Safe Zone: A Safe Space
The Multicultural Center offers Safe Zone workshops that promote an inclusive and supportive environment for individuals of the LGBTQIQA community. In efforts to be recognized as a model for leadership in inclusion, Safe Zone was redesigned with the help of doctoral student Becky Lecroix. The basic awareness and ally workshop includes activities and discussions that focus on various intersecting identities and how to support these groups on all Georgia State University campuses.
Research on LGBTQIQA history, issues and intersecting identities was done to gain a better understanding of the cultural diversity. Readings and studies ranged from gender diversity and variance to religion and disability. Personal accounts from members of various LGBTQIQA identities were studied and incorporated into the curriculum to enhance cultural perspective and immersion. Academic sources such as Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, Journal of Counseling and Development and the American Psychological Association were referenced in the redesigned workshop.
With the continued help of doctoral student Becky Lecroix, various sources for interactive activities as well as the Minority Stress Model were provided to demonstrate the importance for diversity inclusion. The Minority Stress Model is comprised of many sociological and social psychological theories and is often used by the Center for Disease Control and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Because Georgia State is one of the most diverse universities in the nation, the redesigned Safe Zone workshop reflects the drive for diverse cultural understanding and inclusion. Safe Zone highlights multiple ways of including LGBTQIQA identities at Georgia State University.
It has been amazing to hear the positive feedback from students, faculty and staff who completed the Safe Zone workshop. Providing participants with the tools needed to create a safe space for this community is the most rewarding outcome in facilitating this workshop. The Multicultural Center has a goal of modeling leadership in inclusion with hopes to create a multitude of safe spaces on all Georgia State University campuses.
~ William Britto
The Multicultural Center will be creating a Transgender 101 as well as train-the-trainer workshop to be included in the Safe Zone series which will create a greater catalyst for diversity inclusion modeling.