What is the Safe Zone Ally program?
The Safe Zone Ally program at the University of Northern Iowa is a campus wide opportunity designed to support the continued growth of an inclusive campus community. This program supports the university's value of cultivating a caring and diverse campus community that values respect for all people, the open and free exchange of ideas, and responsible and ethical behavior.
We revamped our Safe Zone Ally program in Fall 2016. Becoming an ally is a process that takes time and our program is set up to honor that process.
Phase One is an in-person, 1.5 hour long training that provides basic knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, establishes a common vocabulary for participant use and defines what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community at the University of Northern Iowa.
Phase Two is also an in-person training. However, this portion is scheduled for two hours, providing a deeper exploration of current issues, privilege, and intersectionality, as well as challenging participants to think critically about their roles as allies. Participants in Phase Two training are given the opportunity to become Safe Zone Ally certified by signing an ally agreement stating their confidence in their ability to be a knowledgeable, responsible, and committed ally.
What does an Ally do?
First and foremost by displaying their Safe Zone Ally placard, allies send a visible message of welcome to LGBTQ+ individuals. Allies serve as information resources and offer a safe space for LGBTQ+ students. Allies actively look for ways to integrate the LGBTQ+ community into campus activities and advocate for inclusion in their workplaces, personal spaces, and out in the greater community. Allies also commit to continuously evaluate themselves and their social positions, and commit to educating themselves on current issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community. As an option, active Safe Zone Ally participants can register to be on the Out & Ally Network as a resource for students.
How can I sign up for training?
To individually participate in Safe Zone Ally Phase One or Two please complete this webform.
To host an LGBTQ+ training for your UNI office, department, organization, etc. please use this webform to submit a No Class Cancelled request for a training session.
For off-campus requests, please e-mail our coordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I already took the training. Can I get a new placard?
Part of being an ally is staying connected with the LGBTQ+ community and challenging yourself to learn and grow. We only give out our Safe Zone Ally placards to those who have completed both Phase One and Phase Two. If you took the training prior to Fall 2017, we encourage you to take both Phase One and Two to get recertified. We encourage our Safe Zone Allies to consider retaking the training at least every other year to stay connected and informed.