Main content
Emory develops toolkit to promote safe and successful global experiences for diverse travelers
thumbprint on colorful background

The “Navigating My Identities Abroad” toolkit will provide advice and practical resources for students, faculty and staff traveling internationally who may face challenges, discrimination or threats to their physical and mental well-being due to their identity.

Preparing to study and work abroad can be an exciting — yet nerve-wracking — experience for students and employees. While pre-departure guidance and checklists may cover many facets of travel, they often fall short of addressing challenges, discrimination or threats to one’s physical and mental well-being due to identity. 

To bridge this gap and promote safe and successful global experiences, Global Safety and Security — a unit of the Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives (GSI) — has partnered with global education diversity, equity and inclusion specialist Elizabeth Garcia to develop the “Navigating My Identities Abroad” toolkit. Garcia offers consulting and training services for international education companies, organizations and institutions to help make these programs more diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible. Her past collaborations include work with Diversity Abroad, NAFSA, Go Overseas and the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

The toolkit aims to help all university travelers feel empowered and supported throughout their international journeys, regardless of their identity. During the 2021-22 academic school year, 38% of Emory students traveling globally identified as BIPOC and 63% identified as women. These statistics reinforce the importance of investing in the appropriate resources for Emory’s diverse traveler population.  

While some pre-departure orientation materials for students offer guidance on how to navigate travel for individuals with diverse identities, this type of support is often insufficient for faculty and staff. The “Navigating My Identities Abroad” toolkit will enhance existing resources and provide tailored advice for Emory University travelers regarding: 

  • Being BIPOC abroad 
  • Navigating gender abroad   
  • Being LGBTQ+ abroad 
  • Practicing religion abroad 
  • Managing mental wellness abroad 

The toolkit will equip these travelers with practical resources and tips, plus educate fellow Emory travelers on how to be effective and supportive allies.

Kenya Casey, director of global safety and security, is leading the project as part of her ongoing efforts to strengthen safe and secure global experiences for all Emory travelers.

“As a Black woman who has studied, worked and traveled internationally for more than 25 years, I have seen the need for these kinds of resources not only for students but also for employees doing global work,” says Casey. 

In addition, Casey’s work experience — including time as a study abroad advisor and overseas operations specialist — and social work education help her understand the needs of diverse travelers and the importance of having such a resource available to all Emory departments.

GSI program coordinator Franzene Minott and Daisy Yue, program coordinator for Global Safety and Security, are helping create the toolkit. They work closely with programs and departments across campus on areas related to global research and travel safety and security.  

“While studying, living and now continuing to work abroad has been incredibly enriching, there are certain points of awareness I wish I had throughout my journey that I’m excited this toolkit can begin to address for Emory travelers,” Minott says. 

Yue adds that considering how individuals experience their various identities while abroad will both provide a new cultural context that includes diverse historical and cultural understandings of diversity and inclusion and also allow travelers to develop a better sense of themselves and their role in the global community.

GSI is incorporating feedback from stakeholders across campus with the goal of preparing the toolkit for campus-wide access by spring 2024. 

Questions about the “Navigating My Identities Abroad” toolkit can be directed to Minott at

Recent News