Through workshops and online training, the Tulane Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity (OGSD) and The Well for Health Promotion (theWELL) are teaching the Tulane community how to help in the fight against discrimination toward members of the LGBTIQA community.
The LGBTQ Kognito initiative was headed jointly by Lindsey Greeson, director of theWELL and Red Tremmel, director of OGSD.
“These workshops paired with the online module answer the basic questions faculty, staff and students may have about being good allies,” said Tremmel.
“What we really liked about Kognito is that sometimes people are afraid to ask questions in front of other people, and here it’s on your own time and by yourself.”
The online module is through Kognito, a digital program that teaches through simulated conversations and self-assessments. Instructions to access the training are available here.
Participants experience three simulations. The first covers how to address discriminatory language, followed by how to respond supportively when a peer comes out as LGBTIQA. The final simulation offers encouraging ways to refer someone who may need additional support to campus resources like CAPS and the Office of Student Resources and Support Services.
“What we really liked about Kognito is that sometimes people are afraid to ask questions in front of other people, and here it’s on your own time and by yourself,” said Tremmel, who adds that the online program serves as a supplement to the in-person workshops.
These free two-hour ally workshops are offered four times during each semester with two sessions available: Transgender 101 and LGBTIQA Ally.
The online program was made available before the new semester so that incoming students can arrive on campus with the skills necessary to be respectful and successful allies. While the module is targeted toward students, faculty and staff are also encouraged to take the training.
“If a student, faculty or staff member is ever concerned about the well-being of a fellow member of the Tulane community, we want to make known that Tulane accepts anonymous “concern reports” that can be filled out online,” said Greeson. “It is crucial that we stay connected with students so that they’re aware of the support network available to them.”
Claire Davenport is a junior at Tulane University, majoring in English and political science.