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Safe Zone at UTK is an educational workshop series focusing on:

  • Basic language and terminology related to gender and sexuality
  • Awareness and understanding of the intersections of gender, sexuality, and other social identities
  • Skills to intervene in situations of discrimination and injustice
  • Knowledge about LGBTQ+ resources available on UTK’s campus.

Safe Zone is open to all current faculty, staff, and students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At this time, we are unable to offer our sessions to the Knoxville community or non-UTK affiliated organizations, groups, and departments. Thanks for your understanding!

Want to help spread the word? Download our Safe Zone at UTK flyer!

The Safe Zone at UTK program consists of three tiers, inspired by the Multicultural Competence Models proposed by Pederson (1994) and Pope, Reynolds, and Mueller (2019).Three tiers: knowledge; awareness and understanding; skills


Tier 1 – Knowledge consists of one 2 hour presentation. Tier 1 sessions launched in fall 2018.

After participating in Tier 1, session participants will be able to:

  • identify and articulate the purpose of Safe Zone at UTK
  • identify gender and sexuality-related resources at UTK
  • identify and apply basic language and terminology related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation

Tier 2 – Awareness and Understanding consists of one 1.5 hour presentation. Tier 2 sessions launched in spring 2020.

After participating in Tier 2, session participants will be able to:

  • identify and apply terminology related to sex assigned at birth, gender expression, and gender identity after attending Safe Zone Tier 2 training in order to better serve the LGBTQ+ community.
  • express greater confidence in their knowledge and support of the transgender and nonbinary communities after attending Safe Zone Tier 2 training.

Tier 3 – Skills will consist of two 1 hour interactive workshops, one geared toward faculty/staff and one toward students/student organizations.

We plan to launch it in the 2020-2021 academic year.



Note: The Safe Zone program at UTK is housed underneath the Pride Center, a privately funded department within the Division of Student Life. The Safe Zone Program and the Pride Center are thus fully compliant with Public Chapter No. 1066.