Train-the-trainer visits are designed to support any organization who wants to facilitate their own Safe Zone trainings to do just that.
For an organization looking to become more LGBTQ-affirming, bringing someone in to do Safe Zone trainings is a great start, but that can often present challenges of sustainability and scale. Having a team of in-house facilitators who can deliver trainings to your organization on an on-going basis is even better, and allows you to:
- Train more people on a regular basis;
- Adapt your training as the needs of your community shift and grow; and
- Demonstrate and enact institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusion.
All About Train-the-Trainer Visits
Before reaching out, we encourage you to read what we’ve included below. It’ll give you a better sense of what this is all about, prepare you for an eventual training, or highlight something you might need to do before you’re ready to bring us in.
Timeframe: Train-the-trainer visits are typically done over the course of two days (a single-day option also available).
Goal: To work with your group of future facilitators to prepare them to facilitate Safe Zone trainings for your organization, campus, or community.
What it entails: The group starts off by going through a Safe Zone training as participants. Then we dive into the content knowledge aspect of the training, walking through all of the content to ensure folks feel confident with what is covered. Finally, we increase the groups’ capacity as facilitators by focusing on key concepts of facilitation and skill-building.
Group size: Ideally 12-15 people (10 people minimum and 25 people maximum).
Place/Time: We come to you! The visit happens at your organization, and the dates for the training are set based on what works for all involved. Generally, we schedule train-the-trainers 2 – 3 months in advance.
LOVED the training! I can’t stop talking about it and I’m excited to actually begin facilitating workshops.
– Sabra Katz-Wise, Research Scientist and Instructor, Boston Children’s Hospital
If we have fewer than 10 people who want to be facilitators, what are our options?
Our top recommendation would be to reach out to other similar organizations, let them know what you’re doing, and invite them to join you in making this training happen. If you both bring 6-8 future facilitators to the table, you’ll have the perfect group size, be able to share the costs of the program, and support each other after the training is complete!
If you know you’re not going to be able to get a bigger group together, and you really want to make a train-the-trainer happen, you can reach out and we’ll make something happen.
What are the differences between the two-day and one-day visits?
Two-day visits allow for more time for questions, information, and practice.
The two-day visit is our recommended best practice. Two days allows us to ensure everyone feels as prepared as possible before picking up the material and running with it themselves. Participants have more time to practice putting their new knowledge into action and more time to ask the questions they need to feel comfortable leading workshops.
The two-day visit also happens entirely in-person, whereas the one-day visit the Safe Zone workshop happens online. Future facilitators still get to have a participant experience and it is a different experience than their participants will have when they are conducting in-person workshops.
What does a Train-the-Trainer schedule look like?
This differs for a two-day vs. a one-day training.
Total contact time is typically 15 hours and can be adjusted depending on requests of your group.
- Day 1 AM: Safe Zone Workshop—All future facilitators will go through a Safe Zone training as participants. This allows them to connect with the participant experience and begin to thoughtfully engage with the content.
- Day 1 PM: Content Dive—Going back through the curriculum, we ensure that the future facilitators understand the content and concepts of each activity.
- Day 2 AM: Key Concepts—What’s the difference between facilitating, teaching, and lecturing? How do you navigate your triggers in a workshop? What is important when responding to challenging questions? We’ll answer all of these questions and more by focusing on key concepts in facilitation.
- Day 2 PM: Facilitation Practice—Everyone is nervous to get up in front of a group for the first time and do a Safe Zone workshop. We’ll practice getting out those jitters and tackling tough questions with each other.
Total contact time (including online workshop) is approximately 10 hours.
- Online workshop (prior to in-person visit)—All participants will go through a Safe Zone training with Meg or Sam online prior to the arrival on campus. This is a live facilitated workshop (not a webinar) so that the group can begin to engage with the content and have a participant experience.
- Day 1 AM: Content Dive—Going back through the curriculum, we ensure that the future facilitators understand the content and concepts that each activity covers. Answering any and all additional questions about the curriculum.
- Day 1 PM: Facilitation Key Concepts and Skills—Reviewing essential key concepts before moving into facilitation practice, this time is spent focusing on increasing the groups’ capacities to facilitate the curriculum and navigate any hurdles during the workshop.
Are Safe Zone trainings just for universities? Who else have you worked with?
Nope! Not just for universities.
While Safe Zone programs are concentrated in higher education (and often at four-year universities in particular), there are a variety of organizations in all different fields looking to start Safe Zone programs. We know first-hand from working with several of them. Here’s a list of a few different organizations that we’ve worked with that might help you understand the broad appeal and flexibility of Safe Zone:
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Boys and Girls Club of America
- Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Green Chimney’s (Residential High School)
- Massachusetts College of Art and Design
- University of South Florida College of Medicine
- Mt. San Jacinto Community College
- Stevens Institute of Technology
- McMurry University
Two trainers or one trainer?
Whenever possible, we (Sam and Meg) love to do train-the-trainer visits together. Working together allows us to model co-facilitation, bring our unique identities and perspectives to the training, and share the emotional/psychological workload of engaging a dozen people over the course of 16 hours. However, we understand that some folks are only interested in (or financially capable of) bringing in a single trainer, and that’s okay with us too! We leave this decision up to you, and we’re happy to chat about the upsides and downsides of any scenario.
I am the only person in my organization who wants to be a facilitator. Can you train just me?
Unfortunately no / Not yet.
Unfortunately no — Our train-the-trainer programs are designed for groups. Our visits are centered around group activities and involvement, and that doesn’t work 1-on-1. We also encourage organizations to train a group of people for a number of reasons:
- More folks to facilitate workshops (responsibilities is shared by more people).
- We recommend all workshops be co-facilitated if at all possible.
- If one person was to leave the organization, Safe Zone capacity wouldn’t leave with them.
Not yet—We have had a lot of requests by individuals who want to be Safe Zone facilitators, and we want you to be too! We are currently in the development stages of creating a self-guided online resource for individuals who want to become Safe Zone trainers called Starlab. If you’d be interested in being alerted when this resource goes online, please sign up for alerts here!
Also, know that there is no formal barrier to entry that you need to facilitate trainings. We created the All-Star Facilitator Series (as well as our book), to combine with our free curriculum and make any self-starter out there better equipped to get going.
Our new safe zone training has changed the culture here. It’s created advocacy community and places for people to take issues and make moves. Before [safe zone], people just talked in friend groups. Now they have larger groups and places to take their concerns. Both the committee and in their safe zone workshops.
– Dr. Ryan Bronkema, Assistant Professor University of West Georgia
How to make your TTT visit successful
Gather a group of committed individuals who are genuinely invested in facilitating Safe Zone trainings — people who are interested and excited about helping to lead this initiative after the train-the-trainer visit is complete. We suggest folks from as many different dimensions of your campus or organization as possible (e.g., students, faculty, and staff; or entry-level through executive-level staff members). Also, coffee and snacks help.
If you’ve read through this page (especially the FAQs above), and want to get in touch about how to set up a train-the-trainer visit for your organization, please get in contact with us here! (yo [at] thesafezoneproject [dot] com) You can also use the form on this page. Tell us a little bit about your organization and any remaining questions you may have.
If a Train-the-Trainer Visit Isn’t for you…
If you are thinking, “This is similar to, but not…exactly what I’m looking for,” and you still want to reach out and let us know what that other thing might be, that’s totally okay! Great, even, because that means you have a specific goal or goals in mind for your training, initiative, or organization. Let us know what’s on your mind by emailing us and we can take it from there!
Already have a program and looking to improve it?
Some folks already have great Safe Zone programs, but perhaps they haven’t spent as much time on training their trainers. Or maybe you have an outdated curriculum, but a great group in place to facilitate it. If you’d like to bring us in to work with existing trainers to improve their facilitation skills, or to help you overhaul your curriculum, we’ve got you. And we’d love to do that. Just let us know!