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Savvy Ally Workshops are an encouraging and engaging way for people to gain confidence as LGBTQ+ allies and to learn practical skills for creating inclusive spaces. All workshops come with take-away informational handouts to reinforce learning.

Never ever "death by PowerPoint," Savvy Ally Workshops are highly interactive, non-judgmental, and chock-full of useful ally tips, with entertaining pop quizzes along the way. Each workshop is an hour in length. They can be custom designed and combined to create longer programs. Mix and match to suit your needs.



LGBTQ+ Etiquette and Common Bloopers

LGBTQ+ language and culture are constantly changing. It's difficult to keep up. Many people feel intimidated by all the changes and are silenced by the fear that they will accidentally say something that will offend someone. This workshop helps relieve this anxiety by offering easy respectful language tips and suggestions for how to mess up properly. Participants will leave with a list of the most common LGBTQ+ etiquette bloopers, better language suggestions, best-practice communication tips, and an increased confidence in their ability to have respectful interactions with and about LGBTQ+ people. Allies can create safer spaces with their language choices and this workshop shows them how.

Orientations, Identities, Behaviors—Oh My!

Can transgender people also be gay? Why would someone use they as their pronoun? What does pansexual mean? What does any of this have to do with work or school? This workshop answers these questions and many more. Participants will leave this workshop with a strong understanding of the many identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, what being out and authentic in the workplace or at school is all about, and the damaging consequences of confusing orientations (which come to work/school) with sexual behaviors (which stay at home).

Pronouns: How to Share, Gather, Use, and Mess Them Up

What’s the best way to ask people for their pronouns without making it awkward? Should I share my pronouns if they’re obvious? What do I do when I see two pronouns, like she/they? Should I use they  for everyone whose pronouns I don't know? What should I do when I accidentally mess up someone’s pronouns? This workshop answers these questions and much more. Participants will leave this workshop with a strong understanding of why sharing their pronouns is a great ally action, improved odds of correctly addressing people, and more confidence in their ability to respectfully gather pronouns from others.

Coming Out as LGBTQ+: What Allies Need to Know

How does an LGBTQ+ person develop a positive sense of self in a society that views their LGBTQ+ identity as unexpected (at best) and deviant (at worst)? It’s a process. Having a basic understanding of that process is essential for allies who want to support and affirm their LGBTQ+ friends, family members, students, and coworkers. Participants will leave this workshop with knowledge of the coming out process, suggestions for what to say and what not to say when someone comes out to them, and an understanding of why the sheer existence of the coming-out process signals a problem with our society rather than a problem with LGBTQ+ people.

Good Talk: The Art of Having Useful Conversations

Successful diversity and inclusion initiatives involve creating judgment-free spaces where people can share their experiences, listen to each other, forgive mistakes, and encourage everyone to learn and grow. Yet the barriers to establishing these spaces in our increasingly polarized society can seem daunting. Starting with a conversation about how people learn, this workshop offers effective shame-free communication techniques that reduce defensiveness and open people’s ears to new ideas. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their skills as listeners and educators and more effective in their LGBTQ+ inclusion and advocacy efforts.


Allying Responsibly and Sustainably

Being an effective and responsible ally means understanding that allyship involves a lifelong journey of learning, finding ways to incorporate allyship into our lives in sustainable ways, and knowing what bad allyship looks like so you can avoid common pitfalls. Don’t become the Stagnant, Intrusive, or Burned-out Ally! Participants will leave this workshop with more confidence in their ally actions and concrete tips for becoming the most effective and respectful allies they can be.


Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Spaces with Patch-Up Jobs and Big Fixes

In order to create LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces we must make adjustments to our workplaces, organizations, and schools in two different ways. One is with short-term patch-up jobs that immediately help LGBTQ+ individuals who don’t fit into our current systems; the other is with long-term big fixes that completely change the environment. This workshop looks at some common problem areas where adaptations are needed, including non-inclusive forms, outdated policies, and gendered facilities, and offers best-practice recommendations for positive change. Participants will leave with actionable patch-up jobs and big-fix solutions for creating the most LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces in their workplaces, health and mental health facilities, faith community, and schools.

Form Reform: Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Forms

One of the first things people are asked to do upon entering or joining a medical facility, club, agency, or school district is fill out a form. What a wonderful opportunity to show immediately that your space welcomes all! Rather than cause stress and discomfort with forms that don’t acknowledge and recognize everyone, make a great first impression with your LGBTQ+ inclusive forms. In this workshop you’ll learn the most common problem areas on forms and get recommendations for updates. Participants will leave this workshop with detailed information on how to update their forms so that all people see themselves and their families represented. Submit your current forms prior to the workshop, and get suggestions tailored to your own organization!

Five Things Allies Should Know About LGBTQ+ Pride

Celebrate Pride month by learning a little Pride history, some savvy ally tips on how to be respectful at Pride events, and ways to get involved. This workshop will answer these five questions: Why does there need to be an LGBTQ+ Pride? Why is there no straight/cisgender Pride? Are allies welcome at Pride events? Are there LGBTQ+ cultural faux pas that I should avoid? What can I do during Pride month to show my support for the LGBTQ+ communities? Straight/cisgender allies and LGBTQ+ individuals are welcome to join this discussion and share their ideas on how to make Pride great for everyone!​

The Savvy Ally Book Talk 

Book Talks about The Savvy Ally and Q&A sessions with author, Jeannie Gainsburg, are also offered.

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"The information shared was great, and something I can put into action today. GREAT session. Probably the best one I've ever attended!" - Humana Inc., Kentucky

“Fabulous! She is one of, if not the most, effective educators I’ve encountered in a training.” – Lehigh University, Pennsylvania

“Everything was perfect. As a queer, social justice advocate this training affected me on so many levels. It was refreshing and life changing.” - Arkansas State University, Arkansas

“Awesome, humorous when appropriate and serious when appropriate …Not sure there was anything that could have made this better. Very informative and so appreciated.” – New York State Perianesthesia Nurses Association Conference, New York

“It was mind-expanding and inspiring... Not sure how it could be better... You have given me the tools to assist humanity.” – Contra Costa College, California​

"This is one of the best sessions I have attended. I learned so much and learned that I still have so much to learn!" - Lockheed Martin Corporation, Maryland

“I don’t know how the training could improve. I loved it! Your passion was infectious and I think I will be a much stronger ally because of this.” – Monmouth University, New Jersey

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Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois)
Clark Construction Group (Maryland)
Constellation Brands (New York)
CooperVision (New York)
Corning Incorporated (New York)
CSEA Annual Conference (Washington DC)
George Eastman Museum (New York)
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Illinois)
Houston Coalition Against Hate (Texas)
Humana Inc. (Kentucky)
Johnson C. Smith University (North Carolina)
KPMG International (New York)
Kronos Incorporated (Massachusetts)
L3Harris Technologies (Florida)
Lockheed Martin Corporation (Maryland)
Moderna, Inc. (Massachusetts)
New York State United Teachers (New York)
Norfolk State University (Virginia)
Paychex (New York)
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Pennsylvania)
Providence College (Rhode Island)
San Diego City College (California)
Tompkins County Government (New York)
Ventura County Behavioral Health (California)
Yale University (Connecticut)

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