Safe Zone Program
The Safe Zone program is designed to create a network of visible allies to people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ campus community. These trainings provide information and resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Safe Zone trainees develop:
- An increased comfort level in addressing concepts and language related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and LGBTQ+ communities
- An increased awareness of services on campus that support LGBTQ+ and allied individuals
- A network of community and campus staff, faculty, and students to support people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions on campus.
Health Care Curriculum
Transgender and Nonbinary
Foundational training curricula are designed to introduce concepts, terminology, and resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. They are both four hours long with a short intermission about halfway through. Each is tailored to certain audiences but open to all campus and community members.
Standard Safe Zone covers the concepts mentioned above, as well as campus climate data, campus achievement disparities, common allyship scenarios. This training is intended to address concerns particular to students, faculty, and staff members.
Health Care Curriculum
Health Care Safe Zone covers the concepts mentioned above, as well as LGBTQ health disparities, health resources, and common health professional scenarios. This training is intended to address concerns particular to Health Care professionals, though it is open to all campus and community members.
Continuing Education trainings are meant to deepen knowledge around specific aspects of LGBTIQA+ identity. To attend, one must have completed either Standard Safe Zone or Health Care Safe Zone.
Safe Zone Continuing Education: Bisexuality is a two-hour training designed to make the University community a safer and more supportive place for all Carolina students, faculty, and staff members by creating a network of allies who have basic knowledge about bisexual identities and communities.
The Intersex CE (formerly Gender Identity and Gender Expression) is a two-hour training designed to make the University community a safer and more supportive place for all Carolina students, faculty, and staff members by creating a network of allies who have basic knowledge about intersex communities.
Transgender and Nonbinary
The Transgender and Nonbinary Communities CE (formerly Gender Identity and Gender Expression) is a two-hour training designed to make the University community a safer and more supportive place for all Carolina students, faculty, and staff members by creating a network of allies who have basic knowledge about transgender and nonbinary communities.
Safe Zone Continuing Education: Queer is a two-hour training designed to explore the history and multiple meanings of the word "queer."
Once you have completed a foundational training, visit the Safe Zone Trainee Hub to register for continuing education.
The UNC-CH LGBTQ Center offers over 30 Safe Zone sessions per year across campus and in the local community. We meet this demand with the help of Volunteer Facilitators.
Safe Zone Facilitator Training is a four-hour training that covers best practices for facilitating group discussions, presenting information, and dealing with difficult questions and topics. There is no expectation of how many trainings facilitators help with. Some of our facilitators are only available to help with one training a year, while others are able to facilitate 5-6 sessions. We appreciate any level of commitment!
Prerequisites for Facilitator Training:
- Status as an employee or student within UNC-Chapel Hill (to facilitate Standard)
- Status as an employee or student within UNC-Chapel Hill or the UNC Health Care system (to facilitate Health Care)
- Completion of a foundational (4-hour) Safe Zone session
- Completion of or current registration for at least one (2-hour) Continuing Education session
Request a Safe Zone Training
We offer Safe Zone and other training to Carolina-affiliated organizations free of charge. There is a fee of $250 per hour for organizations not affiliated with UNC, plus travel expenses for locations over 30 miles from UNC-Chapel Hill. However, we do not ever want finances to stand in the way of education and are happy to offer our training on a sliding scale - particularly to non-profits and schools.
If you are interested in having a Safe Zone training for your department, organization or group please contact us at least two months in advance to request a training. We ask that hosting departments and groups commit to the following:
- Guarantee at least 25 participants (Invite nearby offices or groups with similar purposes, if necessary.)
- Handle publicity, registration, and participant reminders.
- Attend a 30-minute planning meeting with LGBTQ Center staff before scheduling the training.
- Reserve space and notify Center staff of the location and room amenities, such as computer, projector, speakers, etc as early as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How late can I arrive?
In-Person: It is important that you arrive promptly. Registrants who are more than 15 minutes late will have missed important information and will not be permitted to attend.
Online: It is equally important to arrive promptly for online trainings. Registrants who are more than 15 minutes late will have missed important information and will not be invited to complete the training evaluation or submit a Safe Zone Allyship Commitment form unless they attend a full training. We determine this by taking attendance at the beginning and end of each training, and reviewing participation throughout.
What if I need to leave early?
In-Person: Attendees are expected to stay for the entire training. Leaving a training early may result in losing eligibility to receive a Safe Zone placard. Those who typically leave campus earlier in the day are encouraged to sign up for our 9am and 10am trainings.
Online: This policy is the same for online trainings. If you have another meeting scheduled precisely when the training ends, notify the facilitator at the start of the training so that we can take that into account when checking attendance.
I am breast/chestfeeding and will need to pump before the training ends. Can that be accommodated?
In-Person: Yes, accommodations for attendees who are breastfeeding/chestfeeding can be made in advance with LGBTQ Center staff or facilitators. It is recommended to schedule a break around the existing break in the training, if possible. Please contact us to make individual arrangements, preferably at least one week in advance.
Online: This policy is the same for online trainings, though may not be necessary if you are able to conduct the feeding/pumping while typing for attendance and participatory sections. We do not require that attendee cameras remain on during the training.
Under what conditions would a trainee not be allowed to acquire a Safe Zone placard?
If a trainee's behavior during a Safe Zone training causes concern that they are not ready to affirm and support LGBTQIA+ individuals, and they submit a Safe Zone Allyship Commitment, a placard will not be mailed to them until further conversation is had. Examples of concerning behaviors include repeatedly:
- Arguing against evidence-based best practices
- Continuing to use offensive language after being corrected
- Breaking group agreements
LGBTQ Center staff will directly contact anyone whose behavior raises these concerns.
These behaviors may also be grounds for removal from a Safe Zone training, if facilitators consider the trainee displaying them to be continually disruptive.
Under what conditions would a trainee be removed from the Safe Zone Allyship Network?
n the event that the LGBTQ Center receives complaints of a Safe Zone trainee breaking the Safe Zone Allyship Commitment, staff will have a conversation with the trainee in question to find out if they are able to fulfill the Commitment. If the trainee is unable to do this, they will be removed from the Safe Zone Trainee List and withdraw their Safe Zone Placard.