Want to know where we got some our inspirations and influences for the activities and curriculum we share on this website? We would love to share that with you – and that is what this page is all about.

We say some of our inspirations and influences because we have been learning and unlearning things that influenced this work throughout our life and know that in doing this page we will be missing some major influences and inspirations that changed, shaped, and gifted us with some of the materials that we share on this website.

It’s in honor of those invisible or unnameable influences that we contribute this site, and the activities and lessons we’ve shared here, to the creative commons. All of our materials are uncopyrighted and you can read more about that here! We have always felt that this was a collective project, a collection of activities and curriculum that we felt were helpful, interesting, insightful but that we do not claim as our “own.” While many of these activities were created by us they are heavily influenced by the knowledge other shared before us and we hope will continue to evolve long after people first encounter them from us. It is still our goal and vision that Safe Zone Project be a collaborative effort with others adding and contributing activities and articles. If you have any interest in that please do let us know, we’d love to share your materials on the site!

We’ve struggled with how to best honor those who came before us and have heavily influenced the work that we do. Some of the activities we first learned through certain folks and we’d like to name them here on this page to give thanks. If anyone knows of or is someone who feels they first created an activity and would like to be acknowledged we would love to do that – please contact us to let us know!

First Exposure

Meg was first exposed to a lot of the thoughts she shared in ace inclusivity at a panel discussion she attended at Creating Change 2011 and through the work with a high school intern of hers in the summer of 2013 (thanks Becca!) Meg first did Changing Perspective during a workshop at the 2013 AEE international conference. During her time in undergrad she attended a workshop about intersectionality and was first exposed to a version of Identity Signs. The information that Meg included about how to be a trans* positive ally in the Safe Zone curriculum was influenced by a presentation she saw by Rocco (Katastrophe) and Katz (Athens Boys Choir) during her time at Hamilton College, rock on dudes! Perhaps the largest influence on Meg’s Safe Zone world was the first Safe Zone she ever attended which was facilitated by the wonderful folks at Colgate University. Identity time and Privilege for Sale are both activities heavily inspired by activities they did during that workshop. Without that Safe Zone workshop there’d be no Pride for All, SZP, or Meg as she knows herself today.

Sam was first exposed to social justice education through the Free Zone program at Purdue. This program was a student created and facilitated aspect of orientation (and orientation staff training, which was year round). His takes on crossing the line, four corners, identity, and anything privilege, all started by both participating in and facilitating Free Zone discussions. His first safe zone training (called Ally Training) was facilitated by a peer, and is still his most salient memory regarding all of these issues. Without Free Zone, there’d be no Sam.


We owe so much of what we know, how we know it, and how we speak of it to the amazing teachers, mentors, friends, and authors in our lives. In their words, their pedagogy, and their practices we have come to understand the world with a social justice lens that we could have never done without. It is only a small way to say thank you to nod to them on this page. While we could wax eloquent about each of these individuals (and maybe we’ll do them that justice some day), we don’t want a lack of time now to prevent us from simply acknowledging them and the resources they wrote or exposed us to.

In no particular order…

Yvonne Zylan, Ellen Brodio , Dafina-Lazerus Stewart, Abby Priehs, Jenny Irons, Scotty Secrist, Andrew Jillings, Lisa Magnarelli, Karen Rayne, Travis Hill, becky martinez, Michelle Ashcraft, Joel Baughn, Kathy Obear, Robyn Ochs, Annie Russell, Heather Corinna, Deborah Tannen, Jamie Washington, Jessica Pettitt, Vernon Wall, Wayne Pawlowski
…amongst the many amazing facilitators, educators, advocates, mentors, and friends we’ve had the honor of witnessing and encountering throughout the years

Books that moved us forward

Adams, Bell, & Griffin – Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice
Benjamin – Bonds of Love
Bersani – Homos
Bohm – On Dialogue
Brown – Daring Greatly
Butler – Gender Trouble
Eisenstein – Sacred Economics, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
Fausto-Sterling – Sexing the Body
Firestone – The Dialectic of Sex
Foucault – History of Sexuality
Friere – Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Goodman – Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged
hooks – Teaching to Transgress
Howard – We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools
Johnson – Privilege, Power, and Difference
Kivel – Uprooting Racism
Landreman – Art of Facilitation
Pope – Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs
Tatum – Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
Tannen – Gender and Discourse
Yoshino – Covering
Zylan – States of Our Passions