Diversity Academy events coming up, open to students and employees

Posted: May 01, 2017

The college’s Diversity Academy is holding the following upcoming events. They are open to students and college employees. If you have any questions, please contact Sheila Lee, communications human diversity instructor, shlee@bates.ctc.edu, 253.680.7267.

Book Club Discussions

We will begin the discussion by reviewing one of the videos from The Seattle Times project: Under Our Skin. We will then have a conversation about what it means to be you under your skin in contemporary social, political, economic, and cultural environment. What are the politics of your location (your various identities)? What is your embodied experience(s) based on your location?

Feel free to bring your lunch! These book club discussion have been pre-approved for PTE professional development hours. It should be a stimulating discussion and I look forward to sharing our stories!

Listed below are the dates and locations for May discussions:

  • Thursday, May 4, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., South Campus Library classroom (E205)
  • Thursday, May 11, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Central/Mohler Library (B207)
  • Thursday, May 18, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Downtown Library classroom (A126e)

For the month of June, we will be discussing the book, “The Sellout,” by Paul Beatty. I read this book based on a friend’s recommendation. I must say that it is one of the best books that I have read in a long time! I found myself laughing out loud while simultaneously engaging in deeper level thinking about racial relations in this country. I am really looking forward to unpacking this brilliantly written literary piece with you!

Mike Wood and his wonderful library staff are looking into making available couple copies in each of the campus libraries. You can also find it in your public libraries. However, it is a “hot” book and you may not get the book in time for the discussion. Here is an Amazon link to the book. I am not endorsing Amazon. Just providing the link so that you may have all of the pertinent information.

Safer Zone training

I am excited to let you know that the Diversity Academy will offer a Green Dot/Safer Zone training at Bates on Tuesday, May 16, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Auditorium! Registration is limited, so please complete the registration form and email it to shlee@bates.ctc.edu.

At the completion of the 3-hour training, participants will receive a laminated quarter sheet Safe(r) Zone Certified placard that they can place in/on their office/window/door/etc. Think about the message that will be communicated to those who walk through the doors of Bates. Perhaps these placards will have a multi-effect:

  1. The placards will foster a safer learning environment,
  2. The placards will serve as a reminder to all those who received the training of our commitment to bring about a safer learning environment, and
  3. The placards will serve as a visual symbol to all those who are a part of our accreditation process to “prime” them of all of the efforts being made by our college.

Here is the promotional info from UW (the people who will be providing the training) that will provide information about the training:

What is Safe Zone?

The Safe Zone Project, through education, advocacy, visibility, and skill development, supports faculty and staff to become allies for glbtqtqi (Q) students and colleagues. The Project is designed to radically reduce prejudice and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression at the Bates Technical College campus and create a safe and affirming campus.

The Safe Zone symbol provides a message to Q students and colleagues that the person displaying the symbol is a person who has completed the Safe Zone training, has decided to be an active and visible ally, can be trusted to maintain confidentiality, and will respond to the individual with understanding, support, and empathy. If a Q student seeks help, advice, or just someone with whom s/he/ze can talk, s/he/ze can expect to be met with openness and respect.

The Purpose and History of Safe Zone

Often non-glbtqtqi (straight) people are called on to be advocates for Q people on campus. Some will have few skills or resources available to them to guide their own development and/or help others become advocates for our Q communities. Yet, non-Q staff, students, and faculty can significantly impact the campus culture by becoming allies around the issues of sexual and gender orientation/expression.

Heterosexual allies are people who are supportive of Q folks, aware of the issues impacting our communities, and are people who actively create Q-friendly spaces. Washington and Evans (1991, p. 195) define an ally as “a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate with and for, the oppressed population.” Allies of different groups of people (race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, etc.), have been instrumental in affecting positive change in the dominant culture.

A number of college and universities have implemented educational interventions with names such as SAFE on Campus, Safe Zone, Safe Space, Safe Harbor, and Safe Zone Campus. The hallmark of these “Safe” programs is the public identification of allies by placing a “Safe” symbol, usually incorporating a pink triangle or rainbow, on office doors or within living spaces.


Basic information on human sexuality, sexual and gender orientation, sexual and gender identity, and sexual and gender expression. Many of the “I-should-have-known-that” kinds of questions are discussed in a learner-friendly welcoming atmosphere. You will confront your internalized homophobia/heterosexism (we all have it, we are trained to have it!). You will become familiar with the “tools” of an ally, which will help you to create safer, more affirming spaces for all your students and colleagues.

If you have any questions about the Diversity Academy events, please contact Sheila Lee, communications human diversity instructor, shlee@bates.ctc.edu, 253.680.7267.