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Safe Zone Training

Thank you for your interest in our Safe Zone Training!

The Safe Zone Training is the next step of training offered through the LGBTQA Resource Center. Following LGBTQA 101, the Safe Zone Training provides a deeper look at the LGBTQA community both on campus and off, with special emphasis on LGBTQA history, theory, and student experience at Northeastern. Participants will work in small groups, reflect on videos and case studies, and hear from a panel of Northeastern students about what the climate is like on campus. At the conclusion of the training, participants will be able to sign up to receive a Safe Zone Sticker and be a registered Safe Zone. The goal is to give participants the tools they will need to assist students who are coming out, as well as create a more inclusive and supportive environment.

The purpose of the Safe Zone training is to...

  • Provide continuing education and dialogue around LGBTQ topics, theories, and trends that are currently facing our Northeastern community and beyond
  • Foster an inclusive and supportive environment on campus
  • Demonstrate Northeastern’s commitment to diversity
  • Develop a campus wide support network

By the completion of the Safe Zones program, we hope that participants will...

  • build knowledge of history and theory;
  • develop an understanding of personal identity and its intersection with others’;
  • learn about the experiences of LGBTQ people on Northeastern’s campus; and
  • apply knowledge of LGBTQ student experience to become an active and engaged ally.

Safe Zone Trainings for the Fall 2014 Semester:

  • October 17, 2014, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • December 5, 2014 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a "Safe Zone?"
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.

What does it mean to have a "Safe Zone" sticker?
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. Further, they should provide support and referrals and serve as a resource to those who approach you. Safe Zones should 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. Know and understand your limits.

I have participated in past "Safe Zone" or "Safe Space" programs on other campuses before. Do I have to go through this training in order to get a sticker from Northeastern?
Yes. While we are thrilled that you've participated in other similar programs and have a good foundation of LGBTQA issues and theories, we still feel that truly building a Safe Zone community on campus depends on us being in the same space and talking about these concerns as a group. Further, this training has special emphasis on the Northeastern experience. While other colleges and universities might have similar material that they cover, we believe this opportunity to really think about the state of Northeastern and the changes that can be affected here is important to being a true ally for the Northeastern LGBTQA community.

I'm a [fill in the blank with your non-heterosexual or non-monosexual or non-cisgender identity of choice]. Do I really need to attend this training to be considered a "Safe Zone?" Aren't only straight people "allies?"
One of the tenants of our program is "just because you are, doesn't mean you understand." Any one person's experience is going to be completely different than someone else's, which means we always have more to learn about what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, pansexual, etc.. And certainly, just because an individual is any one of those things does not mean they automatically understand all of the other parts of our acronym. Even those of us who deliver these trainings don't claim to be experts - we all have more to learn.

In a similar way, we all can be allies to each other. Whether it's a trans woman who is advocating for bisexual men, or asexual folks who speak out for lesbian concerns, everyone can be an ally. It is not a term reserved only for those who are heterosexual.

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