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The Safer Space project is focused on raising awareness and creating change through a series of educational workshops on the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQ+  peoples.

 

The project aims to reduce harassment, hostility and discrimination towards 2SLGBTQ+ people in Brantford/Brant County.

The Safer Space Project offers agencies and workplaces an opportunity to become knowledgeable, accepting and supportive of 2SLGBTQ+ people and the issues they face.

Project Objectives:

-Raise visibility and support of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals within Brantford and Brant County.

-Decrease homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and hetero and cis-sexism in the workplace.

-Become more aware of the various forms of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexism that often exist in organizations and communities.

-Increase the number of service agencies that provide 2SLGBTQ+ culturally competent care.

-Offer resources to organizations in order for them to create and encourage a supportive, welcoming and inclusive environment for 2SLGBTQ+ employees and/or clients.

-Increase the visibility of 2SLGBTQ+ safer spaces by displaying rainbow and trans stickers or flags, and increase awareness of employees that are supportive and knowledgeable about 2SLGBTQ+ issues and can provide information and referrals.

Testimonials
 

After receiving the Safer Spaces training, the Ganohkwasra Mental health Youth Facility felt more

aware and prepared on ideas for ensuring our facility is a safe space for all LGBTG2S+ community

members. What the team as a whole also learned was the importance of being mindful when conversing with others that may be a part of the LGBTG2S+ community. This includes the definitions we learned as well as the overall history and stigma that members carry on a daily basis. I highly encourage this training for all people in general, including the youth as well. Thank you kindly for providing us with this

education!

 

Anita Horvat

Youth Lodge Supervisor

Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services

The Safer Spaces Training by the Bridge Brant both informed and transformed the way our agency understands the experiences and needs of the 2SLGBTQ+ community here in Brantford. The Bridge not only highlighted the things we can do to provide a safe space for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, but they also created a safe space for us to learn, grow, and challenge our biases together.

Challenging our biases and changing our practices is never easy work. However, the Bridge Brant reminded us how important our commitment to inclusivity and diversity is here at Willowbridge Community Services, and allowed us to explore our role in creating a Safer Space without judgement or shame. 

 

Leslie Josling, MSc, G.Dipl., RSW

Executive Director, Willowbridge Community Services

The Bridge Brantford has consistently provided informed, thoughtful and relevant education as well as consultation to the Grand Erie District School Board staff with respect to supporting our LGBTQ2S+ youth and their families. Over the last school year, 125 school Board staff participated in virtual training with The Bridge facilitators and there have been requests to host further “Safer Spaces” training sessions.

The Bridge facilitators are considerate of the audience that they seek to educate, using an approach that “calls in” vs. “calls out” professional learners. The facilitators are careful to create and ensure a safe teaching and learning space that allows participants to fully explore their own understanding and meet individual and group goals. As part of increasing capacity and awareness, The Bridge offers a Level One and Level Two training, which provides participants with a continuum of learning and a specific focus on youth. The resources that are provided are Canadian, up to date and relevant to the groups that are participating in the training. 

Grand Erie District School Board is pleased to have an ongoing and positive working partnership with The Bridge Brantford and would recommend their Safer Spaces training to other community agencies and school Boards who are seeking to increase their understanding and responsiveness to LGBTQ2S+ individuals and their families in our community. Additionally, The Bridge has provided invaluable feedback to the school Board regarding policies, procedures and programs that can better support our students and their families.

 

Christine Bibby, MSW, RSW 

Safe and Inclusive Schools Lead, Grand Erie District School Board

Trainings:

If you are interested in booking a Safer Space presentation for your organization or want more information on the program, please contact Christine at thebridgebrant@gmail.com.

A Few of our Training Options:

3 Hour Introduction to 2SLGBTQ+:

-Brief 2SLGBTQ+ history

-Introduction to terminology and definitions related to gender and sexuality

-Gender, pronouns and washrooms

-Phobias, "isms" and privilege

-Local 2SLGBTQ+ statistics

-Introduction to allyship

-Creating safer spaces

-Why it matters and practical steps to increase inclusivity

One Day in Your Workplace:

-All of the above in greater detail

-Tailored to fit your organization

-More interactive and conversational

-Helpful films/video clips

-A guest speaker

Two-Day Intensive:

-All of the above, explored in greater depth

-Small training group sizes

-Many more interactive components including independent and group exercises

-Opportunity to create and present your own mini training

-Breakfast and lunch included

Long term care specific training:

-History and challenges in Canada: what 2SLGBTQ+ seniors have lived through

-The importance of language and terminology

-Common myths and assumptions

-Phobias, 'isms' and Privilege

-What makes a space safer?

Newly available are zoom webinars. Please click here for more details on workshop content.

A 2SLGBTQ+ committee serving Brantford and Brant County.

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