RespectCon is a one-day conference focusing on understanding sexual violence through a social justice lens. It aims to open discussion about dealing with sexual violence prevention and survivor support on college campuses; however, it is definitely not limited to that. The event is broken up into two days, a pre-conference summit for professionals only and then the actual conference, which is for students and professionals. The pre-conference is on Thursday, April 9th from 9:30am-4pm in room E338 of the Dobbs University Center. RespectCon 2015 is from 9am-5pm in many different rooms of the Dobbs University Center; the actual event is open to everyone and even free for Emory students! RespectCon was put on by Nowmee Shehab, Lia Benes, Emily Faerber, Aanchal Gulati, Emma Kern and the assistant director for the Respect Program, Drew Rizzo. With all of their effort starting in the beginning of the year, RespectCon 2015 will be an exceptional event that will hopefully be eye opening for many of the attendees.
What exactly will happen during RespectCon 2015? Guneeta Singh, from Raksha Inc, will open the conference. The opening speech will be followed by a series of presentations and roundtables touching on various aspects of sexual violence through a social justice lens. Some presentations are titled: “From Spoken Word to #YessAllWomen: Storytelling as a Tactic for Movement Building”, “Greek Students As Partners: Developing Relationships and Tranings for Sexual Violence Prevention”, “Roundtable on Healthy Masculinities”, “Male Victims of Sexual Violence” Deconstructing Myths and Creating a Community of Healing” and “Getting Serious About Slut-Shaming: How to Incorporate Gendered Bullying Prevention into Active Bystander Programming.” All panels included detailed proposals with clear direction and organization. An especially exciting aspect of this year’s conference is the variety of the presentation leaders. The day is filled with extremely relevant and unique roundtables and presentations that attendees will not be able to get in any other setting. It will break down preconceptions and barriers that attendees may have before the conference and hopefully help them gain a better understanding of such pertinent issues.
There have been many improvements since last year’s conference to make RespectCon 2015 as great as it can be. This year, RespectCon has a much broader range of sessions and round tables being offered that really depict how important a social justice lens is when exploring sexual violence prevention. There is an entire session dedicated to storytelling and how it can be a catalyst for sexual violence prevention. There are roundtables dedicated to engaging international students and on serving minority students. There is a broad range of new sessions offered that give unique insights that were not given last year. This year, community partners like Raksha and Hollaback will also have a presence at RespectCon. This is pivotal because, though this conference focuses on sexual violence prevention on college campuses, it is not completely divorced from society. Having Raksha and Hollaback at the conference will integrate the voices of the community as well as those of college campuses.
RespectCon 2015 will be a fantastic event that will foster discussion and the sharing of ideas. For more information, visit http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hp/respect_program/respectcon_2015/index.html