(Re)Considering LGBTQ+ social justice educational interventions
You are invited to join a livestream interview with Dr. Chase Catalano, Center for Humanities Research Associate for the 2022-2023 academic year, which will be live on the Center for Humanities YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/@virginiatechcenterforhuman8813/streams)
Safe zone or safe space workshops, described as LGBTQ+ social justice educational interventions (SJEIs), are endeavors to create more inclusive campus environments in higher education (and beyond). LGBTQ+ SJEIs became popular in higher education in the 1990s, yet 30 years later we have little empirical research about them ((Draughn et al., 2002; Poynter & Tubbs, 2007; Woodford et al., 2014). To impact this paucity of data, I conducted interviews with 87 LGBTQ+ SJEI facilitators from across North America who voluntarily facilitate once to a few times an academic year (n=40) to those for whom facilitation and design is a part of their professional position (n=47). I asked them about the institutional history and context of the SJEI, the curricula, their skills and approach to facilitation, and how facilitating an LGBTQ+ SJEI influenced their perceptions of self and campus. Findings provide insights into how higher education professionals describe facilitation skills, curricular realities and tensions of LGBTQ+ SJEIs, institutional enactment of benign neglect towards LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts, and a paradox of opportunity and challenge.