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What is Safe Zone/Brave Space?

“This is a safe place to talk about LGBTQIA+ and topics about sexual orientation and gender. I encourage difficult conversations and take actionable steps to be more inclusive.“

The Safe Zone program has rebranded as of Fall 2019. You are invited to become a Safe Zone/Brave Space member and display the sign on your office door. Although the program has always been about supporting students and asking members to engage in brave difficult conversations while working towards inclusion, this new name intends to send a stronger message of an action oriented mission for the members. Members agree that they work to provide a personal space that is free from homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia; welcome difficult conversations on these topics; and serve as a resource to students with marginalized sexual and gender identities (LGBTQIA+).

The Safe Zone program’s mission is to promote awareness and improve the campus climate through educational opportunities that train participants on issues faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals and those with marginalized gender and sexual identities, advocacy and intervention skills, intersectionality, and creating welcoming and supportive spaces for LGBTQIA+ students, those with marginalized gender and sexual identities, student allies, and all members of the UIS community.

The objectives for this program are:

  • Improve the campus climate and foster belonging of LGBTQIA+ individuals and those with marginalized gender and sexual identities.
  • Increase awareness and conversations of issues faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals and those with marginalized gender and sexual identities.
  • Provide ongoing educational opportunities for participants that emphasizes intersectionality.
  • Educate and provide advocacy and intervention skills to participants when confronted with exclusionary, discriminatory, and prejudicial rhetoric and behavior towards LGBTQIA+ individuals and those with marginalized gender and sexual identities.
  • Train participants on creating more welcoming and supportive spaces.

Potential members must complete Fundamentals (or test out online) and two advanced sessions (Transgender, Bi/Pansexuality, Religion, Safe Dating, NCBI Bias & Prejudice, or History). Earn the new Brave Space certification and the new sign by attending a Brave Space breakfast or lunch dialogue and sign the Brave Space Certification Pledge. UIS employees are approved for Release Time with permission of supervisor. All students, staff, and faculty are eligible to join.