KNOW US PROJECT™ (KUP)
An educational program of the Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy (MPIPP)
GOAL of the KNOW
KUP conversations are about telling personal stories about what it has been like to experience discrimination, bias, prejudice or even hate crimes.
The goal of the KNOW US PROJECT™ (KUP) is to improve the understanding by ordinary Americans of the stigma and discrimination faced by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and their allies. As individuals become sensitized to the mental health consequences of discrimination and stigma, research tells us that they are more likely to actively support public policy regarding equality for LGBT people.
The KUP program, founded on science-based research, is designed for those who may be interested in helping to improve the future by learning how to identify and have an effective KUP conversation with those who are in the "moveable middle."
The hope of the KNOW US PROJECT™ is that at some point in the not-too-distant future, the critical mass of public support will grow as the "moveable middle" pushes for change in LGBT public policy and makes social stigma less acceptable. This change will be founded on science-based knowledge and a better understanding of the damaging impact of cultural and legal discrimination against LGBT people.
Although research has shown us that telling one's story often changes the listeners' attitudes, it can also be difficult and have negative mental health consequences. Therefore, the KUP program also helps each person to determine whether the personal risks are worth the rewards of helping to advance equality for LGBT people.
Participants will Learn in a KUP
KUP trainings are facilitated by experienced and skilled mental health professionals or by those with considerable experience and education in LGBT issues and the emotional consequences of stigma and discrimination.
KUP Learning Objectives:
- How to evaluate the risks and rewards of having KUP conversations.
- How to identify people to speak with — those who are part of the "moveable middle".
- How to reduce the listener's anxiety in a personal conversation about LGBT issues.
- Practice the words and body language that will make a KUP conversation more effective.
- Recognize possible negative feelings and emotions that may be experienced during and after KUP conversations and learn to address them through self-care, stress management and professional help if indicated.
What KUP is
- Training on how to "come out" and identify as a lesbian, gay man, bisexual or transgender person.
- A place for individuals still questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, or gender expression.
- A substitute for appropriate mental health care.
- A program for those who are under age 18.
- A substitute for a health or sex education class, including preventing HIV/AIDS.
KNOW US PROJECT™
KUP training is unique in that it helps LGBT people and their allies to prepare for personal KUP conversations by teaching appropriate conversational skills and by addressing participants' possible emotional responses to having these conversations.
Training design: The KUP training is positive, supportive, and emphasiszes conversation skills training.
Facilitators: KUP uses trained and licensed mental health professional volunteers to include discussions of possible negative consequences of conversations and to prepare participants to deal with those consequences.
Interactive: During the KUP training session you will learn and actively engage in practicing the particular and unique KUP conversation skills.
No Charge: KUP training is offered statewide at no charge to participants. KUP trainings last three to four hours.
Training Schedule and Registration
Guidelines for Sponsoring a KUP Training
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING KUP TRAININGS OR TO SCHEDULE A KUP TRAINING, PLEASE CONTACT:
Melissa Grey, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
MPIPP is funded primarily by a grant from the Arcus Foundation to the Michigan Psychological Association Foundation (MPAF) as well as personal donations.