Updated: Apr 7, 2022
For October 2021, we are featuring 2SLGBTQIA+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, queer, intersex, asexual/agender, +) inclusion and effective allyship Educational Trainer & Consultant Jeannie Gainsburg’s ‘The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate.’ Gainsburg’s book is divided into 4 parts: Becoming Knowledgeable Allies, Building Skills for Having Respectful Conversations, Taking Action to Create More Inclusive Spaces, and Allying Responsibility. This is a practical guide for being an 2SLGBTQIA+ advocate that is easy to understand. It encompasses tools for becoming a skilled 2SLGBTQIA+ ally. This book provides a guide that will benefit the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, as well as allies alike through knowledge, education, and introspection.
Author Bio: Jeannie Gainsburg
Jeannie Gainsburg (Pronouns: she/her/hers) is an Author, Educational Trainer, and Consultant. She worked at the LGBTQ+ center in Rochester, NY, the Out Alliance (formerly the Gay Alliance), as the Education and Outreach Coordinator and later as the Education Director. As the Education Director her responsibilities included crafting the agency’s workshops, training the agency’s presenters, and writing the agency’s educational curriculum, professional manuals, and handouts. Jeannie has personally facilitated and co-facilitated more than 500 trainings and workshops. In 2018, Jeannie founded Savvy Ally Action, a small business that offers fun, accessible, and encouraging workshops, videos, and handouts on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities. In 2020 her book, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate, was published by Rowman & Littlefield.
To access amazing workshops, videos, podcasts, and handouts created by Jeannie, visit her website:
Our Interview with Jeannie Gainsburg, November 8, 2021
Getting Active: The Savvy Ally Learning Circle
Are you committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)? Are you motivated to educate yourself further in a collaborative environment to discover how to become actively involved in creating safe spaces for everyone? If you answered yes to these two questions, 'The Savvy Ally Learning Circle' might be a perfect fit for you!
Chapters4Change offered its very first 'The Savvy Ally Learning Circle' during the months of October-November, 2021 in partnership with Georgian College. Due to its success, Chapters4Change is currently collaborating with other schools to get more people involved in active learning and change! If you are dedicated to EDI, you could lead your own 'The Savvy Ally Learning Circle'!
All you need for this learning circle is a copy of the book, the attached educational resources, a willingness to Read to Learn & Learn to Change (and Act), and an open mind. As Jeannie states, referencing The Reverend Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, “You will do badly. Do it anyway. Do not let your fear be bigger than your commitment.” Therefore, all that is required is your commitment to the promotion of inclusive spaces for all, along with a willingness to continue to do the work even when it gets difficult. The learning circle is designed to provide opportunities to give and receive support, hold each other accountable to read to learn and learn to change, and in the words of Jeannie, “enjoy the ride.”
Check out our Educational Resources specifically designed for educators to utilize within a learning circle or book club format.
Check out Jeannie Gainsburg's savvyallyaction.com/blank-page free stuff, including The Savvy Ally Book Club Discussion Guide. Thanks for allowing us to share this here Jeannie!
To watch videos where Jeannie Gainsburg Shares tips on effective allyship and advice on how to create 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusive spaces, visit https://www.savvyallyaction.com/programs
Making Workspaces More Inclusive
Make staff training on 2SLGBTQIA+ identities mandatory and ongoing.
Make 2SLGBTQIA+ workshops a part of your workplace mandatory and ongoing.
Update policies to ensure they are inclusive to ensure you are providing a safe work environment to everyone.
Add 2SLGBTQIA+ awareness and inclusion as part of all new staff orientations and trainings.
Update database categories and forms to reflect all identities.
Create educational opportunities, including learning circles, task forces, focus groups, and initiatives to collaborate and educate employees.
Encourage your workplace to become actively involved in acknowledging and celebrating Pride Month every June!
Add your pronouns after your name on emails.
If they do not already exist in your workplace, advocate for all-gender restrooms. For a free downloadable sign, go to https://www.pngitem.com/middle/iJoxRoh_restroom-sign-png-restroom-symbol-transparent-png/
Put up a sign with a rainbow image to show that your space is a safe zone. For a free downloadable sign, go to https://truecolorsunited.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Safe-Space-Sign.pdf