Safe Zone Ally Program
The University of South Carolina is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which diversity is valued and leveraged for excellence.
The Safe Zone Ally Program is a visible network of allies who are committed to creating a community of respect and dignity for LGBT individuals. The Safe Zone Ally Program makes it possible to easily identify individuals who are committed to creating an environment in which all people are free to thrive academically, professionally and personally.
Why are allies needed?
The discrimination of LGBT individuals has caused national concerns for their well-being, especially in educational settings. Campus Pride, the leading national organization for LGBT college students and their Allies, provides the evidence:
- LGBT staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment (defined as any conduct that has interfered with the ability to work or learn). Almost all identified sexual identity as the basis of the harassment (83%). An even greater percentage of transgender students, faculty, and staff reported experiencing harassment (39%), with 87% identifying their gender identity/expression as the basis for the harassment.
- 1/3 of LGBT students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving, or have left their institution due to the oppressive campus climate.
- More than half of all students, faculty, and staff hide their sexual identity (43%) or gender identity (63%) to avoid intimidation.
- More than one third of all transgender students, faculty, and staff feared for their physical safety. This finding was more salient for transgender people of color.
Therefore, allies are needed because they help to support and foster safe and inclusive environments for individuals who identify as LGBT by fighting against homophobia and heterosexism.
Safe Zone Peer Ally Workshop
Safe Zone Peer Ally Workshop is an introductory workshop designed to facilitate and encourage discussion on the topics of homophobia and heterosexism, to introduce participants to the most common and important LGBT vocabulary, and to provide an introduction to issues of gender and sexuality in order to create a safe and inclusive Carolina.
The workshop runs for approximately two and a half hours. While the Safe Zone Peer Ally Workshop covers all of the basic topics stated above, it also includes time for discussions to address matters of importance to the particular participating group.
Register here to become a Peer Safe Zone Ally.
Faculty and Staff
This workshop is designed to facilitate and encourage discussion on the topics of homophobia and heterosexism, to introduce participants to the most common and important LGBT vocabulary, and to provide an introduction to issues of gender and sexuality that affect students on college campuses. This training will incorporate specific discussions about creating a safe and inclusive environment for the University of South Carolina students we serve. The workshop runs for approximately three hours.
To register for a Safe Zone Ally Workshop, click here.
Safe Zone Ally Registry
Download the following spreadsheet of registered Safe Zone allies who elected to publish their information on our website.