Community matters at NYU. The University’s global campus comprises students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds and identities. Because of this, NYU focuses on building a compassionate, inclusive, and action-oriented community. One way it does this is through NYU One Zone. Its series of interactive group training sessions that explore identity, diversity, and belonging.
“These trainings take the weight off of marginalized communities who often have to educate others on their own,” says Valeria Hidalgo, a first-year student majoring in Global Liberal Studies. Valeria attended UndocuZone, a One Zone training hosted by the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation (OGI) and the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP). “Whether undocumented or disabled, marginalized communities are already fighting against discrimination. One Zone gives us the chance to learn more about these topics without it being the communities’ job to do the teaching.”
Expansive Training Opportunities
One Zone trainings are open to the entire NYU community. They create a safe space for conversations around a variety of topics, like faith, disability, consent, and mindful living. What’s more, they help community members learn how to be better allies.
“Zone trainings provide us the powerful opportunity to explore justice-related topics in a brave space where we can practice skills, ask questions, and grow in our learning,” says Chelsea I. Garbell, associate director of NYU’s Global Spiritual Life (GSL). GSL hosts trainings to inspire dialogue about religion on campus and beyond. For example, NYU community members can participate in Mindful Living Zone, Cultivating Beloved Community Zone, and the two-part Faith Zone. They also partner with the NYU Bronfman Center for Jewish Ally Zone and the Islamic Center at NYU for Muslim Ally Zone. “Each workshop emphasizes that the work of community building, religious literacy, community organizing, and mindful living is ongoing. These workshops are not one and done. Rather, they’re a first step in lifelong practice.”
A true university-wide effort, each training is organized by a different office on campus. In addition to UndocuZone, OGI and CMEP host Justice Zone, Disability Zone, and Safe Zone. What’s more, the Office of Health Promotion hosts Action Zone Bystander Intervention. In this training, attendees learn risk-reduction strategies to safely but actively intervene in difficult situations. Green Zone is hosted by the NYU Office of Sustainability and focuses on environmental justice. Finally, the Office of Equal Opportunity, the Wellness Exchange, and the Center for Sexual and Relationship Respect Services partner on Consent Zone.
Do you want to uplift those around you? Or maybe you hope to become a better ally to those who may identify differently or have different lived experiences than you? One Zone trainings equip you with the tools to do just that. For example, each training concludes with tangible action steps attendees can bring into their day-to-day lives. What’s more, One Zone sessions provide attendees with resources and connect them to NYU community members who are actively creating a better university for all.
“It’s important to see authority figures at your college talking about these things,” says Daniela Benitez. She’s a sophomore majoring in Sustainable Urban Environments at the Tandon School of Engineering. “Not everyone has the opportunity to attend something like this. These things aren’t really talked about in other places. So it’s important for us to keep having these conversations. And it’s important for students who are part of marginalized communities to see that people care.”