LGBTQ+ Center set to begin Safe Space Ally Training Series


Ken Ditlevson, director of the LGBTQ+ Center stands in his office. THE LGBTQ+ Center offers Safe Space Ally training in order to create an inclusive space on campus for all people.

Nicole Lew Reporter

Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center and Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s Training Lab will offer a way for the Kent State community to participate in Pride Month.

The first session of Kent State’s Safe Space Ally Training Series begins Friday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will provide participants with the tools and resources it requires to be an effective ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

“Training participants will learn about bias, stereotypes, current vocabulary and [the] best practices for handling gender and sexuality topics with sensitivity,”  said Ken Ditlevson, Director of the LGBTQ+ Center.

As part of the Beyond Compliance series, the training sessions are intended to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students on campus, according to the program website. The session includes lessons on current vocabulary and gender-specific language, among others.

“We don’t want to use gendered language,” Ditlevson said. “We want to leave the door open so we can join with people and they can feel like they can trust us and that you are a safe person to confide in.”

Safe Space Ally Training is open to Kent State students, faculty and staff, but Ditlevson said he welcomes all community members “who want to learn the basics of how to be respectful, the current language [and look] at their own bias toward the LGBTQ+ community.” 

The first session is full as of June 10, 2021, but those interested can register for the waitlist through the Beyond Compliance upcoming sessions website. Lessons learned in the training sessions are essential to being an effective ally to both the LGBTQ+ community and the Kent State community as a whole, Ditlevson said. 

“Regardless of where you are on campus, if you interact with students or other employees, you will meet people who identify as LGBTQ+,” Ditlevson said. “Having a basic understanding of correct terminology and an understanding of what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community are essential to supporting all people at this university regardless of sexual orientation and gender.”

Nicole Lew is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].