SAVVY ALLY WORKSHOPS
Savvy Ally Workshops are a fun and encouraging way for participants to gain confidence as LGBTQ+ allies and to learn practical skills for creating inclusive spaces. Whether you are jazzed about being an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities and are already out there doing ally stuff or you are just a little ally-curious, Savvy Ally Workshops are for you!
Savvy Ally Workshops are one hour in length. They can be custom designed, combined to create longer, same-day programs, or offered as a multi-day series. Never ever "death by PowerPoint," Savvy Ally Workshops are highly interactive, judgement-free, and fun, with activities and entertaining pop quizzes along the way. Mix and match to suit your needs.
MAKING A SPLASH
“Honestly the best workshop I have attended since I started at PSU in 2007.” – Pennsylvania State 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
“Fabulous! She is one of, if not the most, effective educators I’ve encountered in a training.” – Lehigh University, Pennsylvania
“Honestly, 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
BECOMING KNOWLEDGEABLE ALLIES
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? “Orientations, Identities, Behaviors! Oh My!” answers these questions and much more. It lays the groundwork for the more action-oriented workshops below. 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 is all about, and the damaging consequences of confusing orientations (which come to work/school) and sexual behaviors (which stay at home).
Coming Out As LGBTQ+
Most LGBTQ+ people do not come out to shock people or because they want to be “in your face” with their sexuality or gender. They come out because we, as a society, have limited and narrow views of who people are and who they should be, and LGBTQ+ people do not fit those expectations. With a common question like, “Do you have a girlfriend?” we force gay men, for example, to either lie or come out. This workshop focuses on the stages of coming out, why coming out is a lifelong process, and how heterosexism and cissexism play out in our society. Participants will leave with an understanding of the coming out process, tips for indicating that they are safe people, and suggestions for what to say when someone comes out to them.
Gaydar and Other Problematic Assumptions
If we listen carefully to people’s concerns about LGBTQ+ individuals and inclusion, we can often find an LGBTQ+ myth or stereotype lurking. This workshop focuses on common myths and stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people and allies and the negative consequences of those myths and stereotypes on our society. Also, because it is a prevalent myth/stereotype that there is only one way to be an LGBTQ+ person (i.e., white, able-bodied, middle-class, hearing, non-religious, and between the ages of about 16 and 40), this workshop includes a discussion of intersectionality and the importance of understanding the overlapping systems of bias and discrimination. Participants will leave with an understanding of the powerful impact that myths and stereotypes have on us all and an increased awareness of possible myths and stereotypes that have held them back as active allies.
BUILDING SKILLS FOR HAVING RESPECTFUL CONVERSATIONS
LGBTQ+ terms and identities are constantly changing. It is 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 offers practical tools for navigating respectful conversations with people, even if we don’t know the correct or the most updated terms. Participants will leave with best practice communication tips and increased confidence in their ability to have respectful interactions.
Good Talk: The Art of Useful Conversations
This workshop focuses on understanding learning as a process. It helps take the pressure off people’s shoulders of coming up with that perfectly clear, informative, succinct, “angels singing in the background” response that will immediately change the mind of the incredibly stubborn person in front of them. Starting with a discussion about how people learn, this workshop will allow participants to discuss what has and hasn’t worked for them when they have been in the hot seat as the learner. Participants will learn effective 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.
“Just tell me what not to say.” This plea is so common among workshop participants that I decided to create a workshop based exclusively on outdated terms and cultural faux pas. Participants will leave with a list of common language bloopers, explanations of why they are offensive to some LGBTQ+ people, and better language choices.
TAKING ACTION TO CREATE MORE LGBTQ+ INCLUSIVE SPACES
Straight Pride Parades and Special Snowflakes: Addressing Common Questions
Because allies are not directly impacted by microaggressions, they are in a prime position to step up and handle the emotional labor of helping people understand the impact of their comments and actions. If done well, with a big heart and a nonjudgmental attitude, allies can offer a wonderful gift to others by meeting people where they are, listening carefully, and allowing them to mess up royally (without feeling like jerks) while they figure it all out. This workshop shares common LGBTQ+-related questions and areas of pushback that participants are likely to hear and provides an opportunity for them to exchange ideas and practice responding. Some examples of common questions are: “Why isn’t there a Straight Pride Parade?” “I just treat everyone the same; what’s wrong with that?” and “Don’t you think we’ve gone too far with all of this PC language?” Participants will leave with informed and effective responses to these common questions and more.
Duct Tape Patch-Up Jobs and Big Fixes: Two Paths to Travel Towards More Inclusive Spaces
In order to create more LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces we must offer two different kinds of interventions. One is the short-term “duct tape patch-up” jobs that immediately help LGBTQ+ individuals who don’t fit into our systems; the other is the long-term big fix that completely changes the environment. This workshop offers some key areas where allies can work to create more safe, welcoming, and inclusive spaces. Participants will leave with both duct tape patch-up job recommendations and big-fix solutions for each area.
This workshop, focusing on backlash against allies and on ally sustainability, will empower participants to be the best allies they can be. We will discuss the three most common reasons why people within marginalized communities are often disenchanted with people who identify as allies. We will also share tips on self-care, discovering our areas of interest, and pacing ourselves. Participants will leave with suggestions for being kind to themselves and figuring out ways to sustain their ally actions so that they become a part of their lives, not a frenzied burst of action followed by exhaustion or disillusionment.
ON THE ROAD
A FEW OF THE MANY PLACES JEANNIE HAS PRESENTED
Alzheimer's Association (New York)
Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois)
CooperVision (New York)
Corning Incorporated (New York)
CSEA Annual Conference (Washington DC)
Enterprise Holdings (New York)
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Illinois)
Johnson C. Smith University (North Carolina)
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (Massachusetts)
New York State United Teachers (New York)
Norfolk State University (Virginia)
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Pennsylvania)
Pierce College (California)
Providence College (Rhode Island)
San Diego City College (California)
Tompkins County Government (New York)
Ventura County Behavioral Health (California)
Yale University (Connecticut)