TEP Foundation makes gift to support Safe Zone program at ETSU


Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) Foundation president Randy Cox announces a $2,250 gift to the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Foundation to support Safe Zone training at ETSU.

Cox notes that this outreach gift is made possible by support from the Alice Jennings Fund of the Appalachian Community Fund and highlights the TEP Foundation’s commitment to providing education and awareness in East Tennessee.

Dr. Patricia Robertson, professor of counseling and chair of the Human Development and Learning department at ETSU, will administer the grant. 

According to Robertson, “The Safe Zone project provides an orientation to faculty and staff (over 250 now) at ETSU who are interested in providing a safe place for LGBT students, staff, and faculty. During the orientation we provide a manual that includes information about coming out, work of allies, definitions, etc. Perhaps the most important content piece, however, is the resource list. The partnership with TEP allows us to afford the person power to update all of our materials, print more manuals, and also create and produce our Safe Zone sign that is displayed on doors, windows, desks, etc. of the Safe Zone participants.”

TEP Foundation board member Brandon Hutchison describes the significance of the equality group’s support of the project: “As a co-founder of the Safe Zone project and an alumnus of ETSU, I’m proud to see this program continue. With this support, this program will provide an active and visible presence of support that is an essential element in producing successful LGBT student, faculty, and staff. The Safe Zone project will continue to raise awareness of LGBT issues and actively create allies on campus and in the surrounding community.”

The TEP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting education and awareness of issues important to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied community in Tennessee.