About Quest: Building Capacity for LGBTQA+ Inclusion

Register for Quest I: Foundations Online today! 

Our updated six-module introductory educational program is now available. 

Quest: Building Capacity for LGBTQA+ Inclusion is the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center’s core curriculum.

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This program is designed to encourage the growth and development of ally skills and practices over time by providing a greater variety of educational programs and workshops at varying levels and on specific topics and identities.

The Quest Program Includes:

Quest I: Foundations - Introduction to LGBTQA+ Identities and Inclusion

Quest I is an educational program that explores introductory conceps and provides a solid foundation of knowledge on LGBTQIA2S+ identities. This program was designed for all members of the MSU community. Quest I: Foundations is presented in two formats: 

  • Quest I: Foundations Online
    • Our six-module, self-paced web-course housed in a D2L Community. 
    • Register today
    • We offer a 1-hour debrief and Q&A, upon request, for teams who complete the modules together. 
  • Quest I: Foundations In-Person Workshop
    • A 3-hour in-person workshop that is available upon request for groups, departments, units, and divisions.
    • The GSCC is not accepting requests for this program for Fall 2021 at this time.
    • Requests for Spring 2022 are being accepted.
Quest II: Developing Ally Skills is the advanced workshop and focuses on individual and interpersonal allyship skills.
  • Quest II will be released in Fall 2021 and will be delivered in-person only.
  • Completion of Quest I is a prerequisite.

Quest: Building Capacity for Teams is our teams based workshop and will be released in Fall 2022.

  • It is delivered in-person and to groups, teams, and departments.
  • Completion of Quest I is a prerequisite.
Quest: Topics is a series of in-person topic based workshops. At least one Quest: Topics program will be hosted each semester and can be requested for departments, teams, or groups.
  • Current workshops include the Understanding Pronouns Workshop and Quest: Introduction to Trans and Nonbinary Identities.

 

FAQs About Quest: Building Capacity for LGBTQA+ Inclusion

What can I expect from the Quest Program? 

  • Multiple modular on-line educational programs.
  • Tiered programs to continue learning and growing.
  • Topic-based workshops about specific identities and topics in the LGBTQA+ community.
  • Workshops and educational opportunities for specific campus populations and affiliations. 
  • More content on trans identity, ace/aro identity, and LGBTQA+ BIPOC communities.
  • A shift away from ally as an identity and toward capacity building for creating an LGBTQA+ inclusive campus for organizations, groups, and departments.

Why did you name it "Quest"?

The title of the program was selected to highlight the journey that is required for all of us as life-long learners committed to a more just world. 

Do you offer a Safe Zone program? Why or why not?

No. The GSCC intentionally does not offer a Safe Zone program. Instead, the GSCC offers Quest: Building Capacity for LGBTQA+ Inclusion as our core curriculum. Safe Zone programs have existed for many years and certainly have value. However, many people have critiqued Safe Zone programs for centering cisgender and heterosexual people and being overly transactional and/or performative. LGBTQIA+ education has been moving away from the Safe Zone Model for many reasons. Please consider:

  • Safe Zone programs allow people to adopt "ally" as an identity term without the requisite skill-building and action.
    • In Quest, ally is not an identity, ally is an action word. We focus on skills and actions that people within and outside of LGBTQIA2S+ communities can adopt. In brief, a person cannot be an ally, but they can demonstrate allyship and solidarity. 
  • Safe Zone programs encourage participants taking a single training or workshop, and not focusing on life-long learning, growth, and education. 
    • The Quest Program is comprised of multiple different learning opportunities for people to participate in throughout their time at MSU. Our goal is to build capacity for LGBTQIA2S+ inclusion and equity. 
  • Safe Zone programs reward participants for completing a single workshop by designated them as "safe zones." Completing a single workshop does not mean you are a "safe" person, it only means you have some skills and knowledge. 
    • We do not recognize participants for completing a single workshop, although we do maintain completion information for Quest. We also understand that a single workshop on LGBTQIA2S+ identity does not make you a "safe" person for all LGBTQIA2S+ people. LGBTQIA2S+ people have many other social identities. A brief workshop cannot make you "safe." Instead, Quest focuses on skill- and capacity-building. 
  • Safe Zone programs focus on interpersonal interactions instead of structures of oppression.
    • In Quest, we discuss the "Four I's of oppression" (individual, interpersonal, institutional, and ideological) and work through how each of these forms support the others.
  • Safe Zone programs focus on "safety," while only discussing LGBTQIA2S+ oppression only in interpersonal interactions and without employing an intersectional lens.
    • In Quest, we consider the multiplicity of social identities and understand intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989) to be a theory of oppression. 
  • Safe Zone programs are designed for cisgender and heterosexual participants. 
    • The Quest Program was designed so that all participants of all genders and sexualities would find value. 

What happened to QuILL? 

Quest has replaced the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center’s previous training program, Queer Inclusive Leadership and Learning (QuILL). QuILL was the right program for MSU when it was first created. But the LGBTQA+ community, our understanding of queer and trans identity, and LGBTQA+ language have all changed. Recommended practices for LGBTQA+ education have shifted dramatically in recent years. Following a review by the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center staff, we determined the need for a new online training for our community.

The QuILL program is currently inactive and cannot be accessed. If you have previously completed a QuILL training, your QuILL sticker is yours to keep. We ask that you please not leave it affixed to a door or window for an office that you are no longer in or on the outside of a multi-person office. 

You should plan to take the GSCC'a new Quest trainings within the first year after they are launched. Part of practicing allyship skills is being a life-long learner. For any questions about the changes to the QuILL program, please reach out to Jesse Beal at bealjess@msu.edu.