LAVC Professional Development, in partnership with Equity and Teaching Innovations Academy, launched LAVC Safe Zone Ally program this month. The Safe Zone Ally program offers training in how to be a proactive ally for groups that encounter barriers due to the way society views and treats them. Safe Zone is a national program, and we’re excited to have our own LAVC version!
The LAVC Safe Zone Ally Program is a network of faculty and staff who are visibly supportive of groups of people on campus that are often marginalized. A Safe Zone Ally is a campus employee who has participated in the LAVC Culturally Inclusive online training, attended Safe Zone Ally workshops, and agreed to be an Ally. Participants at the Safe Zone training workshop will learn about topics and terminology, receive resources and referral info, interact with panels of students, and discuss ways of being an Ally.
After attending, participants may choose to sign a contract promising to be a “safe space”, and receive a Safe Zone Ally placard and button to display. Each Safe Zone Ally will display a small poster in their office area. Allies also have Safe Zone t-shirts, coffee mugs, and buttons to identify themselves. Those who have attended a Safe Zone Ally Training may choose to further their knowledge by attending continued trainings to learn about additional marginalized groups and earn badges as they progress.
Over 30 people are currently participating an online Culturally Inclusive course on Canvas. This course is a part of our Teaching Innovations Academy (TIA) and is the first step into becoming a Safe Zone Ally.
On Friday, April 12, the first Safe Zone Ally workshop was held. This full day workshop covered two groups: the LGBTQ+ student community and Undocumented students. Presenters were Hasmik Arakelyan, Jennifer Galvez, and Sergio Belloso. After this day of training, participants were given the opportunity to sign Safe Zone Ally contracts and commit to becoming a visibly “safe space” for students who often need support.
If you would like to become a Safe Zone Ally, the first thing to do is sign up for the Culturally Inclusive online course through Eventbrite. You may enroll at any time. If you do not have a Canvas account, please email LAVC Professional Development and we can provide you will the process to get one.
Once you have completed the online course, you can then participate in our workshops. Watch for flyers and emails announcing these workshops as they will be offered throughout the year. In addition to training regarding Undocumented and LGBTQ+ students, we plan on other student groups joining the Safe Zone Ally program including Foster Youth and Black Scholars.
In addition, our B.U.I.L.D. Series continues this month with two activities. On Wednesday, April 17, everyone is invited to a Video and Conversation gathering from 1-2 p.m in the Fireside Room (inside Campus Center). You are welcome to attend whether or not you are reading our current book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. The short video provides enough information for everyone to join in the discussion.
On Wednesday, April 24, the PDC Book Group will be holding the third book group discussion on Nudge. If you would like to participate in this campus book group, please check out a book in LARC 200 (Library) and join us! We will meet in the ProfDev Center, LARC 200, from 1-2 p.m. We will be discussing Part 2 of the book.
For more information, contact Jeanne Owens at (818) 947-2569 or by email or Sally Raskoff at (818) 947-7256 in the LAVC Professional Development Office, stop by the Professional Development Center in LARC 200, or visit the LAVC Professional Development Web page.