The Safe Bodies Collection is a set of three relational tools, each with a specific role for use during a training for Allies of undocumented students. Physical points of connection emphasize the question of how a safe space can be a human body, or an ally, while the space created between people allows for particular training activities to take place.
The objects used to make the tools were found at dollar and hardware stores in order to provide a more approachable and familiar feel to a very specific audience--ally trainees at a Hispanic serving institution in Los Angeles. Each piece is a tool for initiating dialog and places precedence on that dialog over the objects. At the same time, this approach opens up the opportunity for the university’s ally community to easily make and afford these (or similar) tools themselves.
“Being human is the most critical piece of the puzzle.”
Part of being an ally is reaching out to others, but also being there when someone reaches out to you. Out_Reach is a chance to practice. One person puts on a glove and finds someone they want to connect with (literally). The second person puts on the other glove and when the fingertips of each glove are snapped together, they light up. Effort from each side is required to keep the connection going, emphasizing that it takes two.
I Hear_U Talk
“An Ally is someone who knows how to listen and talk to you.”
This tool is all about listening. Two users stand on opposite sides of a box that has funnels hanging inside. One person whispers an answer to a question into the large end of the funnels while the person on the other side writes down what they hear. Then they compare what was said versus what was heard.
This tool is all about sharing what we know and talking through what we don’t. To start, two people put on the aprons and snap them together at the bottom. When they snap together, the LED lights turn on. The person with 2 LED lights goes first to draw a card from the bag and talk about the subject written on the card for 1 minute. Then, they place the card on the other person’s side if you feel comfortable talking about the subject, or place it on yours if they would like more practice talking about that particular subject.