What we offer
The 4 Wits Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Advocacy Programmes, housed by Wits Transformation and Employment Equity Office. The key SOGI Advocacy Programmes are the four CATS focus areas:
Community & Connection: provision of the Queer Clothing and Binder Bank for transgender and/or homeless members of the university community. Safer sex guidance and distribution of safer sex barriers. Weekly social support group hosted with partner offices and organisations (GEO, CCDU, and Be True 2 Me). COVID-19-centric support offered through the Queer Social Justice Cohort Network.
Advocacy: representation at University Forum meetings, examinable guest lectures, and collaborative work with partner offices and organisations. Activations and close work with Wits Pride. Published collaboration on research with academics. Partnerships in the implementation of gender-neutral toilets as well as the provision of gender affirming titles. Social media awareness initiatives to mark key international awareness days. Tailored SOGI advocacy training external to the university. Engagement with the media.
Tomorrow: engagement with applicants - Grade 11s and matriculants, collaboration with schools, and queer student mentorship. Collaborative work with transgender youth. Workshops are held with student leaders and profiling key queer alumni.
Safe Zones@Wits: ongoing ally and annual train-the-trainer workshops, upskilling of trainers, interventions, generation of anonymous statistics from consultation reports to DHET, debriefing of Safe Zones@Wits allies and ongoing engagement with key stakeholders via the quarterly SOGI AP Reference Group. Generation of open source training material. Nearly 700 allies have been trained to date. Contact us to find your closest ally.
The Safe Zones logo is a visible symbol of support and an affirmation of commitment by that individual to fight homophobia, transphobia, cissexism and heterosexism at Wits University. The Safe Zones ally slogan: people change spaces. It joins university policy protecting LGBTIAQ+ persons at the university in relation to discrimination, bullying, harassment, GBV, and created two pledges (2010 Joint Statement Against Homophobia at Wits and 2016 Position Statement on Gender Diversity) signed by senior staff and students pledging to support LGBTIAQ+ members of the community.
Learn more about some of our initiatives:
- Gender-neutral toilets
- Gender title changes
- Wits Pride
- Safe Zones
- Queer Clothing and Binder Bank
- Queer Support Groups