CDI offers Safe Zone training

Radford University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is offering Safe Zone training workshops twice this year to inform participants about how to become an ally to the LGBT community and how to create safe zones across campus.

The first of those workshops took place July 31 at the university’s Hurlburt Student Center.

"We want to provide training that would make Radford University a welcoming space and place for any student, staff, family member or whomever that would walk onto campus," said CDI Director Crasha Townsend. “In order to create this experience, we provide training, events and programs that will allow safe spaces to be the norm.”

At the two-hour workshop, participants received a Safe Zone participation packet and talked about first impressions of LGBT individuals, learned about building a community and expanded their vocabulary to be well-versed about the LGBT community.

“There was a lot of rich conversation that happened within the training session,” Townsend said. “There were folks there from the LGBT community who were able to talk and share with us how people can be allies for the community.”

A second training workshop is scheduled for October during Ally Week, Townsend said, to give students and more university faculty and staff an opportunity to attend.

“It will be another opportunity for people to interact and engage in ideas,” Townsend explained.

CDI plans to offer another workshop, “Brave Spaces,” later in August. The workshop will examine moving beyond safe zones “and making our campus a brave space so people can be who they are,” Townsend said. “Whatever your identity is, we want you to be brave in that identity.”

The Safe Zone workshop is one of seven professional-development sessions CDI has offered over the summer. The series has included an emerging women leaders development session, a campus pilot webinar, a conversation about understanding white privilege and a campus climate webinar. Upcoming is a presentation centered on the art of difficult conversation.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion works to make Radford University a multicultural institution that provides a forward thinking and progressive approach to social justice and equality. Through the center’s commitment to educating students, staff and faculty on issues of diversity, it promotes global citizenry that encourages the fostering of inclusive communities both on campus and in the world.

Aug 4, 2015