Project Safe Zone Conference
Project Safe Zone is currently a one-day, twelve-hour conference held each spring at Santa Monica High School. The day is designed to provide students the opportunity to explore and discuss issues of sexism, homophobia and gender equity. They do this under the guidance of trained student facilitators along with adult facilitators who are available to assist. The conference is designed around a wide variety of interactive activities intended to encourage participants to explore and analyze their own identities, prejudices and personal experiences with sexism, homophobia and gender equity. The Project “Safe” Zone conference strives to live up to its title by creating a “safe” space in which students feel both respected and supported.The activities are created to allow students to become connected to the information being discussed, in a non-judgmental, protected environment.This atmosphere is essential to creating a successful and meaningful Project Safe Zone conference.
The expected outcomes for conference participants include empowering students to make a positive change in their current and future environments by providing them opportunities to gain knowledge, and to examine critical issues of oppression, bias and inequity. Students participating in Project Safe Zone obtain an introduction to critical issues around homophobia and sexism, as well as societal and personal discrimination and intolerance. They leave with knowledge and information that allows them to make an immediate positive change in their daily behavior, attitudes and perceptions. More importantly, they leave with the ability to infuse change into society as a whole.