The Truman State University Safe Zone Program was created to have a network of knowledgeable faculty, staff, and students in order to create safe and welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Completing the training and displaying a Safe Zone sign indicates participants are committed to increasing their knowledge of LGBTQ+ issues and challenging homophobic and heterosexist comments or behaviors in an educational and informative manner. Safe Zone members are able to provide assistance as needed, including referrals to University Counseling Services.
Dr. Summer Pennell, Assistant Professor of English Education and longtime LGBTQ+ education activist, will lead this interactive training with the assistance of student interns. Participants will learn current terminology and simple ways to create a welcoming campus environment.
Anyone can come join us and become a Safe Zone ally. Training sessions are for people to learn more about LGBTQ issues and LGBTQ issues regarding students at Truman. Contact Summer Pennell at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
A SafeZone Ally Should…
Completion of the SafeZone program gives participants the option of taking and displaying a placard denoting them as a member of the SafeZone community. If an individual chooses to display the placard, they should agree to the following:
- To provide a “safe zone” for any LGBTQ+ people
- To be an ally of LGBTQ+ people
- To provide affirming resources to the best of their ability (they aren’t expected to be an expert)
- Commit to educate themselves and others about oppression, heterosexism, biphobia, transphobia, and homophobia, and combating it on a personal level
- Commit to working toward providing a safe, confidential support network for people who self-identify as LGBTQ+
- Commit to treating everyone with the dignity and respect which they are entitled as human beings
I feel more confident in my ability to be an ally for LGBTQ+ individuals. Where before I knew I had the knowledge and understanding of some key issues in the community, I now feel more prepared and comfortable discussing these issues/topics with others to spread the word!
I liked that it felt like a safe place for me to learn about all the different terms that I was previously unaware of.
Goals of the SafeZone Program:
Learn terms related to LGBTQ+ people
Learn how systemic heteronormativity affects LGBTQ+ people
Provide strategies for creating more inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ individuals