Safe Zone was created several years ago to raise awareness and increase understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) individuals in the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) community. Safe Zone also seeks ways to bring its message to the larger Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana community.
Safe Zone workshops invite IPFW staff and faculty members to explore the history, language and symbols of the LGBTQ movement, examine homophobia in its larger social and human rights context and help straight colleagues become allies and advocates for the LGBTQ co-workers, family, friends and neighbors.
Safe Zone also organizes and sponsors public events around LGBTQ issues designed to start discussions and increase understanding of the personal, social and civil rights challenges facing the LGBTQ community.
Safe Zone for Faculty and Staff also collaborates with the Safe Zone for Students program to offer training programs that help IPFW students become more sensitive to the challenges facing their LGBTQ classmates and friends, and to become effective allies.
Faculty and staff members who complete both workshops are asked to sign a pledge to be sensitive and nurturing to students struggling with sexual orientation or sexual identity issues. Each faculty or staff member who completes the workshops will also receive a Safe Zone door plaque that signals to students that the staff/faculty members who display the plaques are open and accepting to LGBTQ students.
"I attended both workshops. And I am happy to report that I had a wonderful opportunity to utilize skills learned in the workshop with a student. It was a remarkable experience for me, and I was so happy to have done the workshop. Although I consider myself in a category of people who understand, embrace and even celebrate the qualities that make us each wonderful and different, I was able to have a better understanding of how to support a student who was in a personal crisis - and to support them effectively - something I would have done differently and probably not as well before taking part in Safe Zone."
-Victoria Zischke, Assistant Professor of Theatre,
2011 Safe Zone Graduate
Stay tuned for more information on Safe Zone at IPFW workshops for faculty and staff.
For more information or to register for a workshop, contact Julie Creek at 481-4140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.