We are all diminished when any one of us is demeaned, (Safe Zone Ally Training Materials, Office for LGBT Services).
The Department of Teaching and Learning held its annual spring semester faculty retreat in January and part of the focus was diversity training. Brian Buford, inaugural director for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Services and the University’s Bias Incident Response Team, led the Safe Zone Ally Training session. The session addressed LGBT issues that face faculty, staff, and students each semester at UofL.
“The training invites us to learn about LGBT issues from many different perspectives, especially when completing the self-assessment work and hearing LGBT students’ biographical stories. These stories were very powerful and provided insight into the role faculty and staff can play in supporting LGBT students,” stated Monica Delano, Chair of the CEHD’s Diversity Committee.
The training session helped participants realize that although we have done much to create an inclusive environment at the College, there is always room to improve. Brian commended the College for the work of the Diversity Committee and expressed appreciation for the College’s focus on diversity in program curricula; field, clinical and practicum experiences for students; and community outreach endeavors.
Brian Buford previously worked in the human resources department as director of organizational development, where he coached supervisors and taught best practices to University professionals. Most University employees know him as the focus of a Get Healthy Now initiative where University teams followed his progress hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2007. This year, Leadership Louisville named him one of Louisville’s ‘connectors’–community leaders who are successful in getting things done because of their distinctive style of trusted leadership.