The Safe Zone Project 2.0 is what Meg & I have been saying to refer to the revamp of the online resource, so that’s what I’ll call it here.

Highlights of Version 2.0:

  • Online courses, with a seamlessly integrated learning management system
  • A clearinghouse of resources for launching your own Safe Zone program (called the Train-the-Trainer Toolkit)
  • Improved accessibility, site structure, usability, and site speed
  • A new record for curriculum downloads in a month: 1,432 (our old record was 690)

Backstory

Meg and I initially created The Safe Zone Project in 2013 to serve as a free online resource for folks doing LGBTQ awareness and ally trainings (AKA “safe zone trainings”). You can read about the Safe Zone Project’s first incarnation here.

When we first launched the project, we had a specific person in mind that we were serving: facilitators who would be leading others in conversations about gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ+ identities (i.e., Safe Zone trainers). That’s who we wrote our curricula & activities for, and who our blog was aimed at.

Over the years, we realized that there were two groups of people coming to our doors, looking for help, that we were largely ignoring:

  1. Those who wanted to learn for themselves; and
  2. Those who wanted to lead the roll out of a program in their communities, but not necessarily do the teaching.

These two groups sit nicely on either side of the people we originally had in mind, but all three show up in different orders of magnitude: for every 100 learners, it seems like there are about 10 teachers and 1 leader.

I spent about a month collecting and analyzing user data: what were people doing on the site, what bottlenecks and roadblocks were they hitting, and what resources were being used and ignored. With that in mind, and a few overarching goals, I spent the next two months redesigning the whole thing, soup to nuts. I rebuilt the codebase, started from scratch on the site hierarchy and organization, and what we launched in 2018 is what came out of the experiment.

The new site overhaul provides paths for all three of the groups above (including, and especially, the 2 we were overlooking before), and indirectly created a to-do list of resources we are going to create in the future.

Here’s the announcement of the new site (and some of the resources we released with it) on the Safe Zone Project blog: https://thesafezoneproject.com/5th-birthday-extravaganza-new-site-curriculum-lgbtq-resources-galore/.

You can follow along with our public roadmap, at https://thesafezoneproject.com/about/roadmap.

Some of My Fav Stats

Calculated using a mix of methods (and generally underrepresented due to limitations), here's what The Safe Zone Project 2.0 looks like by the numbers:

Statistic Last Count
Educators Using Curriculum 33,321+
Resource Downloads 76,410+
Countries Reached 102+
Annual Audience 308,616+
Online Course Students 779