Bias Incident Response Team (B.I.R.T.)

About The Safe Space Program And How To Enroll

College Students With ComputerWhat is a Safe Space Program?  A Safe Space is designed to create a welcoming and safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.  National studies show that LGBT students currently experience bullying and harassment daily while at school and they are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.  There is a direct correlation between students feeling safe and welcome on campus with student retention and persistence.

What Does The Safe Space Symbol Mean?  The Napa Valley College Safe Space Program logo comes from the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network Safe Space Program (GLSEN).  It includes several components with historical significance including the pink triangle used in Nazi Germany during WWII to label LGBT prisoners as well as the LGBT pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.  These symbols were combined to create a potent symbol to remind us all of the past as well as the future inclusive community we hope to create.

What Is An Ally?  An ally is an individual who speaks out and stands up for a person or group that is targeted and discriminated against.  An ally works to end oppression by supporting and advocating for people who are stigmatized, discriminated against or treated unfairly.  An ally can be anyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Allies can be teachers, support staff, administrators, or students.

Why Step Up To Be An Ally?  All students are at risk of being bulled or harassed for any number of reasons.  You visibility and support of these students can make a significant difference in their success here at Napa Valley College.  You may be the reason a student decides to stay in school instead of dropping out.

Who Can Participate?  Any member of our campus community can be part of the Safe Space Program.  You can participate as an individual or your entire office can get involved.  The program is open to faculty, support staff, administrators, and students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

What Is Required To Be Involved?  Participation in the Safe Space Program is entirely voluntary.  Anyone on the campus can participate.  The first step is to complete the Safe Space Training Program.  This training can be accomplished entirely online and is free of charge.  Once the training is completed, graduates will receive a certificate and Safe Space Program sticker or window decal to display.  Your name and work location will be displayed on this website so that students can find you.

Why Is Training Required? The issues, challenges, and struggles facing LGBT students can be largely invisible just as are many members of the LGBT student body.  It would be unfair to assume that every well-intended member of our community is fully prepared to support LGBT students without providing the wealth of information available from our two model programs.  Being an effective ally requires that you be well informed.

What Does The Training Include?  The Safe Space Training Program was developed by Napa Valley College using content from GLSEN and NYAC.  It includes four learning modules containing videos, reading materials, activities, and links to various related resources.  The topics include:

  • An Introduction To LGBT Issues And The Reasons For Having A Safe Space Program
  • A Survey of Attitudes And Stereotypes
  • Language And Terminology
  • How To Create An Inclusive Classroom Or Work Space
  • Resources And Services Available To Support LGBT Students
  • Policies Protecting LGBT Students

The class can be complete entirely online using Blackboard Course Sites software (almost identical to the college's regular online course software) at your own pace and likely within 4 hours.  There is no cost for this training.

How Do I Learn How To Use The Course Software? The course software operates much like a regular website and most users are able to learn how to navigate around the course as they go.  However, instructions for how to prepare your computer for online learning and a series of video tutorials on how to use the software are available on the college's Online Eduation website. 
Click Here to learn more.

You can access almost all of the Safe Space Training Program using a mobile device, such as an Android device, iPhone or iPad.  All you need is the free Blackboard Mobile application to be installed on your device.  The application will work on a WiFi or 3 and 4G network.  Links to download the application you need can be found on the college's Online Education website.
Click Here to learn more.

Ready To Enroll?  Enrolling in the Safe Space Training Program is easy.  Use the link below to request to be enrolled in the onilne training program.  You will receive an email back, usually within 24 hours, with an invitation to set-up an account on the Blackboard Course Sites system that will automatically enroll you in the training.  Once you establish your account, you are ready to begin learning, it's that simple!
Click Here to submit your enrollment request.