Welcoming Communities

Creating Safe and Welcoming Public Spaces

We all want to feel safe and welcome where we live.  Here in the South, we have a longstanding reputation for warmth and hospitality. Why, then, do so many people here live in fear?

The goal of this program is to help willing communities to create public spaces that are safe and welcoming for all people who come in peace and who wish to live and contribute as their authentic self.

Initiatives | Our Team | Resources | Community Posts & News


This group has yet to establish specific objectives and projects.  Several have been proposed.  If you have feedback or additional ideas, please share them here (Feedback / Ideas).

Safe Places (proposed)

Develop a program, modeled on Durham NC to enable businesses and other organizations to be certified as “Safe Places”.

  • A business or organization applies online to be certified as a “Safe Place”
  • Employees receive Safe Place training and materials.
  • The organization posts a Safe Place decal at the front entrance.
  • The organization agrees to provide temporary refuge from anyone who reports being harassed until authorities have arrived.

Create a database and app listing safe spaces.

Centralized Incident Reporting (proposed)

Work with Our Voice, other key providers, to create some form of consolidated tracking

Municipal Human Rights / Hate Crimes Ordinance (proposed)

Pursue a local ordinance establishing that hate crimes include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Join this Program Community

Program Lead: TBD

Core Team

  • ..
  • ..

Participating Organizations

  • Our Voice, (lead contact)
  • ..

Full Team Directory


Suggest / Share Additional Resources and Groups

Right now, this is a static list.  The final product will be a filterable database of resources by type (e.g., document, webinar, data) and topic.


Regional / State


  • Our Voice (Asheville / Buncombe County)
    • Crisis Line: 828.255.7576 | Text “VOICE” or “VOZ” to 85511
    • School Programs (Prevention education programs, variously targeted for middle school, high school, and college students)
    • Community Programs – Various educational programs designed to prevent sexual violence at work and in public settings
    • Survivor Programs – (Protector Archetypes – arts-based support group for female victims of sexual violence)
    • Support Groups (Climbing Toward Confidence Program for girls ages 12-14)

Community Posts & Newsfeed

This will be a running newsfeed of posts related to this page’s topic.  We will assign an editor to manage it.