What is an ally?
An ally is someone who validates and supports members of a community, regardless of whether or not they belong to that community.
Why is it important to have a Safe Space Allies Network at the University of San Diego?
The Safe Space Allies Network demonstrates the University’s commitment to its core value of community, highlighting inclusion and respect for all – regardless of sexual orientation or other identity. Grounded in Catholic Social Thought, the University’s mission affirms that all human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.
Safe Space Allies contribute to improving campus climate for all community members. By directly addressing and attempting to reduce one type of bias, allies will indirectly address and reduce other forms of bias in the community.
What are the responsibilities?
Allies commit to foster an environment where homophobia is not tolerated and heterosexism is challenged. They continue to educate themselves on how to be an ally for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) & questioning people. Allies are easily identified and provide supportive space and a sense of security to LGBT and questioning people. They are knowledgeable about and refer others to appropriate services and resources. They are also members of the “Allies Network” at USD.
What does training entail?
A two and a half hour training provides participants with an opportunity to;
- Explore anti-LGBT bias in their lives;
- Establish qualities of an effective ally and set boundaries for ally work;
- Learn language for discussing LGBT issues and clarify terms and concepts regarding gender and sexuality;
- Learn strategies for intervening in anti-LGBT bias; and
- Learn strategies for being a supportive ally when someone comes out to them.
How do I sign up for a training?
Visit the Safe Space Allies page at www.sandiego.edu/safespaceallies/ to find out when trainings are being offered. Complete and submit the online form. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email with more detailed information about the training session.
How can I get a placard or button?
You must complete the Safe Space Allies training to receive a placard and/or button.
What does it mean if someone does not post the placard?
Many allies exist within our community and may choose not to participate in the training. In no way does this indicate an ally’s lack of support for the LGBT community or her/his commitment to creating a more just and inclusive campus community.
What does the Safe Space Ally placard design mean?
The Safe Space Ally placard was designed to honor two important symbols within the LGBT community. The background of the placard contains the six colors of the rainbow. In 1978, Gilbert Baker of San Francisco designed and made a flag with six stripes representing the six colors of the rainbow as a symbol of gay and lesbian community pride. While this flag began in San Francisco, today it can be seen all over the world as a sign of pride and community.
The text on the placard is presented in the shape of an upside down triangle in honor of the “pink triangle.” An upside down pink triangle was originally used as a Nazi concentration camp symbol to label homosexual men. By the end of the 1970s, the pink triangle was adopted as a symbol of pride.