September 17, 2021

Fall Safe Zone programs

The UMW Safe Zone program offers workshops that are designed to educate members of the University community about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) issues to increase the safety and inclusion of all campus citizens. At the end of each workshop, participants have the opportunity to become a Safe Zone ally for our campus. Safe Zone allies are individuals who will:

  1. Be understanding, supportive, and trustworthy if LGBTQ+ individuals need help, advice, or just someone to talk to.
  2. Not tolerate homophobic, transphobic, and heterosexist comments and actions and will address them in an educational and informative manner.
  3. Have received training and can provide information regarding on- or off-campus resources.

We offer several types of Safe Zone programs every semester for faculty and staff. All faculty and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend these workshops, including adjunct faculty and part-time staff.

  • We will be offering a basic training on Tuesday, September 14 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. (in-person on campus). This training focuses on terminology, issues related to privilege, increasing awareness and sensitivity, and how to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus.
  • We will be offering an advanced training on Wednesday, September 22 from 1:00-3:30 p.m. (in-person on campus). The advanced training is for faculty and staff who have already completed the basic training and covers more complex topics, including bystander intervention.
  • We will be holding a two-part book club for Faculty and Staff on Tuesday, September 28 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, October 5 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (in-person on campus). We will be reading Megan Rapinoe’s memoir titled “One Life.” Megan Rapinoe is a star for the United States Women’s National Soccer team and a vocal activist for a range of issues, including LGBTQ+ inclusion, racial justice, and equal pay. We will offer a free book to the first 12 people to sign-up. Participants are expected to attend both book club sessions because this is a two-part discussion.

If you would like to attend one or all of these events, please email Laura Wilson at lwilson5@umw.edu. Registration is required to attend. Please also keep in mind that all participants are expected to wear a mask and to wear that mask correctly throughout the entire Safe Zone program. If you do not comply with this policy, then you will be asked to leave.

Please stop by the Safe Zone table in the lobby of the University Center on Monday, August 30 from 11:00-1:00 or Tuesday, August 31 from 12:30-2:00. We will have helpful resources and awesome swag to give out. If you have questions about the Safe Zone program, please reach out to Dr. Laura Wilson at lwilson5@umw.edu or check out our website bit.ly/UMWsafezone.

If your office, department, or students would like to schedule a training, then please email Laura. If you would like more information about Safe Zone at UMW, to see the list of allies on our campus, or access LGBTQ+ inclusion resources, please visit our website at bit.ly/UMWsafezone. Also, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram @umwsafezone.

Unacknowledged rape: the sexual assault survivors who hide their trauma – even from themselves (US News Hub)

Wilson Comments on Colorado Shooting in The Washington Post

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson was interviewed by The Washington Post on her thoughts about the recent Colorado shooting for an article entitled, “Police officer killed in ‘ambush’ by man who ‘expressed hatred’ of law enforcement, officials say.” The article also ran in The Sentinel Source.

Laura C. Wilson, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, said that years ago she might have thought about each mass shooting or shooting in a public place as having unique characteristics that affect survivors. But she now considers the trauma of multiple events. Read more.

 

A closed door, and a prayer: Woman hid as man fired shots in Colorado (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

Wilson Comments on Boulder Grocery Store Shooting

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson was interviewed on the March 22 grocery store shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in the North Arkansas Democrat Gazette article entitled, “A closed door, and a prayer: Woman hid as man fired shots in Colorado.”

[Wilson] has focused on post-trauma functioning from mass trauma. She says most people’s exposure and understanding of mass shootings consists of the immediate aftermath.

“They see the news coverage of the crime scene and watch the investigators’ news briefing,” Wilson said. “Within a few days the news trucks leave and people’s attention turns to the next major news event. This is when the grief and recovery work starts for the survivors.”

Wilson said every person will process the events differently. Some will have intense, acute reactions that subside in a few days or weeks. Effects could be chronic for others, and some experience delayed reactions.

“Each person is different, and their recovery will look different,” she said. Read more.

‘Still a mess’: Trauma haunts U.S. mass shooting survivors due to gaps in mental healthcare (Reuters; KFGO)

Spring Safe Zone Programs

UMW Safe Zone logoThe UMW Safe Zone program offers workshops that are designed to educate members of the University community about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) issues to increase the safety and inclusion of all campus citizens. We are excited to announce the following Spring programs:

  • We will be offering a basic training on Tuesday, March 2nd from 2:00-4:30pm (via Zoom). This training focuses on terminology, issues related to privilege, increasing awareness and sensitivity, and how to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus.
  • We will be offering an advanced training on Friday, March 5th from 1-3:30pm (via Zoom). The advanced training is for faculty and staff who have already completed the basic training and covers more complex topics, including bystander intervention.
  • We are also in the process of planning a book club. This would be a two-part program offered in the late afternoon on Zoom. We would like to judge interest and availability before picking the dates. We will be reading “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” by Janet Mock. Safe Zone will provide a free copy of the book to the first 14 people who sign up!
  • We are also in the process of planning an offering of our Identity and Intersectionality. The training covers privilege, power, oppression, prejudice, diversity, cultural competency, intersectionality, and allyship. Ideally, participants will have attended at least one Safe Zone workshop prior to attending this training, but this is not mandatory. We would like to judge interest and availability before picking dates and times for this workshop.

Registration is required to attend each event, and space is limited. If you are interested in registering for the Basic and/or Advanced training, or would like to express interest in the Book Club and/or Identity and Intersectionality Workshop, then please provide your information at http://umw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_57QYFoE4BvcEGz4.

Wilson Discusses Trauma, Virginia Beach Shooting Anniversary

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Associate Professor of Psychology Laura Wilson spoke with WHRO Public Media, an NPR affiliate in Norfolk, about the anniversary of the Virginia Beach mass shooting on May 31 and the process of recovery for survivors.

People work through trauma in different ways, said Laura Wilson, a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. Some may have channel their grief into political activism, some people organize events, some retreat into themselves, while others seek solace in people who can relate to their experience.

“Anything a person can do to create meaning around a loss can be vital to getting their life back on track,” she said.

But any of those things is likely more difficult in a pandemic.

“As you start to put additional stressors on people who are already struggling, that’s only going to further impact their mental health issues,” Wilson said. Read more.

Survivors Grapple With Putting Trauma Aside To Vote For Joe Biden (The Huffington Post)

25th Anniversary for Day of Silence, Friday, April 24

The following message is from the Office of Equity and Access.

Friday, April 24th, will mark the 25th Anniversary for Day of Silence*. We are asking the UMW Community to virtually participate in this vital event. We may not be able to create a rainbow of shirts on the grass of Ball Circle, but the UMW community continues to affirm an inclusive and supportive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) citizens and allies. We can demonstrate this by letting our voice be heard via #UMWisHOME and we must #breakthesilence.

Here is a toolkit to help make your voice heard on Friday, April 24th, during the Annual Day of Silence:

  • At 12pm, create a virtual “Moment of Silence” by posting our unified image to your individual or UMW affiliated accounts on social media. Please see attached images for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can add any of the following information from GLSEN to your post:

o   Our silence is LOUD!

o   I’m staying silent on GLSEN’s Day of Silence, a national youth movement highlighting the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school.

o   Nearly 4 in 5 LGBTQ students don’t see positive representation in their curriculum, nearly 9 in 10 experience verbal harassment, and almost a third miss school because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

  • At 4pm, “Break the Silence!”

o   By answering the prompt, I AM BREAKING THE SILENCE BY…?

  • Submit to PRISM for a re-post:
  • DM PRISM (@umwprism) with your story
  • Email PRISM (umwprism@gmail.com) with your story
  • Your name will not be shared through the repost nor will you be tagged. However, pictures and/or videos are not private if we repost them.
  • Post your response to your social media account, if it is a safe space for you to do so.

o   Follow PRISM (@umwprism) on Instagram to view submitted prompt responses.

In keeping with our values outlined in ASPIRE, join us in celebrating the 25th Annual Day of Silence.

People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual and Gender Minorities (PRISM)
Center for Prevention and Education
James Farmer Multicultural Center
Office of Title IX
Safe Zone
Talley Center for Counseling Services
Vice President for Equity and Access & Chief Diversity Officer

Information on resources and support can be found on SAFE ZONE’s webpage.

* Day of Silence was first organized by a student at the University of Virginia in 1996 as part of a class project. The following year almost 100 colleges and universities participated, making it a national event. College and university students have driven and participated in many movements throughout history, and the UMW Community is no exception. This includes Day of Silence powered by PRISM, a student-led organization that promotes the values of diversity and acceptance of students of sexual and gender minorities.

In 2000, Day of Silence became an official initiative with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network).