Engaging diversity is not limited to our encounters with people from different regional, class, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Meaningful difference comes about as well because people experience their genders and sexualities differently from the ways others do. We recognize and celebrate such differences, and provide a number of support services that foster the well-being and happiness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer students.

Safe Zone Program

Safe Zone at Furman University is an educational program geared towards creating an inclusive environment for the LGBT+ community at Furman University. It began to take shape during the summer of 2016, when Meg Bolger of the Safe Zone Project conducted a Train the Trainer session with a number of Furman University staff. Shortly after, Rob Essaf was brought on board to create the basic tenets, such as structure and introductory workshops, that was be the foundation of the program. It was built over the course of the 2016-2017 Academic Year with input coming from faculty, staff, and students to determine what type of format and content would best serve the Furman University community. It is open to ALL students, staff, and faculty. The goal of this program is to raise awareness about the dynamics of gender and sexual orientation while exploring different ways to embody inclusive allyship for people of all orientations, genders, sexualities, identities, and levels of being out.

In addition to our current Safe Zone curricula, we are happy to explore specific or tailored presentations on LGBT+ identities for particular groups and communities (such as medical / healthcare community, mental health groups, teachers/educators, religious communities, etc) upon request. The availability of these specialized topics will depend on the expertise/interests of the facilitators and the time available.

Workshop Information

Gender & Sexuality 101 (90-120 minutes)
G&S 101 is an ideal workshop for those just starting out or those needing a refresher. The primary focus of this session is creating an understanding of the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, Furman University policies and procedures, and the effect socialization has had on us as individuals. This session is highly interactive and focused on reflection by the participants. Participants are required to attend this before attending Visible Ally 201.

By participating in G&S 101, participants will receive: a placard stating the date they attended and a Safe Zone badge.

Visible Ally 201 (45-60 minutes)
VA 201 is geared towards individuals looking to build on their experience in G&S 101. It is an interactive workshop that will train participants to understand what it means and how to be an LGBTQ+ ally. This training will also give participants a better understanding of heterosexual and cisgender privilege and how this relates to being an ally.

By attending VA 201, participants will receive a placard stating the date they attended and a Safe Zone window cling. In order to maintain presence on the list, participants will need to attend VA 201 once every 2 years. NOTE: This workshop is currently under development and will be offered Spring 2018.

To request a workshop, please complete the Safe Zone Workshop Form.

  • All requests should be made at least 2 weeks in advance in order to give adequate time to assign a facilitator
  • Even when requested directly, all requests for a workshop should be placed through the online form to ensure accurate records are kept.
For more information or questions please contact safezone@furman.edu.

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