The Training Team
Are you interested in becoming a Safe Zone Trainer? After you attend a full-day training, you may sign up for Facilitator Training here!!
One of the special strengths of George Mason’s approach to Safe Zone training is our large, diverse, committed team of training facilitators. LGBTQ office staff lead and coordinate the Safe Zone team. A full day Safe Zone training session will include from eight to twelve different highly skilled presenters/facilitators, each with their own unique identity, experience, energy-level, and style. Our full team currently consists of over twenty-five students, staff, and faculty, including:
- Jen Barnard – Academic Administrative Specialist III, Modern and Classical Languages
- Allie Minieri – LGBTQ Liaison with CAPS
- David Corwin- Program Coordinator for Women and Gender Studies
- Julio Diaz – Administrative Assistant, University Life Central
- Amena Johnson – (Assistant) Director for LGBTQ Resources
- LuLu Geza – Program Coordinator for LGBTQ Resources
- Karen Wolf -Technology Coordinator, Office of Tech Integration, University Life
The MOST important component of the Safe Zone Program is the large organization of trained allies displaying the Safe Zone stickers or buttons across the George Mason campus. Because all University Life staff are expected to complete the training (and even though NO ONE is required to post a sticker), the largest group of trained allies at this point are University Life staff.
Additionally, approximately one-third of those trained so far are students, seeking to show their support for their LGBTQ colleagues and friends. Safe Zone placards can also be seen in many academic departments and administration offices, and buttons can be seen on the backpacks of some faculty, graduate assistants, and undergraduate students!
Allies posting stickers may be of any gender identity or sexual orientation. Allies are not necessarily LGBTQ themselves, nor does one need to be straight in order to be an ally to LGBTQ folks. However, heterosexual and traditionally-gendered people are especially welcome to our program, as they may have as much or more power and privilege to use on behalf of LGBTQ folks and to affect change. We DO NOT ask Safe Zone participants to disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation.
What about people who do NOT have Safe Zone markers?
There are many reasons why students, faculty, and staff may not display Safe Zone markers; and our program makes NO judgments or assumptions about anyone who is not visibly part of the program. Plenty of progressive LGBTQ people and effective allies have simply not yet heard of, or found the time to participate in, our trainings. So there is NO intention to make any statements about the helpfulness or safety of people without Safe Zone signs.