When we say “Safe Zone,” a big part of what we’re talking about is creating a container where participants can take risks, be vulnerable, and learn — all in the face of of stigmatizing social pressures. The hope is that later, after being trained, participants can then create a similar environment for someone else in their life. The set-up is a huge part of that.

Try to get to the training room 30 – 45 minutes early to get everything set up, with some extra time in case there are early participants who need your attention, or an unexpected hiccup (e.g., a locked door, not enough seats).

Safe Zone trainings are perfect for groups of 12 – 15 participants.

The ideal room:

  • Has moveable seats/desks/tables;
  • Is big enough to accommodate all the participants in a circle or u-shape, with the facilitator(s) at the top (like an umlaut: ü)
  • But not too much bigger than that (it’s hard to create a “safe” container in a huge room)
The ideal Safe Zone training room set-up: participant chairs and desks in a u-shape, with the facilitator(s) at the top

Process Steps

  1. Place a printed Participant Packet at each seat you want a participant to use
  2. Distribute extra pens and blank index cards in little piles that are reachable by everyone
  3. Write an intro message (and introduction steps) on the whiteboard / flipchart
  4. Prepare any other flipcharts (e.g., the Genderbread diagram) you’ll be using

Make it your own

This curriculum doesn’t require powerpoint/projector/screen, and it’s intentionally low-tech. However, if you prefer to use A/V (e.g., to play an video during your intro or closing, for FAQ, or for some other reason), by all means set that up.


A good room can make a training. A bad room can break it. We know that you won’t always have control of the room you’re training in, and sometimes you’ll have to make due with something that’s not ideal. Do what you can to find a room that works, or to rearrange your room until it does.