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NU Employee Ally Training

Since June 2017, Multicultural Student Affairs, the Office of Equity, and the Office of Human Resources have partnered to offer LGBTQ Ally Training workshops for Northwestern staff and faculty. Offered quarterly, these workshops educate and train staff and faculty to support people of all gender identities and sexualities at Northwestern. Ally training is beneficial for aspiring allies as well as people in LGBQ and trans communities, as we all strive to create a culture in which any person can study, work, and compete in an environment free of discrimination and harassment and rich with support.

Several variations of LGBTQ Ally Training have existed previously at Northwestern, including “Safe Harbor” and “Safe Zone” trainings. The current iteration of the training was designed by Multicultural Student Affairs and is managed and facilitated by the LGBTQ Ally Training Committee, a volunteer team of Northwestern staff and faculty from across the campus community.

At the completion of the training, participants receive an ally decal to display in their office or workspace. The decal signifies successful completion of the training and also serves to identify individuals on campus who are open and understanding to LGBTQ people and can provide support about issues, questions, and concerns.


If you have questions not addressed here or need more information, please reach out to Daviree Velazquez Phillip at or Kate Harrington-Rosen at

LGBTQ Ally Training aims to accomplish several objectives, including:
  • Equip participants to support LGBTQ students, co-workers, colleagues, and clients
  • Help participants become more confident with LGBTQ terminology
  • Inform participants about the barriers that LGBTQ students, co-workers, and colleagues face
  • Identify concrete action stops participants can take to make their departments or offices more inclusive
  • Help participants engage in meaningful self-reflection and conversations about their own identities, power, and privilege

The LGBTQ Ally Training Committee takes a multidimensional approach to delivering this workshop. First, the workshop is designed with social justice education in mind, moving beyond a diversity education approach to address power, privilege, and inequity.

This workshop also recognizes complex and intersectional identities. LGBQ and trans people are more than their sexualities and gender identities, and this training aims to acknowledge and illuminate the ways in which different backgrounds, identities, and experiences impact the lives of LGBTQ people at Northwestern.

Finally, this workshop aims to facilitate conversations, learning, and self-reflection rather than simply imparting information. By actively engaging in discussion and self-exploration, participants are able to learn about themselves as they take their next steps toward allyship.

LGBTQ Ally Training is offered quarterly and trainings rotate between the Evanston and Chicago campuses. Staff and faculty may attend a training on either campus regardless of the campus on which they are based. Registration for LGBTQ Ally Training is managed through the “Learning and Performance” section of the Northwestern myHR system.

Beginning in Fall 2019, departments and units will be able to request abbreviated LGBTQ Ally Trainings and consultations for their teams. For more information about trainings offered and to make a request, please contact us using the request form here: Request an LGBTQ Ally Training.

  • Fall: Thursday, November 21, 2019, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm (Evanston)
  • Winter: Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (Evanston)
  • Spring: Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (Evanston)
  • Summer: Thursday, August 13, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (Chicago)