straight for equality
straight for equality in the workplace learning sessions

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: 2021 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.)

Straight for Equality: Ally Development

  • Want to be an Ally (Or Help One Out?): Straight for Equality in the Workplace: 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 will find out why this issue is relevant at work, whether LGBTQ+ or not. They’ll learn the ways to reframe who allies are, 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!
  • I'm Not LGBTQ...Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Advaced Ally Skills: As allies want to become more engaged, they need support in their efforts to learn and do more, whether at work or at home. But often self-identified allies 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!
  • What Would You Do? The Advanced Ally's Guide to Being Active in Tough Situations: 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 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!
  • Straight for Equality in the Workplace: Becoming a Trans Ally: 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 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 community. Participants will understand key terminology including what transgender means and why it is part of “LGBTQ+.” They’ll learn more about the role that gender stereotypes play in bias against transpeople, and find out about research that demonstrates the widespread harms of this bias. Most importantly, participants will learn how to be trans allies through basic transgender etiquette and practices. Contact us to learn more!
  • Beyond the Binary: Understanding and Supporting People with Gender-Expansive Identities: Visibility for people who are transgender-identified has grown significantly, and yet much of the understanding in this area is focused on binary identities—what does it mean to be male or female? However, the reality is that many people embrace gender identities that are neither, both, or fluid. For inclusion advocates in the workplace, the emergence of people with nonbinary identities provides an opportunity to learn more about gender and the ways in which it is understood by others; focus on the importance of language in conversations about gender identity; explore what nonbinary identities mean; and learn the ways to create more inclusive spaces in both our workplaces as well as our LGBTQ+ employee resource groups. Contact us to learn more!

Straight for Equality: Building Networks

  • Thinking Strategically: Developing (and Growing) Your Ally Strategy: In the more than 10 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 to develop its ally engagement strategy, the 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 their work of changing hearts and minds at work. Contact us to learn more!
  • The Curious Case of the Fried Ally: Beating Ally Burnout: The trajectory of ally engagement in the workplace has been meteoric, changing the face of network groups, the case for inclusion, and perceptions of the LGBTQ+ equality movement. However, once allies own their power as changemakers, the hard work begins. While there’s much to be gained from the work of allies—and the work of LGBTQ+ people—it sometimes comes at a high price. Living up to expectations, honoring commitments to lifelong learning and advocacy, and creating thriving LGBTQ+–ally partnerships in network groups can lead to burnout. In this session, participants will learn about what this looks like, how to spot it in themselves and others, consider ways to address challenges on personal and organizational levels, and ensure the way YOU ally stays powerful. Contact us to learn more!
  • Allyship in an Age of Exhaustion: Getting it Better: 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 committment 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.
  • Sharing Your Workplace Story to Create Change: One of PFLAG’s core 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 communications skills, and have an opportunity share their stories and receive peer feedback in a supportive environment. Session materials include customized storytelling workbook. Contact us to learn more!
  • It's Not About Counting Heads: Creating Truly Inclusive Network Groups: It’s been said that diversity isn’t about counting heads, but about making heads count. Creating a diversity engagement strategy that accomplishes this goal isn’t always easy, but the benefits are tremendous. Culturally-inclusive LGBTQ+ ERGs better serve organizations and provide support to less visible populations. It can also create partnerships that yield great educational opportunities, dispel stereotypes, and develop inclusive workplace climates. In this session—designed for LGBTQ+ network group leaders and advocates—participants will learn about why inclusion of communities of color is so important to LGBTQ+ ERG work and the role that LGBTQ+ people can fill as allies to people of color. The session will also take on some of the biggest challenges around engagement, brainstorm to create new efforts, and get the tools to start boosting inclusion in LGBTQ+ ERGs. Contact us to learn more!

Straight for Equality: Enhancing Your Education

  • When Someone Comes Out: Demonstrating Support and Acceptance: The term “coming out” has become so mainstream that many people assume that the word—and the actions it entails— are 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 your sexual orientation and/or gender identity today and find out about some of the ways that living authentically postively impacts people who are LGBTQ+ in various aspects of their lives. They’ll also review data and research that demonstrates the power and impact 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+.
  • Cultivating Respect - Stopping Bullying to Create Safer Schools: 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 “a LGBTQ+ issue” on the radar of parents everywhere. In this learning session participants will learn about key research on bullying 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 on a personal, family, and institutional level.
  • From the Classroom to the Boardroom - Addressing Bullying Behaviors: 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 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. They’ll also discover what strategies are being used to solve the issue in schools and how they can be adapted in the workplace. Finally, they’ll identify ways to mentor victims (and prevent more from developing) and learn how to model inclusive leadership at the personal and organizational level. Contact us to learn more!
  • Don't Know Much About LGBTQ History? The Ultimate LGBTQ History and Culture Extravaganza: 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 tells 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. They’ll also get 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!
  • When LGBTQ Past and Present Collide! How LGBTQ History Can Illuminate Today's Challenges: As the old saying goes, those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. Yet looking at where the LGBTQ+ and ally community is today sometimes feels like we’re navigating completely new ground. But is that really the case? In this session, participants will be engaged in a fast-paced learning experience that examines key facts about LGBTQ+ history and how it shapes the world we’re in today, and then closely examine key advocacy issues to understand them in greater depth. What can the history on these issues 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? Contact us to learn more!
  • Exclusive LGBT Legislative Issue Briefings: 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, the trans military ban, 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!