April is Sexual Assault Action Month (SAAM). The goal of this month is to inspire action to reduce the prevalence of sexual violence, support survivors, and to continue to build a community of respect for one another. Students and staff from the Gender Resource & Advocacy Center, along with other campus partners, have created an engaging month of activities to share valuable information and to promote our theme of “Embody Empowerment.”
The theme “Embody Empowerment'' resonates with many survivors and their supporters, especially after enduring hardships of the COVID pandemic over the last two years. During the many transitions pertaining to COVID surges, there has been emphasis on our ability to navigate spaces safely, whether physically or virtually. We want to empower our community members to embrace these complexities and reclaim space needed in ways that feel safe and accessible for healing. Spaces (classrooms, offices, homes, social media accounts, coffee shops, grocery stores, parks, etc.) are inherent with meaning based on who is present, which community it was made for, where it is located and who has influence to change it.
Our individual agency is connected to our community power, and our hope is to create awareness around how to build capacity for strengthening those connections. For some, this process may be personal and in need of tenderness and care. For others, this process may include consciousness-raising about what we have not personally experienced. All of us can take opportunities to reflect on these ideas in our effort to support survivors, promote healthy relationships and end sexual assault.
Join us during the month of April to cultivate spaces of healing and empowerment through education and awareness programs. Our SAAM Kick Off event is happening Thursday, April 7, in Jackson Plaza and will conclude with a march around campus.
Additional information about more SAAM events are featured on our 2022 SAAM website, including a film screening of the Jackson Katz film “The Bystander Moment,” a OneLove Workshop by SECURE and a Women’s Lacrosse game supporting the Love Better pledge, a discussion about sex and power from the book "Sexual Citizens", the annual Take Back the Night with keynote Erin Waters from Black and Beyond the Binary Collective, and an “Inpleasure Workshop” with Che Che Luna.
If your department, club, or student organization wants to be highlighted for your efforts related to violence prevention and SAAM throughout April, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAAM “Empower” art by Marcy Weiss ‘24.