The Office of Multicultural Affairs coordinates the SAGE Program (previously known as “Safe Zone”) at UNC Asheville. SAGE symbolizes the university’s initiative to increase awareness and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities (LGBTQ). The purpose of the SAGE Program is not only to create a network of allies and resources for the LGBTQ communities at UNC Asheville, but to enhance continued sensitivity and understanding of the larger umbrella of non-normative sexual identities and gender expressions.
There are four stages of the SAGE Program:
Stage 1: Fundamentals
Stage 1 will focus on the basic definitions, terms, and concepts related to LGBTQ culture. Participants will gain foundational knowledge about LGBTQ life, identity development, and how to serve as an ally. Participants will also receive tools and resources to help create a more inclusive spaces.
- Gain a basic knowledge of terminology related to sexuality and gender identity.
- Develop a deeper understanding of the experiences and issues facing LGBTQIA+ folks on campus.
- Exercise civility when engaging in conversations about gender identity and sexual orientation.
Stage 2: Introspection
In Stage 2, participants will better understand themselves and how their actions contribute to or detract from inclusivity. Specifically, we want to provide participants with the following skills:
- Identifying personal sexuality and gender related bias
- Avoiding harmful communication or disclosures regarding sexuality and gender.
- Examine heterosexual and cisgender privilege.
- Recognize and discuss personal and professional limitations related to sexuality and gender.
- Identify struggles faced by the LGBTQ community
Stage 3: Advocacy
Stage 3 helps participants understand how to use the knowledge they’ve gained so far to affect change.
Specifically, we want to provide participants with the following skills:
- The ability to identify and intervene in situations of anti-LGBT language and behaviors.
- Demonstrate an understanding of intersectionality and its role in the oppression of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Feel prepared to discuss issues related to power, privilege and advocacy.
- Identify specific strategies to use in your personal and professional life for creating sexuality and gender inclusive spaces.
Stage 4: Becoming an Accomplice
Stage 4 focuses on training UNC Asheville students to facilitate SAGE workshops and trainings. Individuals who complete all four stages will become a part of a volunteer group that will help facilitate SAGE trainings across campus.
- Participants will learn the content of and how to facilitate the SAGE Program.
- Participants will gain skills in effective facilitation through skill development and training.
- Participants will gain leadership skills through their role as SAGE Student Facilitator.