星期二, 4月 12, 2016

Building on “Week of Action” White House to Recognize It’s On Us “Champions of Change”

Building on “Week of Action” White House to Recognize It’s On Us “Champions of Change”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, April 14, during National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, the White House will recognize ten students from across the country as “It’s On Us White House Champions of Change.” The event follows last week’s It’s On Us week of action across the country. Vice President Biden visited three campuses and the campaign held over 220 events around the country in more than 30 states. More than 340,000 individuals have now taken the pledge to stop sexual assault at ItsOnUs.org.

Key It’s On Us partners have also stepped up with key commitments including:

-       Tumblr is engaging its Creatrs to promote and capture the It's On Us message, and to integrate it into the 1 year anniversary of Post it Forward, Tumblr's campaign to counter the stigmas around mental and emotional health through community-building and conversation. In addition, Tumblr will be soliciting questions from its users in advance of the event via the "Ask box" on the Its On Us Tumblr as well as promoting the event on its platform all day Thursday.

-          The NCAA continued its partnership, playing student athlete PSA’s at championships across the country, through strong engagement with the Student Athlete Advisory Committees, and through Division I and III student athlete PSA contests.

-          iHeartMedia is airing the NCAA’s It’s On Us PSA on over 300 radio stations around the country throughout the month of April.

-          Snapchat created filters that were used at each of the campuses the Vice President visited to spread the word about It’s On Us and created a nationwide filter used during the Vice President’s appearance at the Academy Awards.

The “It’s On Us White House Champions of Change” event on Thursday continues the April push. The event will recognize ten student champions, and will feature remarks by Vice President Biden and Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. The program will also feature actor Matt McGorry.

The ten individuals were selected by the White House as “Champions of Change” for their leadership in mobilizing others to change the culture around sexual assault and dating violence and to create systemic changes on their campuses and beyond.

The “It’s On Us” campaign seeks to engage college students and all members of campus communities in preventing sexual assault. Launched by President Obama and Vice President Biden in September 2014, the campaign builds on the recommendations put forth by the White House’s Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, and is part of the ongoing commitment that President Obama and Vice President Biden have made to ensuring that each of us – both men and women – is part of the solution. Since its launch, “It’s On Us” has engaged students at over 500 schools in 48 states, had more than 340,000 people sign the “It’s On Us” pledge, and worked with community members and celebrities alike to support survivors and change the culture around sexual assault.

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault has taken several steps to strengthen the support and resources available to survivors and to combat sexual violence on college and university campuses. Led by the Vice President and the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Task Force was created by President Obama to promote an interagency effort to address sexual violence in educational settings. Since its inception on January 22, 2014, the Task Force has provided recommendations and resources for schools, encouraged collaboration within communities, and launched a public awareness campaign and cultural movement to better address this issue. The Task Force released its first report in April 2014 and a resource guide in September 2015, which can be found on www.notalone.gov.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live/ on Thursday, April 14, at 2:00 PM ET. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.

Pablo Das
Hometown: Washington, District of Columbia
School: Boston University

Pablo Das is a senior at Boston University studying in the Pardee School of Global Studies. He is the founder and chair of “16,000 Strong,” BU's first and only student-run sexual assault prevention campaign. Pablo created 16,000 Strong to spearhead a movement against sexual assault on BU's campus and to create an educated, united community to stand against such acts. In just over two years, 16,000 Strong has worked with BU to tighten its sexual assault reporting procedures, promoted dialogue and activism among prominent student groups such as Greek life and Varsity athletics, and garnered thousands of signatures on its awareness pledge. Under Pablo's leadership, 16,000 Strong has become a well-known campaign across campus and is collaborating with the local community and businesses to strengthen off-campus safety measures as well.

Jessica Davidson
Hometown: Fort Collins, Colorado
School: University of Denver

Jessica Davidson is the Student Body Vice President at the University of Denver (DU), where she is earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Policy Analysis. Jess has led the DU Undergraduate Student Government in comprehensive sexual assault prevention education and policy, including: creating a program to give students access to safe walks home during orientation week, mandating bystander intervention training for student organizations, and working towards affirmative consent policies. Jess believes survivor narratives lead the charge on policy change; this year, she told her story as a survivor on the front page of the Huffington Post in her article, My Rapist Might Not Know He's a Rapist, in which she made a call to action for universities to adopt clear affirmative consent policies. Her advocacy has amplified survivor voices, establishes pathways for student leaders to create meaningful change, and used her own story to spark discussion and deepen understanding of sexual assault on college campuses.

Valerie Halstead
Hometown: Indialantic, Florida 
School: University of Miami

Valerie Halstead, BSN, RN, is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. Her passion and research interests include women’s health, violence prevention, and health promotion, especially pertaining to young adults and the college population. Ms. Halstead’s dissertation study focuses on exploring the characteristics of sexual violence practices by student health centers located on institutions of higher education. Her hopes are to ensure that these facilities are implementing best practices so that students receive appropriate and comprehensive care. Further, Ms. Halstead works determinedly within her own campus community in efforts to address sexual violence. She serves on the larger President’s Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence and Prevention as well as two sub-committees, the Resource Committee and the Campus Climate Survey Committee. In addition, Ms. Halstead is honored to be part of Futures Without Violence Campus Leadership Program as well as a Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar.

Malayna Hasmanis
Hometown: White Lake, Michigan
School: Grand Valley State University

Malayna Hasmanis is currently an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University, where she is studying Special Needs Education with an emphasis in cognitive and emotional impairments. She is the founding member and president of Greeks Against Sexual Assault on the Grand Valley campus, where she has worked in collaboration of the Women's Center, the Division of Inclusion and Equity, a plethora of Greek organizations, as well as with the It's On Us initiative to try and unify the student body to demonstrate their stance in being active bystanders and informed individuals in this fight against sexual assault. She is currently working on revamping the It's On Us initiative so that it demonstrates full Greek body support, and working more closely with the peer education student organization, Eyes Wide Open, to unify these bodies to go above and beyond to break the walls and barriers that prevent these means of open communication in regards to consent, sexual assault, rape culture, etc.

Claire Kelling
Hometown: Morrow, Ohio
School: Virginia Tech

For the last four years, Claire Kelling has coordinated Take Back the Night at Virginia Tech, the largest event for raising awareness of gender-based violence on campus, and has advocated for this movement at the regional, national, and international levels. Claire also serves as the president of Womanspace+, the longest-running feminist activist organization at Virginia Tech. Claire volunteers in her community through the Clothesline Project, which is a visual testimony to the shattering effect of gender-based violence and its impact on society. In Fall 2016, Claire will begin pursuing her PhD in Statistics in an effort to bring the power of data analytics to social and economic justice issues.

Celene Lopez
Hometown: Arcata, California
School: Humboldt State University

Celene Lopez is a Psychology Major at Humboldt State University and CHECK IT’s Volunteer Coordinator. On campus, she is working toward creating a more consent-centered and accountable community. Celene, along with other students and groups, built a student led initiative called CHECK IT, which sets consent-based norms on campus and creatively empowers students to take action when they witness potential moments of sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking, tangibly challenging the violence happening in their community. CHECK IT provides the campus community with tools for intervening in ways that are realistic and match people’s unique personalities, identities, and communication styles.

Cody McDavis
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
School: University of Northern Colorado

Cody McDavis is a December 2015 graduate of University of Northern Colorado, where he was a member of the men’s basketball team. Cody was also a member of the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where he engaged with the It’s On Us campaign. He serves as the lead of the It’s On Us National Video Competition, which was created in 2014 in recognition of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) partnership with the White House to spread awareness of sexual assault on collegiate campuses. In the two years since the competition began, it has actively engaged college campuses across the nation by challenging students to create a video addressing sexual assault intervention in a creative and unique way. Ultimately, this competition has the goal of establishing collegiate students whom actively intervene in situations where sexual assault could occur and can provide resources to fellow students.

Lisa Napper
Hometown: Aurora, Colorado
School: Howard University

Lisa Napper is a student leader at Howard University from Aurora, Colorado. She co-produced a documentary on the experiences of African American women who are survivors of sexual assault and the challenges they deal with upon arriving on campus. Lisa also hosted Howard’s first Take Back the Night event where the documentary was screened and she facilitated a discussion on the issue of sexual assault on Howard’s campus and around the world. The following year, she expanded the event to Take Back the Night week, with a survivor’s yoga session, a panel with mental health professionals, an open mic night, and an “It’s On Us” pledge drive. Lisa is an advocate for engaging men on the conversation on sexual assault and ensuring that victims are empowered to view themselves as survivors. Lisa was invited to share her perspective at a student voices session with former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Lisa has worked as a program’s intern for Moms Demand Action against Gun Violence, and as an intern, in the Office of the Chair at the Democratic National Committee.

Cadet Carson Warnberg
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
School: United States Military Academy at West Point

Cadet Carson Warnberg is a First Class Cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Carson currently serves as the Education Officer for the Cadets Against Sexual Harassment Program (CASHA). He has been involved with the program since 2013 and has worked at the Company, Regimental, and Brigade levels.  As the Education Officer, Carson is responsible for creating education aimed at eliminating sexual harassment and sexual assault, training and educating, and fostering a culture of bystander intervention in the Corps of Cadets. 

Meghan Yap
Hometown: La Jolla, California
School: University of California, San Diego

Meghan Yap is a senior at the University of California San Diego, double majoring in biological anthropology and global health. She is a College Ambassador, Resident Assistant, and a research assistant at the university. Meghan was first exposed to the effects of sexual and domestic violence while rendering care as an emergency medical technician in Los Angeles. Following her own experience of campus sexual assault, Meghan made it her personal and professional mission to improve the lives of survivors through research and activism. As an intern at UC San Diego Medical School’s Center on Gender Equity and Health, Meghan is developing policy and best practice recommendations for the university to address sexual violence. She has been reviewing recommendations from state and national coalitions against sexual assault and conducting an analysis of campus policies to assess their adherence to these coalition-recommended approaches. On campus, Meghan collaborates with administrators and resource centers to promote evidence-based, trauma-informed policies and practices, in an effort to advocate for greater sensitivity and prevent re-victimization of survivors. Meghan is a first generation college student, and after graduating from UC San Diego in June 2016, she plans to pursue a Masters of Public Health and PhD in global health, emphasizing gender-based violence.