Providing highly quality, accessible professional development for school personnel, social service providers and government officials, the Alliance’s public education programs focus on sexual orientation and gender identity within a social justice, anti-oppression framework. Alliance staff and volunteers work closely with participants to create specially tailored sessions for each context that are both engaging and educational.
- » Professional Development Opportunities
- » Professional Development Topics
- » Summer Institute
- » Can LGBTQ + School = Safe?
- » Safe Space Project
- » Pre-Professional Preparation Project (The P Project)
- » Let’s Get Real
- » Training of Trainers (TOT)
Professional Development Opportunities
Providing professional development programs on sexual orientation and gender identity topics across the state of Illinois, the Alliance’s “Safety for Allâ€¿ framework addresses sexual orientation and gender identity through a lens of safety and respect. Whether working with school personnel, social service providers, government officials, health workers, educators, youth workers, mental health personnel or community members, the Alliance is committed to providing unique professional development appropriate to the context in which we are invited to train. Creating a professional development opportunity with the Alliance includes:
- A team of committed, professional and experienced training facilitators who encourage participation and interactivity.
- A tailored agenda, activities, and curriculum designed to meet your specific needs
- A packet of resources and materials for each participant
- On-going technical assistance from the Alliance staff
- A summary of participant evaluations with recommendations for next steps
Working with the Alliance to create a professional development opportunity may also include:
- A baseline assessment to determine the current climate regarding sexual orientation and gender identity
- A post-assessment to determine any attitudinal change towards sexual orientation and gender identity
- A facilitated brainstorm session in order to develop an action plan for addressing sexual orientation and gender identity in the future
- On-going training during action plan execution
Other support services available upon request.
Professional Development Topics
The Alliance has developed a core set of training topics and continues to modify, adapt and add to our training repertoire. Topics include but are exclusive to:
- Safety for All: Addressing Anti-LGBTQ Violence in Schools
- Trans 101: Understanding Gender Identity
- Creating Safe Spaces: Youth Development Organizations and LGBTQ Youth
- Bullying Intervention and Prevention: General Information and Sexual Orientation as a Case Study
- Toward a Common Language: Terminology as it Relates to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
These training topics can be adapted in a multitude of ways:
- Training time: 2-6 hours (the Alliance can also provide 1- and 2-day trainings upon request)
- Number of participants: 10-400
- Level of participant knowledge: beginner to advanced
- Cultural context
- Others as requested and available
The Alliance has trained over 11,600 school personnel, social service providers, youth and government employees throughout Illinois.
For more information or to schedule a professional development session, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
The Alliance hosts the annual 3-day Summer Institute for Educators each June in Chicago to develop participants’ knowledge and skills so they can become agents of change on sexual orientation and gender identity issues within their own school communities.
For more information on Creating Safe Schools for All: A Training Course on Preventing Anti-Gay Harassment in Schools, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
Can LGBTQ + School = Safe?
Partnering with Beyondmedia Education the Alliance is currently developing a web resource and curriculum guide for their documentary Can LGBTQ + School = Safe? Exploring the problems experienced by queer youth in school settings, this documentary offers proven solutions; including how to start a Gay-Straight Alliance. Can LGBTQ + School = Safe? offers voices and faces of today’s youth—queer and straight—expressing themselves and sharing their own stories about this multi-dimensional issue. For more information on the film or to purchase the DVD or VHS, please contact Beyondmedia Education. For more information on the curriculum guide, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
Safe Space Project
Thanks to generous support from the Girl’s Best Friend (GBF) Foundation, the Alliance developed a model for working with local youth-development organizations in order to provide consultation and technical assistance on organizational change and create safe spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The project outcomes include:
- Offering training and technical assistance to youth-development organizations in the state of Illinois
- Development of a unique training curriculum designed for youth-development organizations
- A guide with suggestions for working with community-based organizations with youth development programs on organizational change to create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth
If you are a youth-development organization interested in receiving training and/or technical assistance on Safe Space for LGBTQ Youth, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
Pre-Professional Preparation Project (The P Project)
The P Project is a partnership between the Alliance and an advisory board of representatives from Illinois colleges and universities involved in pre-professional preparation of teachers, counselors and social workers. Gathering data on the status of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) issues in pre-professional education, The P Project aims to support Illinois colleges and universities in further inclusion of diversity issues into their curricula in more meaningful ways. The P Project also produces the Visibility Matters report that evaluates professional preparation programs in Illinois for teachers and social workers on their inclusion of GLBTQ topics. For the 2009 Visibility Matters report, please click here. For the most recent Visibility Matters report, please click here. For more information, or to join The P Project, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
Let’s Get Real
In partnership with Groundspark (formerly Women’s Educational Media) and their Respect For All Project (RFAP), the Alliance provides training to Illinois schools on the anti-bullying film and curriculum guide Let’s Get Real. The film and curriculum guide are powerful tools to use with students when addressing bullying behavior in schools. For more information or to schedule a professional development session at your school, please contact Shannon Sullivan.
Training of Trainers (TOT)
Known and respected throughout the state for their expertise and content, Alliance trainers provide high-quality professional development opportunities to Illinois schools. Committed to expanding our core of qualified trainers, Training of Trainers (TOT) sessions are scheduled annually. Although participation is typically by invitation only, some applicants are considered based on their professional experience. If you are interested in becoming a certified Alliance trainer, please contact Shannon Sullivan with your resume and an explanation of why you are interested.