Training and Education
Safe Zone seeks to educate participants on issues faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals and their Allies. A Safe Zone is a physical space, such as an office, that is marked by a Safe Zone sticker this space is a place where individuals of all identities are welcome to express themselves in a safe, supportive and welcoming environment. A Safe Zone is also a state of mind. Actions speak louder than words, as such, individuals who identify as a Safe Zone advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ community by speaking out against homophobia and heterosexism.
The goal of the Safe Zone program is to create a campus community that is welcoming and affirming of the LGBTQ Community and their Allies. At the end of a training session, participants will have the opportunity to sign the Safe Zone agreement and join a network of students, faculty, and staff who support the mission of the program.
The Safe Zone Program is the recipient of the 2007 Excellent in Social Justice Award sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.
The Program Overview
The Safe Zone Program is broken into two parts:
- LGBTQA 101: A pre-requisite to Safe Zones that addresses general knowledge and resources related to the LGBTQA community on campus. We go over definitions, symbols, and have discussions around the difficulties of coming out. This training can be delivered to offices, organizations, residence halls, or departments on request. The training takes roughly two hours.
- Safe Zones: An in-depth discussion of history, theory, law and policies surrounding the LGBTQA community both at Northeastern and beyond. Featuring a panel of faculty, staff, and students, there will be opportunities to talk about the climate at Northeastern and what our peers face on a daily basis. Finally, we will talk about what is expected of Safe Zones and how to be an active, engaged ally on campus.
- Identify individuals who are empathetic and informed about LGBTQ people and who are willing and able to provide support, information, privacy, and awareness
- Reduce homophobia and heterosexism both on a personal and institutional level
- Raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and concerns within the Northeastern community and beyond
- Develop a campus wide support network for LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, and their Allies
What is Expected of a Safe Zone:
You’re making a statement when you display the Safe Zone sticker. The sticker provides visibility and lets others know you are a “safe” person to discuss personal subjects such as sexual identity, gender identity and expression. Participants are expected to display their sticker in a visible area under their control. For example, if you share an office, you should not hang your sticker on the office door. Participants are expected to provide support and referrals and serve as a resource to those who approach you. You are expected to maintain the student/staff/faculty members’ privacy. Members are expected, to confront homophobic and heterosexist remarks, behaviors, and policies. However, please do not place yourself in harm’s way when confronting an individual(s). Know and understand your limits.