual and a poster or sticker to display somewhere in the office. Displaying a Safe Zone poster or sticker sends the message to others that you are comfortable talking about LGBT issues, and that you are supportive and willing to listen. Nobody who attends a workshop is obligated to display materials or even serve as a resource if they aren’t comfortable doing so. Participation in the Safe Zone Project is voluntary.
Following your participation in the Safe Zone Project workshop you may decide to sign the 'Free to Be Me Pledge' which states that while holding on to your own beliefs, you are still willing to be the best possible ally to LGBT students, faculty, staff and community members. Being an ally doesn't mean that you agree with everything you have learned in training, but that you are willing to be supportive and understanding. You can remove yourself from the Safe Zone project by simply removing your Safe Zone poster and sticker and/or contacting the LGBT Center.
Interested in holding a Safe Zone workshop in your department? Contact us about setting up a Safe Zone training for your team.