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SafeZone for All Project - SZ4A

"A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location."

The purpose of the SafeZone for All Program is to create beacons, SafeZone for All Allies, whose roles are to be visible ambassadors, so that we ensure the campus climate feels safe, receptive, and accepting to community members regardless of any human condition, characteristic, or circumstance that they may have.

We do this by recruiting, training and supporting members of the ATSU community who volunteer to be visible first points of contact and advocates for our diverse and unique students, faculty and staff. SafeZone for All Allies display the ATSU SafeZone for All emblem (shown on the left) on their person or in their workspaces. They act as beacons unto the campus community, guiding community members to a safe harbor.

How it Works

Allies display their SafeZone for All emblem on their person or in/around their work spaces becoming beacons of acceptance and demonstrating their support and advocacy for cultural competency. These allies act as people who will listen to a person's situation and circumstances and provide support in the form of encouragement, advice, information and/or referral. Students, faculty and staff who fear rejection or judgment because of who they are or from where they come may approach a SafeZone for All Ally to speak about their concerns.

SafeZone for All Allies do not act as professional therapists or behavioral health counselors. They do not provide therapy, assessment or counseling, but will listen authentically and without judgment. They have agreed to operate on the SafeZone for All Creed:

"I will aspire to positively influence and encourage all people. I will earnestly avoid judging anyone on the basis of any condition, characteristic, or circumstance. I will make every effort to keep an open mind and value all forms of diversity. I will strive to maintain good, positive, and honest relationships; and shall not have or create any enemies. And finally, I will challenge any ideas that do not support a positive or constructive leaning envirnoment."

Allies will not attempt to handle situations for which they are not prepared, but will make effective referrals to open and accepting people and services both on and off campus that can meet the needs of the person for whom they are advocating.

What is a SafeZone Ally?

To ally is to unite or join for a specific purpose. A SafeZone for All Ally is a person who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate with and for, oppressed people.

An Ally is commonly referred to as:

  • a friend;
  • an advocate;
  • a supporter;
  • one who believes/supports another's idea;
  • a compatriot;
  • a smiling face and a warm and true heart;
  • a bright light at the end of the tunnel;
  • someone who stands up/speaks out/supports others in order to end oppression/prejudice or gain rights.

A SafeZone for All Ally* is also:

Is a safe person with whom anybody can share his or her identity or human circumstances.

Is someone who has good intentions that can be seen and felt.

Doesn't depend on just one person to represent an entire group.

Can hear a variety of opinions within a group or community.

Can see the similarities and differences between all people and other forms of oppression.

Is consistently supportive.

Is beyond tolerant; s/he is supportive, understanding, and accepting.

Celebrates others.

Is not expecting rewards or forgiveness.

Is not motivated by guilt.

Is willing to admit s/he doesn't know everything.

Knows when to speak up, and when not to.

Is comfortable with people assuming that they identify with a minority group or have a minority human circumstance.

(*Modified from Poynter, K., & Schroer S. (1999)