Creating a Haven of Acceptance & Understanding
Earlier this month, Dr. Spiegel introduced Einstein’s diversity and inclusion efforts, anchored by our Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan and website. Among the initiatives we are implementing is a Safe Zone Allies program.
While having Safe Zone allies is important at Einstein, it’s also a nationwide priority. According to the Safe Zone Project, which offers information and resources helpful to initiatives like ours, more than 50 percent of higher education institutions in the United States have a Safe Zone project aimed at promoting nondiscrimination, education and acceptance.
Our program, is designed to create and maintain a network of informed allies willing to be visible supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning + (LGBTQ+) individuals who are part of our campus community. We currently offer training for Level I and Level II allies. The Level I training offers insights on LGBTQ+ terminology, basic concepts and skill building for being an LGBTQ+ ally. The Level II training prepares Safe Zone allies to be able to support in-depth discussions on transgender issues and experiences.
Following are some question about being a Safe Zone Ally and how you can take part.
Who can be a Safe Zone ally?
Anyone — straight, cisgender, and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community can become an ally. While trainings can assist straight and cisgender individuals to learn how to be better allies, they also can offer LGBTQ+ folks insights on how to be better allies to those within the community, and to be more knowledgeable about identities and systems they might not otherwise be aware of. The goals of trainings include boosting awareness and knowledge of gender/sexuality, as well as how to help and support others as an ally.
Why should I become a Safe Zone ally?
Often, individuals who identify as LGBTQ question whether they will feel safe, welcomed, or supported in a new environment. By becoming a Safe Zone ally, you’ll receive training so that you can communicate your commitment to helping Einstein create LGBTQ-inclusive environments.
Why do I need training to be a Safe Zone ally?
While many of us want to create an inclusive environment for all members of our community, we may not feel comfortable with the language associated with LGBTQ+, with our own level of understanding, and don’t know where to go to learn more and to explore conversations around gender and sexuality. Safe Zone trainings provide the means for learning more, about our own gender/sexuality and to deepen our understanding of LGBTQ+ identity and issues.
How do I get started?
Contact the diversity enhancement office to learn about the latest Safe Zone Allies training offerings.
Posted on: Thursday, February 22, 2018