• Safe Zone Program Transitions to 

    the Rainbow Inclusion Network

    For the past 10 years, with the guidance and leadership of the founding coordinators Carlos Sneed and Javier Guiterrez, and many other current and previous staff, Hamline has had a Safe Zone Program that trained more than 500 community members and has more than 250 active members. During this past spring we did a program review that many of you participated in; let me take this opportunity to thank you for your feedback. 

    We learned a number of things from the feedback and program review that I think were really helpful. First, that we needed to update the curriculum -- for instance, to shorten the training times to make them more accessible, engage people more in how to talk about these issues with others, and develop some skills tied to our respective roles on campus about how to interrupt behaviors. Second, that it is time to update the name, based on the message and the frame that we want to take to show that Hamline is welcoming and inclusive for LGBTQIA communities.

    In light of what we have learned, with the new Rainbow Inclusion Network, we will be building on the excellent history and work of the last 10 years of the Safe Zone program.

    Our new education program is a 4-part series that begins with an initial standalone training to introduce people to the basics of sexuality and gender, terminology, and resources here at Hamline. The following 3 interrelated trainings are a sequential cohort model that builds from one workshop to the next. Starting with self-exploration, going deeper into terminology and identity, thinking about engaging others in your role on campus, understanding effective behaviors when advocating, developing tactics for bystander intervention, and developing how best to support and challenge others in conversations around sexualities and gender diversity. Upon completion participants are offered the opportunity to join the Rainbow Inclusion Network.

    We also introduced our new logo, with a clear statement that says “Proud to support full LGBTQIA INCLUSION at Hamline University!” 

    Updated Rainbow Inclusion Network Goals

    • To educate about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) lives. 
    • To encourage the development of healthy attitudes and foster an appreciation for diverse sexualities and gender identities.
    • To develop and empower LGBTQIA individuals, supporters, and advocates to take engaged, active and supportive stances.
    • To fight homophobia, biphobia and heterosexism, transphobia and gender oppression.
    • To build, strengthen and sustain an inclusive living, learning, and work environment for all members of the Hamline community.


    History and Overview

    Safe Zone Training began with a pilot program in 2005, developed by Javier Gutierrez and Carlos Sneed from their previous experiences with similar training programs at previous institutions.

    The first training was held in January 2005 and was presented to the Residential Life staff (resident assistants and professional staff) as part of their winter in-service training. Since then 500 people participated in the Safe Zone program trainings, of these 275 are active faculty, staff, and student members; and 225 are students who have graduated and professionals who have left the university.

    Beginning in 2005-2006 school year, Safe Zone Network also began offering follow-up educational sessions on such topics as religion, legal issues, coming our process, transgender issues.  These sessions are open to those who have completed the initial training as well as others members of the community. In addition to the sessions which generally involved presentation of new information and discussion, and a resource guide was also created and distributed to participants.