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.
What size group do you work with for a train-the-trainer?
The ideal number is between 12-15 people. Our minimum is 8 and max is 20.
If you’re interested in a train-the-trainer but don’t have 12-15 interested folks, our top recommendation would be to reach out to other similar organizations in your area and invite them to collaborate. If you both bring 5-7 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!
How long are train-the-trainer visits?
Train-the-trainer visits are three (or two) days.
What does a Train-the-Trainer schedule look like?
Day 1: Safe Zone workshop and facilitator guide review
All future facilitators will go through a Safe Zone training as a participant, which allows them to connect with the participant experience and to begin to engage personally with the content. After, we’ll go back through the curriculum and review the training from a facilitator perspective.
Day 2: LGBTQ+ content dive
The content dive is to ensure that all future facilitators feel comfortable with the concepts related to gender and sexuality explored in the Safe Zone training: vocabulary, breaking down the gender binary, understanding gender vs. sex vs. sexuality, transgender identity, privilege, and more.
Day 3: Facilitator key concepts and skill-building
This day is focused on the process side of a Safe Zone training, specifically focusing on facilitation. We’ll explore how to engage a group, navigating triggers, managing conflict, answering challenging questions, and other key facilitator concepts and skills.
The two-day schedule combines day 1 and day 2 of the three-day program into a single (first) day, and the second day is facilitator key concepts and skill-building.
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 a train-the-trainer. 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 (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.
Timeframe: Train-the-trainer visits are done over the course of two or three days.
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.
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.
How to Make your TTT Visit A Success
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, email us.
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
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
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! Let us know what’s on your mind by emailing us and we can take it from there