Lincoln LGBTQ Plus Resource Center Offers SAGE Certification | New

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The Lincoln LGBTQ plus Resource Center offers training sessions for faculty and staff to earn their Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE) certification, which is a continuation of the training given to GU during the course. years and focused on LGBTQ plus cultural competencies.

Formerly called “Safe Zone” or “Safe Space” training, this new training has been updated to adapt to the current cultural climate of not only GU, but modern society.

Certification is completed in two sessions. SAGE 1 focuses on terminology and developing an understanding to become a supporting ally. Building on this knowledge, SAGE 2 focuses on implementing this understanding to take effective action.

“How to develop an informed empathy so that you can build relationships with people who might have experiences different from ours,” said Matthew Barcus, LGBTQ plus Education and Support program manager. “And how do we create proactive inclusion, as well as disruption when biased instances occur? “

After training is complete, members can choose to participate in SAGE spotlights. While not mandatory, they serve for a more in-depth exploration of specific relevant topics, such as how gender is perceived and explored today compared to generations past. These are meant to serve as additional learning opportunities.

For Rebecca Bull Schaefer, associate professor of management at the School of Business Administration, enrolling in training was obvious. She had completed secure space training in 2010 and felt it was important to stay up to date.

“I always make the joke only for doors that don’t have safe space [sticker], these are the doors we shouldn’t knock on, ”said Bull Schaefer.

Karlene Hoo, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, shared Bull Schaefer’s enthusiasm for up-to-date training.

Not only did Hoo reach out to Barcus for more training, she also emailed other professors and staff, inviting them to participate in these sessions.

They all underlined the extent to which receiving this type of training is vital for their work since it involves building relationships with their students.

“We want to reach students where they are at and we want to connect with those lived experiences,” said Barcus. “So we can’t just assume that people who come to our classrooms verify their identity at the door of the classroom. They bring their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression into the classroom. We have to be competent and assert, support and integrate that into the program. “

Hoo echoed this sentiment and explained how this information plays a role not only in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, but with others in science, technology, engineering and of mathematics (STEM).

“It helps us understand a student or staff or faculty through a different lens, not just one that says we’re engineers, we’re computer scientists – we’re more than that,” Hoo said. “I think it raises awareness that there are a lot of different lenses that we can look through. The training encourages us to recognize these glasses and to respect them.

Bull Schaefer teaches subjects such as human resources and employment law, which are certain professional fields which have a strong connection with what is taught in the SAGE certification. She specializes particularly in teaching future supervisors and managers to foster inclusive climates in their workplaces.

“Our people are our most valuable investment because they are the partners who help us achieve our mission,” said Bull Schaefer. “So being able to learn what our current members and partners are going through, their experiences growing up or their experiences in the professional world, is really important.”

As more teachers and staff sign up for training on topics related to sexuality and gender, this type of training is not only increasingly common, but expected.

Hoo called for standardizing training like other standard procedures at a university, such as requiring students to adhere to a program or routine job training.

“If there was a policy that said it’s no longer an invitation it’s a requirement, I think that would make a stronger statement,” Hoo said. “And then after a while, the requirement may go away, because it’s natural.”

For more information on SAGE certification and related topics, Zags can visit the “Upcoming Programs” tab on the Lincoln Center website.

Marissa Conter is editor-in-chief. Follow her on Twitter: @marissaconter.


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