What is UM Allies?
In response to the distinct needs of the LGBTQ community, UM Allies provides visible and easily identifiable spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and non-binary students, faculty and staff where support and understanding are fundamental and bigotry and discrimination are not tolerated.
UM Allies is an opportunity for UM staff and faculty, regardless of sexual orientation, to take a prominent and active role in fostering and upholding a culture of safety and inclusion at UM.
The goal of The University of Montana Allies Program (UM Allies) is to promote a campus environment that is inclusive and supportive of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Goals of UM Allies
- Identify and nurture safer people and spaces.
- Reach "invisible" and vulnerable community members.
- Provide allies and potential allies with the language and skills to better support the LGBTQ community.
- Develop opportunities for heterosexual and gender-conforming allies to amplify the voices of and issues facing the LGBTQ community.
- Promote awareness of diversity issues, broadly understood, on campus.
What is a UM Ally?
An ally has been trained and is willing to be visible to and available for members of the LGBTQ community on the UM Campus. Being an ally is more than standing up for a community even when they're not around.
Why is this program necessary?
LGBTQ students often find campus environments to be unwelcoming and even hostile. Students whose emotional and physical safety is at risk can experience fear and anxiety, isolation and invisibility, fear of disclosure and high levels of stress. This can lead to attrition and turnover among promising LGBTQ students and staff. Erasure and heterosexism can lead to feelings of invisibility and effect how people interact on campus. As allies, we reemphasize that "we are a stronger and richer campus when all individuals can feel safe to celebrate their true selves."
How do I become an Ally?
Attend a training! These 2 hour training sessions will include a panel discussion, small group discussions and activities, information about privilege, oppression, and the LGBTQ community, and tips for how to be an effective ally. Everyone who participates in the training will also receive a training manual that includes definitions, resource materials, and referral information for programs and services in the community. Attendees can decide, at the end of the training, whether they feel ready to be an UM Ally!