LGBTQIA+ program rebranded to expand inclusion

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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-SPRINGFIELD (WCIA) — The UIS Office of Gender and Sexuality Student Services rebranded its LGBTQIA+ training program to encourage supportive students, faculty and staff on campus to take even more actionable steps towards inclusion.

In 2001, Safe Zone training began. This semester, the initiative was rebranded Brave Space training.

“For the past 25 years, Safe Zone-type programs on college campuses have always been about supportive allies hanging a sign to show they were safe to come out to as a sexual or gender minority, while encouraging conversation with others that have questions about LGBTQIA+ people,” said Kerry Poynter, director of the UIS Office of Gender and Sexuality Student Services. “The name change reflects the UIS Safe Zone Committee’s desire for members to take brave steps to engage in difficult conversations that affirm LGBTQIA+ people.”

Those who previously completed Safe Zone training will undergo a recertification process to achieve Brave Space status in order to be identified as supportive of LGBTQIA+ people and issues. People can also take classes to learn more about safe dating, pansexuality, bisexuality, religion and transgender.

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