LGBTQ Safe Zone Project

LGBTQ Community

The Safe Zone Project is a campus-wide program that offers a visible message of inclusion, affirmation, and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in the university community.

Participants attend up to two educational workshops to learn about the LGBTQ experience and campus/community resources. After completing the second workshop, participants may choose to become a recognized Safe Zone ally and receive a Safe Zone symbol to display in their work space.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact us in advance at 335-2388 or by email at

Purpose of the Safe Zone Project

The purpose of the Safe Zone Project is to identify members of the University community who will model support, affirmation, and inclusion of LGBTQ people. Participants who complete this program are choosing to be visible allies and to be trained to be effective resource people for their workplace and classroom.

The Safe Zone Project consists of two phases and a supplemental workshop.

  • Phase I (2 hours): introduces basic LGBTQ terms and concepts, helps participants develop an appreciation for the experiences of the LGBTQ people, and brings an overall awareness of LGBTQ issues. Participants will be encouraged to think about how they can create a more inclusive environment and will be prepared to provide resources to LGBTQ people.
  • Phase II (2 hours): a case study-based, application-focused session. Participants will gain the tools they need to not only provide resources, but to become an active participant in making our campus a more supportive, inclusive, and affirming place for LBGTQ people. Completion of Phase II will result in becoming an identified Safe Zone Ally.
  • Transgender/Trans Awareness (2 hours): delves deeper into topics related to gender identity and expression. Participants will gain a better understanding of trans identity, campus resources, challenges individuals from these communities face on campus, and strategies for becoming an increasingly supportive ally. We encourage participants to have completed Phase 1 & 2 prior to attending Trans Awareness however it is not required.

The Safe Zone Project is open to all staff, faculty, and students who are committed to making the University of Iowa a safe environment for ALL of its members, including LGBTQ persons.

Why do we need a Safe Zone Project?

The university's Human Rights Policy states "that in no aspect of its programs shall there be differences in the treatment of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and any other classification that deprive a person of consideration as an individual, and that equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all."

Local and national studies have repeatedly shown that LGBTQ members of campus communities experience higher levels of harassment or discrimination on campus than non-LGBTQ people.


Please email the Safe Zone coordinator at

How to Apply/Enroll

Employees (faculty, staff, students) of the university register through the Employee Self Service web site:

  • Log into Employee Self Service using your HawkId and password.
  • Select the Personal tab.
  • In the second column, under Learning & Development, select My Training.
  • Select Available Sessions & Series.
  • Classes are listed in alphabetical order, or select Session Date(s) for chronological order.
  • Choose the class, and select the Enroll in this Session button.

Students who do not have access to Employee Self Service may register by emailing

If you are interested in volunteering as a Safe Zone facilitator, email and let us know.