SafeZones Program Partners
In 2011during SDSU’s
Alternative Spring Break Study Abroad South Africa Program participants met
with LGBTQIA activists and scholars from the University of the Witwatersrand
(Wits University) and Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) in Johannesburg,
South Africa to learn about the LGBTQIA rights movement in their country.
During this meeting we also shared strategies and programs with our South
African colleagues for creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA people in our
As a result of this
collaboration, in 2012 under the leadership of the Transformation and
Employment Equity Office at Wits University a Safe Zones@Wits program was
created that was partially modeled after SDSU’s SafeZones@SDSU program.
In turn, we at SDSU have been inspired by the events, programs, and resources
offered by SafeZones@Wits since its inception.
In the coming months and
years we hope to continue our collaboration with our sister program in South
Africa in the form of an annual virtual conference.
View the 2014 Skype Conference Program (.pdf)
Read the SDSU NewsCenter story about the April Transnational Skype Conference
For more information on our South African partner program
please see SafeZones@Wits: http://www.wits.ac.za/safezones/18795/safezones.html .
Safe Zones programs currently in existence are located in the U.S., Canada, and
Australia but it is the hope of SafeZones@SDSU and our South African
counterparts to see the program spread to other countries. To that end, we have been working on a guide
to creating Safe Zones programs as well as a mapping project that identifies
safe places in areas of the world that do not explicitly have Safe Zones
international exchange programs in which SafeZones@SDSU has taken a leadership
role include meetings with delegations from the U.S. State Department’s
International Visitor’s Leadership Program (IVLP). Beginning in April of 2013 LGBT leaders from
several countries, including Colombia and Latvia, visited with leaders
representing SDSU’s key programs such as SafeZones@SDSU, the LGBT Studies
Program, the LGBTQ Research Consortium, the Queer Student Union, and the Pride
the most recent of these IVLP programs held in July of 2014, visitors from
Azerbaijan, India, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, Turkey,
Vietnam, Uganda, and Zimbabwe spent a day at SDSU interacting with students,
staff, faculty, and administrators who play a role in LGBTQIA organizations and
programs on campus.
Coordinator of International Programs, Dr. Mary Kelly, and visiting South
African intern, Mr. Anzio Jacobs, conducted an afternoon synthesis session
where we were asked by the IVLP organizers to assist our international
colleagues in reflecting on their three weeks of learning experiences in the
various parts of the U.S. they visited and to draft a plan for building human
rights initiatives and safe places for the SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender
Identity) community in their respective countries. We at SDSU have found that such
collaborations are as valuable for us as they are for many of our international
For more information on establishing transnational alliances
please contact Dr. Mary Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org).