Want to get more expanded, print-friendly versions of these course descriptions? Just click on the name of each course to download the session overview PDF. Let us know if you'd like to host one of these learning sessions at your company, organization, or agency or if you are interested in online program options.
NEW: 2023 Straight for Equality in the Workplace Learning Sessions Catalog
This brochure highlights the diverse learning session opportunities available through Straight for Equality (a program of PFLAG National). From basic learning sessions that make the case for diversity and inclusion to issue specific learning sessions that promote awareness about bullying in schools we definitely have what's right for you! (Contact us if you'd like a copy mailed to you.)
Corporations are leading the way in creating policies and programs that ensure equality for LGBTQ+ people. But research shows that roughly half of LGBTQ+ adults still remain closeted at work. The problem is often in workplace culture, and the solution lies in supportive allies becoming more visible and engaged. In this session, participants (whether LGBTQ+ or not) will find out why this issue is relevant at work. They’ll learn the ways to reframe who allies are and the power they have to create change. We’ll also provide space to honestly discuss the barriers that allies face in expressing support in the workplace. Finally, participants will get new strategies and tools needed to help allies break through the barriers and be part of creating real inclusion. Contact us to learn more!
As allies want to become more engaged, they need support in their efforts to learn and do more, whether at work or at home. Self-identified allies often find themselves faced with common challenges to expressing support for their LGBTQ+ family, friends, and colleagues that may leave them less likely to speak up. In this session, participants will learn about the progress allies are creating and identify the barriers to more advanced support. They’ll find out how to transform the reason they’re an ally (or need one) into their case for inclusion using their personal story, get effective strategies to take on the more advanced issues, understand how to transform conflict into opportunity, and put their skills to work. Contact us to learn more!
So you’re an ally. You’re out there. People know what your values are. You’re starting conversations and educating people. And yet, navigating different kinds of conflict in interactions remains a challenge. This session for advanced, self-identified allies, takes that issue on and leads participants in a skill-building experience to fine-tune their ally engagement skills and develop the resources needed to take on the tough and tricky world of difficult situations. Participants will compare and contrast the initial ally journey with the advanced ally journey, explore the key habits and behaviors of advanced allies, and learn skills to turn conflict into paths for communication and understanding. This customized, scenario-based session features opportunities for participants to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations and share their unique strategies for transforming allyship from good to great. Contact us to learn more!
While the acronym “LGBTQ+” is frequently used to reflect a diverse community, the issues faced by each group in the acronym are very different. People who are transgender and nonbinary report higher rates of discrimination at work than gay and lesbian individuals, and the level of understanding of transgender issues is often low. This learning session applies the unique Straight for Equality approach to focus on the important educational building blocks necessary to create allies to the trans and nonbinary community. Participants start by understanding and contextualizing key terminology. They’ll learn more about the role that gender stereotypes play in bias against people who are trans and nonbinary, and find out about research that demonstrates the widespread harms of this bias. We’ll also discuss pronouns, how to use them, and what to do when people resist. Most importantly, participants will learn how to be better allies through basic transgender and nonbinary etiquette and practices. Contact us to learn more!
Much-needed visibility for transgender and nonbinary people in the US has changed discourse about gender identity and expression, but the lack of understanding and increase in anti-trans headlines, legislation, and violence continues to create challenges for companies who strive to create welcoming and inclusive workplace culture. That’s why education around what it means to be transgender and nonbinary, how to support employees, and how to demonstrate allyship, and what to do in challenging situations is a necessary part of diversity and inclusion efforts for corporations. This learning session will help individuals and network groups learn simple, straightforward actions they can take to demonstrate allyship and how to handle it when conflict arises. Contact us to learn more!
Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Queer. Simple, right? Not for everyone. As allies become more engaged in LGBTQ+ spaces and advocacy, they often have questions when conversations focus on “the plus”— in other words, individuals and communities with identities that go beyond the LGBTQ basics. What words should allies know—and how and when should they be used? What does it mean to provide support to people with less visible and more marginalized identities in the LGBTQ+ space? And how should allies remain on a learning journey while also not requiring those they support to provide all of their education? In this session, we’ll spend time discussing what the + after LGBTQ+ encompasses, how to understand the basics of more expansive identities, where to learn more about these communities to better conceptualize support, and how to navigate the path to remaining an effective ally in an evolving community. Whether you’re not a member of the LGBTQ+ community or a person who is LGBTQ+ looking to understand an serve as an ally to others in this space, this session will get you started and ready for conversations. Contact us to learn more!
As allies become increasing educated about the LGBTQ+ community and feel more comfortable taking on advocacy roles in the workplace, there is still an unfortunate lack of representation and understanding of the bisexual+ community. Statistics show that over 50% of the LGBTQ+ community identifies as bisexual+, including identities such as pansexual, fluid, omnisexual, queer, and more, and younger people are more likely to identify in this community. Learn more about the bisexual+ community, why it’s so important to understand and respect bi+ people, and some tools to be a great bi+ ally and ensure your workplace is as inclusive as possible. Contact us to learn more!
In the 15 years since the launch of PFLAG’s Straight for Equality program, the concept of ally engagement in the workplace has become a core tenet of inclusion programs. Still, “engaging allies” is easier said than effectively done. In this session—designed for network group leaders and advocates—we’ll discuss the path that led PFLAG National to develop its ally engagement strategy, share key lessons about real inclusion and engagement learned along the way, and focus on turning a theory of change into an effective program. Then participants will be led through activities to develop (and fine tune) their ally engagement strategies to ensure that the work is intentional, focused, intersectional, and effective. People will leave with a blueprint for changing hearts and minds at work. Contact us to learn more!
Change in times of social and political turmoil can be difficult, even for the most seasoned ally. What is the role of an ally in challenging times? What does “getting it right” actually look like? How do we express allyship when we are discouraged? Most importantly, how can advocates keep their focus and commitment to inclusion when faced with what often feels like constant attacks? In this session, we’ll look at the challenges of allyship in tumultuous times by examining some of the changes that have set the work of advocates back. We’ll also contextualize what this means for LGBTQ+ network group efforts today. Finally, we’ll discuss the signals of hope and progress that can help refocus efforts while looking at behavioral shifts that help people weather hard times, push through barriers to inclusion, and thrive as perfectly imperfect allies. Contact us to learn more!
One of PFLAG’s deepest beliefs is that when we share our personal stories, we transform the conversation about LGBTQ+ equality from being about abstract rights, laws, and policies to being about real people. And while everyone has a story to tell, the question of how to share this story effectively—especially in the workplace—often goes unanswered. This learning session will help participants identify their workplace stories about LGBTQ+ inclusion, use the building blocks of great stories to develop their narratives, get powerful story-sharing and communication skills, and have an opportunity to share their stories and receive peer feedback in a supportive environment. Session materials include a customized storytelling workbook. Contact us to learn more!
Nonstop social media. Working from home. Political unrest. Baggage. And so many deadlines. Nearly everyone strives to be a more inclusive, kind team member, but getting it right is rarely easy. We are all products of our upbringing, environments, biases (known and unknown), and daily stressors. And while we may intend on being welcoming, the impact of our actions often is not. In this session, we’ll talk about how to build awareness for your behavior and the effect it may have on others and identify common places where biases and assumptions can lead to broken relationships. Then we’ll talk through strategies for doing better as we move forward. Finally, we’ll share resources so you, your employee resource group, and company can continue working towards building welcoming, inclusive, and kind environments for all employees and stakeholders. Contact us to learn more!
The term “coming out” has become so mainstream that many people assume that the phrase—and the actions it entails—is simple. However, in spite of the progress made in acceptance for people who are LGBTQ+ identified, the process can still be harrowing, especially at work. In this session, participants will learn about what it means to come out, invite others in, and to disclose one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity today. They will also find out about some of the ways that living authentically positively impacts various aspects of the lives of people who are LGBTQ+. We’ll also review research demonstrating the power of supportive families, schools, workplaces, and communities, and learn what allies can do to celebrate and support family, friends, and/or coworkers that have come out as LGBTQ+. Contact us to learn more!
Stonewall. Rainbow flags. Pink triangles. Lavender lambdas. Pink, blue, and white banners. Pride parades. Disco. Fire Island, WeHo, and Boy’s Town. Harvey, Audre, Marsha, Sylvester, and even Gaga. What does it all mean? LGBTQ+ history and culture tell the story of a vibrant, diverse, and determined community that has overcome massive barriers and deeply influenced mainstream culture. In this session, participants will learn about what many of the symbols, events, and references mean. We’ll also offer some great insight into the larger story as well as how it all impacts the work we continue to do—as members of the LGBTQ+ community and as allies—today. Contact us to learn more!
As the old saying goes, those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. Looking at where the LGBTQ+ community and its allies are today sometimes feels like we’re navigating completely new ground. But is that really the case? In this session, participants will engage in a fast-paced learning experience that examines key facts about LGBTQ+ history and how it shapes the world we’re in today. Then we’ll closely examine key advocacy issues to understand these issues in greater depth. What can history tell us about the challenges and opportunities we face? How can it inform the ways in which we take action? And how can we emulate the change strategies of key LGBTQ+ leaders to elevate our voices and create change today? Contact us to learn more!
For many years, news reports have been filled with the tragic stories of young people being bullied and harassed in schools, and the terrible consequences many of them face when no one is willing to speak up. This has put a topic that was often seen as “an LGBTQ+ issue” on the radar of parents everywhere. In this learning session, participants will learn about key research on bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment, understand how much of it connects to anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes and behaviors, and learn how these incidents jeopardize all students. This workplace-friendly session, which provides a great opportunity to collaborate with other ERGs, leaves participants with accessible ways to be a part of standing up to bullying and cyberbullying on a personal, family, and institutional level. Contact us to learn more!
The issue of bullying in schools has led to widespread responses, legislation, and preventative programs. But an important question still needs to be addressed: What happens to people who exhibit bullying behavior as a youth when they grow up? Research suggests that schoolyard bullies often continue their intimidating and exclusionary behavior in the workplace. But because of the complexities of bullying, effective responses are often difficult to develop. In this session, participants will discuss the similarities—and differences—between school bullying and workplace intimidation. We’ll also discover what strategies are being used to solve the issue in schools and how they can be adapted in the workplace. Finally, we’ll identify ways to mentor victims (and prevent more from developing) and learn how to model inclusive leadership at the personal and organizational levels. Contact us to learn more!
Local, state, and federal legislative efforts that impact the LGBTQ+ community continue to make headlines. Consequently, many organizations are looking for ways to educate leadership and employees about what these laws mean for business and inclusion. Whether it’s employment nondiscrimination legislation like the Equality Act, laws related to bullying and protecting youth, or questions being considered by the Supreme Court, understanding the facts and the context is a critical element of solid corporate citizenship. PFLAG National—a nonpartisan organization—now offers one-hour, workplace-appropriate issue overview briefings. Learn about what key issues are, where they currently stand in the legislative process, and how people can become further engaged. Using PFLAG’s inclusive, diverse, and education-focused approach, this session provides unique and timely learning opportunities for participants. Contact us to learn more!
Have a specific topic you’d like to discuss for an event? Looking for a speaker to kick things off ? PFLAG National now offers keynote speakers on a wide variety of LGBTQ+ topics, from coming out to allyship, legislative agendas to LGBTQ+ culture. For more information, please contact Mackenzie Harte (they/them) at [email protected].
If you know which program you are interested in, or need more information about what would work best for your community we’re here to help.