Safe Zone

Safe Zone is a 2-hour training workshop offered to faculty, staff, and students of the VCU Community. Safe Zone provides didactic and experiential opportunities for participants to:

  • Increasing their awareness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQQIA+) communities and identities.
  • Deepen their understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality, while also considering other intersecting identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, religious/spiritual orientation).
  • Recognize the unique concerns/challenges (e.g., heterosexism, biphobia, transphobia) that LGBTIQQIA+ (or Queer) people endure at VCU and in society at large.
  • Build skills to advocate for and assist Queer staff and students with concerns that might emerge on campus.
  • Examine and challenge their biases, assumptions, prejudice, and privilege in relation to different sexual and gender identities.

Workshops are co-led by facilitators from University Counseling Services and other campus departments (e.g., OMSA, Equality VCU), all of whom have been previously Safe Zone trained. Safe Zone workshops are typically offered to VCU’s campus community multiple times a semester. However, if you are interested in a specific Safe Zone training for your department – or are an off-campus organization wishing to bring Safe Zone to your organization – attempts will be made to arrange special requests (pending availability and demand).

To Register for a Safe Zone Workshop, please sign up at training.vcu.edu.

Safe Zone Training

By registering for a Safe Zone Training, participants are expected to:

  • Attend the entire 2-hour workshop, which examines attitudes and beliefs, raises awareness, builds skills, and offers resources.
  • Engage with the material and activities presented through active listening and participation in group discussions.
  • Support policies that bring equity to otherwise inequitable situations and give open support for LGBTQIA+ issues
  • Encourage other individuals to participate in future Safe Zone workshops to make the campus more LGBTQIA+ inclusive and affirming.
  • The option of requesting a Safe Zone Sticker

The Purpose of the Safe Zone Sticker

The Safe Zone Sticker is used to indicate to LGBTQIA+ (or Queer) faculty, staff, and students on campus that:

  • You are supportive, trustworthy, and sensitive to the needs of members of this diverse community.
  • You are open to questions from and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their issues/concerns.
  • Your office is a safe space where heterosexist, biphobic, homophobic, transphobic, cissexist and other forms of Queer-based discrimination and oppression will not be tolerated silently, but instead will be addressed in an educational, informative and non-threatening manner.
  • The sticker does not indicate whether or not you are LGBTQIA+; it merely states that you are a support and resource person (in other words, an advocate for Queer folks on campus)

If you feel that you are able to meet the aforementioned list of requirements, please feel free to sign up for a Safe Zone sticker following your participation in the training.

Thank you to our Campus Partner!

Joining campuses across the country with similar programs, many departments and units have participated in the Safe Zone program here at VCU. We are particularly grateful for the support of our partners:

  • Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA)
  • Equality VCU
  • School of Social Work (who initiated the Safe Zone Program)

Student Resources

Additional resources for LGBTQIA+ students can be found on our pages for Gender Identity and Sexual Identity.