Creating Safe Spaces
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE
Thank you for your interest in displaying OUT Central Oregon’s “YOU ARE WELCOME HERE” sticker. The step you have taken is immensely important. Now more than ever our LGBTQ+ community members need our love and support.
Thank you for showing up for them.
We want to also encourage you to display the below DEI statement on your website. We have heard from our community that this gesture also goes a long way to show solidarity with all who we serve.
In this space we honor the different social values, lived experiences, families and political beliefs of our community. We strive each day to learn and grow as we navigate our world. We commit to partnering with our employees and patrons to expand our space where each individual is viewed as a human being first and foremost.
In this space we believe that our LBGTQ+ BIPOC workers and guests are represented, protected and acknowledged. Anyone who steps through our doors we embrace, their voice matters and their experience matters and they as a person are truly welcomed here.
Further resources to checkout:
Tips for creating a safe space
Creating a safe space in your own space.
When approaching this topic, remember that it’s a marathon not a sprint. By accessing this resource you have already taken the first step, now it’s just a matter of continuing the momentum. Having a safe space in your organization contributes to a positive employee experience and an engaged community where everyone is welcomed.
The following are easy steps you can take to begin implementing in your workplace to create a safe space for your employees, patrons and anyone who comes into contact with your business.
- Set boundaries and ground rules. Decide what is and isn’t allowed and share these guidelines with all members. If behavior falls outside of the rules, take quick action, restore trust and open communication with all involved.
- Decide on confidentiality. Set expectations for how much of what is said in the group stays in the group. Allow for an open line of communication between yourself and your employees.
- Share with caution. Safe spaces can feel like an important haven where you can unearth and share a lot of personal challenges. Remember, however, that electronic communication tools ultimately belong to the employer, and people should consider what they say online.
- Listen. Listening to members of your team, the community and respecting what they say is one of the most important aspects of a safe space. It should be a place where all members feel they have a voice, if they want to share their thoughts.
- Keep it fluid. The group will continue to change and adjust depending on who’s there and what’s happening. People with different viewpoints can still work together to build on progress.
- Fundraise. Support issues or organizations doing work that’s important to LGBTQ+ people. Ask your company members for such an organization. Often word of mouth is how we become aware of events or things in our immediate community.
- Try to be perfect. A safe space cannot be everything to everyone, all the time. Do your best with the information and feedback you have, but know you can’t please all the people as everyone comes from different backgrounds and has different priorities and challenges. Making improvements and tweaks along the way is part of the journey.
- Don’t be exclusionary. While you want to hold space for certain people, say, folks who identify as LGBTQ+, to make the most of the group, consider including allies and others who support LGBTQ+ people.
- Center yourself as an ally. If you are an ally, don’t make the safe space about you and your feelings. Listen, learn, grow, and help.
Everyone has their journey to take and everyone’s voice is equally important, showing respect for each other as human beings first and foremost is imperative. Creating a safe space is all about initial engagement, engage your work space in the talking about what matters to you, engage your peers in conversation and engage your employees in letting them know that above all they are welcomed.