Ask a Safe Zone Advocate: Brad Case
by Rebecca Yates (’99)
In honor of Pride Month, we visited with Brad Case, former president of the Utah Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce from 2013–2017. Brad attended Westminster College in 1977, majoring in business. Brad and his partner, David Barker, now own Digits, an accounting business in the Salt Lake valley.
Brad is currently working on growing the Safe Zone Utah project: A valuable resource for youth who are struggling with acceptance. Safe Zone Utah’s mission is to create a partnership with businesses and individuals throughout Utah where people can feel safe, know they are welcome, and get resources to help when faced with discrimination or a difficult situation. Brad spoke with us about what inspired the project and how alums can get involved.
What made you start this project?
“We wanted to do some service for the community. A few years ago, we noticed an increase in suicide—especially in young people—and we kind of felt we knew where they were coming from. We felt we should do something, so we started the Safe Zone Project to create awareness and help people in a difficult situation. Salt Lake City gave us some grant money to help us get started and now it’s been going for over two years.”
Why Safe Zone?
“People in the LGBTQ+ community, especially the youth, often face bullying, domestic violence, and feel ostracized by their peers and community. Safe Zone Utah gives them valuable resources, from websites to text crisis lines, to help themselves and others in their community. We started by partnering with the members of the LGBT chamber who have storefronts where people can come and obtain a takeaway resource packet and share with others in need. Businesses display a decal in their window that indicates they are supporters of the project. I have had people come to me and ask for our cards because they have domestic violence in their neighborhood. Rather than going and approaching the people, they went around the neighborhood and left cards on everyone’s door so that the person who needed the resource would have it.”
Tell us about your partnership with the Volunteers of America’s homeless youth resource center.
“We offer free workshops that provide information on how to create a safe zone in your business or organization. Our workshops focus on pointing out people’s similarities. We start in a large group and say things like, ‘all those that wear glasses, move out of the circle,’ etc. After several prompts like these, we move on to prompts like ‘all those who have been touched by domestic violence.’ After, we divide the room into four small groups and ask ‘if you have/had children, would you want them to grow up and be gay, straight, bi-sexual, or pansexual and why?’ This is where you really see the differences. Young people just want their kids to be who they are and will support them no matter what. This opens up people’s minds by going through these exercises.”
Visit safezoneutah.com for more information or to sign up for a training. Donations are always needed and welcomed.
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.