Women’s Week

By Estela Hernandez, public relations and events specialist, Office for Equity and Diversity

The University of Utah’s 2017 Women’s Week, March 6-10, explores how the normalization of rape is manifested and steps that individuals can take to disrupt it. The week’s events will also address how scholars and activists have pointed out society’s desensitization to rape in recent years.

Women’s Week is sponsored by the U’s Office for Equity and Diversity. Activities include:

Campus and Community Panel Discussion: Rape is not Normal

March 6, 12-1 p.m., Hinckley Institute of Politics, Building 73, Room 110, 332 S. 1400 East

A panel discussion about the normalization of rape, policy and campus implications for different population groups. The panel will be facilitated by Flor Olivio, program coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center at the U. The panel will discuss ways in which everyone can take steps to disrupt the current status. Panelists include Rachel Alicia Griffin, assistant professor in the department of Communication at the U; Romeo Jackson, graduate student in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy; Stephany Murguia, outreach and access coordinator at the Rape Recovery Center; and Julie Valentine, assistant professor in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University.

Gender on the Hill: H.B. 200, Sexual Assault Kit, Information Session

March 6, 5-6 p.m., Olpin Student Union Building, Room 319, 200 Central Campus Drive

This semester, students in a gender studies course worked closely Rep. Romero to strategize and lobby legislators about sexual assault prevention and rape culture, with the goal of passing H.B. 200, which would mandate the testing of every backlogged and current sexual assault kit. This information session will be used to strategize community lobbying around H.B. 200 and H.B. 251, campus advocate confidentiality amendments.

Bystander Intervention Training

March 7

Session 1: 12-1:15 p.m., Olpin Student Union Building, Audre Lorde Lounge (Rm 293)200 Central Campus Drive,

Session 2: 5-7 pm., Olpin Student Union Building, Theatre, 200 Central Campus Drive,

This training is designed to empower students to intervene in (and prevent) potentially harmful situations. The U Center for Student Wellness’ training is built on national examples of bystander intervention. It is designed to mobilize students, raise awareness and provide skills to recognize, intervene, prevent and stop inappropriate comments, actions and behaviors, with an emphasis on stopping interpersonal violence, rape and sexual assault. Session two includes a Bystander Leadership certificate. To register for the certificate, email wellness@sa.utah.edu.

Film Screening: ‘Private Violence’

March 7, 4-7 p.m., Social Work Building, Okazaki Community Room (Room 155-A), 395 S. 1500 East

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women will be victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes. The film “Private Violence” examines intimate partner violence through the lens of two survivors who are working toward a brighter and safer future for all. The film will be followed by a presentation by filmmaker Kit Gruelle and a panel discussion.

 Your Silence will not Protect You: An Afternoon with Staceyann Chin

March 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Olpin Student Union Building, Saltair Room, 200 Central Campus Drive

 Staceyann Chin is a writer, poet, performer, activist and entertainer. Her written work has been featured in publications such as Essence magazine, The Jamaica Gleaner and The New York Times, among many others. Chin also writes for the stage and is widely known for co-writing and being an original performer in the Tony Award-winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. The New York Times has described Chin as “magnetic…one of the most captivating voices in New York” for her performance project, “Motherstruck!” She is also the author of “The Other Side of Paradise,” a memoir that chronicles her childhood and growing up in Jamaica. Staceyann Chin will deliver a performance of her original spoken word and poetry.

Countering a Culture of Violence Against Women: Student Workshop with Staceyann Chin

March 9, 12-1 p.m., Olpin Student Union Building, East Ballroom, 200 Central Campus Drive

Staceyann Chin asserts that telling her stories through poetry has given her the power to recognize that change comes from action. She firmly believes that those who have the power to speak have an obligation to address issues that impact them, but also to give a voice to communities that do not have the power to speak as loudly, or even at all. During this workshop, Chin will share the tools she uses in her own work to counter narratives of violence against women.

 Sexual Violence on Campus: A Student Perspective

March 10, 12:15-1:30 p.m., Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building, Room 130, 1655 East Campus Center Drive

This student-led brainstorm session about sexual violence on our campus will provide a space for students to discuss what support and community around the issue of sexual violence on campus can look like, consider how the campus community can have intentional programming around the issue of sexual violence and strategize how to continue building critical consciousness around sexual violence. This session is for students only. More details and RSVP information can be found here.

All Women’s Week events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit diversity.utah.edu/events/ww.