Affirming Space Training

Affirming Space: Student Center for Equity and Inclusion

Are you looking to broaden your understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality?  Curious about how to best affirm the LGBTQ+ people in your life?

The "Affirming Space" Training Program (formerly known as "Safe Zone") is a two-part series designed for faculty, staff, and students who want to strengthen their cultural competency as it relates to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. 

Using an intersectional framework, participants will learn more about the histories, identities, experiences, and relationships of LGBTQ+ people.  They will also learn how to foster inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ people, including communication tips, names and pronouns, inclusive language, and best practices.


What does it mean to be "affirming"?

An affirming approach is based in a POSITIVE view of LGBTQ+ people, identities, and relationships.  It addresses the negative impacts of marginalization, discrimination, and oppression on the lives of LGBTQ+ people.  Lastly, it treats LGBTQ+ people as the experts of their lives.  When people tell us about themselves, we believe them.  Period.  We respect the language they use to describe themselves, and we use it accordingly.

If you are in any way looking to play "devil's advocate" or debate the existence of LGBTQ+ people, then this is NOT the training for you.  Our aim is to cultivate affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ people, and we will not tolerate anyone who is trying to disrupt or impede this mission.


Attend a Training

How to Become an "Affirming Space"

Individuals who are interested in receiving the "Affirming Space" designation will need to complete a series of two 90-minute trainings (101 & 102).  They will be offered one week apart to allow for adequate processing and reflection.  The open enrollment sessions will be offered twice each semester and will be capped at 20-25 people.  On-demand sessions are also available, in a limited capacity, to those departments and groups on campus who want to provide the series to their members in a closed format.

Once passed, attendees will receive a sticker/card that they can post in their physical spaces.  They can also elect to have their directory information publicly listed on our website.  They will also be able to attend our "Deeper Dives", which are 60-minute trainings that focus on continuing education through specialized topics.


How to sign up for an upcoming training?

Register for Summer 2023 trainings by using the links below.  Be sure to register for both the 101 & 102 training if you would like to receive the "Affirming Space" designation.  You must take the 101 & 102 sessions that occur within one week of each other (no splitting sessions between months).  You may only register for the Deeper Dive if you plan on taking the full Affirming Space series prior to the session date.

Note: All Summer 2023 Trainings are now at capacity. There will be more offerings in the Fall and Spring, so stay tuned!

Training Date Time Location Registration Link
Deeper Dive on Sexual Diversity Thursday, June 1st 11 AM - 12 PM Jepson Hall - Faculty Lounge (Rm 127)
Affirming Space 101 Wednesday, June 21st 1:30 - 3 PM Westhampton Living Room (WHC 101)
Affirming Space 102 Wednesday, June 28th 1:30 - 3 PM Westhampton Living Room (WHC 101)
Affirming Space 101 Tuesday, July 11th 10:30 AM - 12 PM THC 305
Affirming Space 102 Tuesday, July 18th 10:30 AM - 12 PM THC 305