Ally Training educates and trains students, faculty, and staff to create safe spaces and support people of all gender identities and sexualities at UNT. Ally Training is beneficial for allies and people in queer communities, as we all strive to create a culture in which any person can study and/or work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment. Participants receive an Ally certificate to display in their office, workspace, or residence hall. The certificate signifies completion of the training, but it also helps others identify individuals on campus (“Allies”) who are open and understanding and who they can talk to, in conﬁdence, about issues, questions, and concerns. Ally Training supports UNT’s mission of providing a culturally diverse and mutually respectful environment where every member of the university community can feel safe, respected, and accepted.
The need for spaces and support prompted the creation of UNT’s Ally Training program. Dan Emenheiser, Mary Finley, and Sue Young, consulting with a team of faculty and staff from various departments on the UNT campus (including the Division of Equity and Diversity, University Union, Student Development, Human Resources, Housing and Residence Life and Public Affairs and Information Services) launched the Ally Training program in the spring of 1999. Through Ally Training, participants learn about identities and types of oppression relevant to queer communities, as well as resources and tools to help provide support. Honorary allies of the UNT Ally Training program have included Maya Angelou (novelist and poet), Coretta Scott King (civil rights activist and wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and B.D. Wong (actor). The Pride Alliance, part of the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, began facilitating the Ally Trainings after its opening in June 2014.