About the Safe Space Initiative and Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Safe Space Initiative?
- What does the safe space sticker mean?
- How do I get a sticker?
- How do I get involved?
- What support is available to LGBTQ individuals and allies on and off campus?
- What does the ELCA say about LGBTQ individuals?
- Who are identified allies on campus?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessors have a history of calling Lutheran congregations to be "safe places for those who are persecuted or harassed in our society" and "to extend a caring welcome for gay and lesbian persons and their families." (ELCA pastoral letter, 1996) With this message in mind, a number of faculty and staff members at Concordia joined together in 2003 to organize a Safe Space program in support of LGBTQ members of the campus community. This program was renewed in 2008 with support of the college. It continues to provide a network of supportive allies for LGBTQ members of our community and to facilitate training, conversations, and other events to educate and engage the campus community.
The sticker and its meaning are displayed in the right-hand column of this page.
If you would like a sticker, attend a Safe Space training session. After you sign the Safe Space contract, you will be given a sticker. If you lose your sticker or if your sticker is defaced and you would like a replacement, simply contact a member of the Safe Space Committee.
If you want to be a formal member of the program, sign up for the Safe Space training. Of course, you don't need a sticker to make a commitment to be an ally. Have a look at the Safe Space Manual and see what strikes you, and act accordingly. Additionally, come to a Safe Space event and participate as you are able.
Numerous departments on campus and organizations in the Fargo-Moorhead are sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ individuals. Pertinent links can be found on our resources page. More information, a bibliography, and resource list are included in the Safe Space Manual.
In 2009, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a social statement entitled Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust. It expresses that "the ELCA is opposed to all forms of violence or discrimination against homosexuals and is committed to welcoming all people, regardless of sexual orientation, and their families into our congregations." Additionally, in 2009, the ELCA passed resolutions "to allow congregations that choose to do so to find ways to recognize and support lifelong, monogamous, same gender relationships and hold them publicly accountable and to find a way for people in such relationships to serve as rostered leaders in the ELCA". This continues to be a challenging and divisive issue, but all are called "to bear one another’s burdens and respect bound consciences in these matters [of sexuality]." (Source: ELCA's FAQ on Human Sexuality)
Some of the allies who have signed the Safe Space contract and display the Safe Space sticker are listed on our members page. The list is certainly not exhaustive, however; there are certainly other individuals on campus who would be considered allies who have either not completed the training or who have asked that their names not be published on the web. The Safe Space Committee maintains a complete list of all who have attended training and who have signed the contract.