Penn State To Host Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Events Throughout April

Penn State organizations will host a number of events to recognize Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week from Monday, April 5, through Wednesday, April 14.

UPUA, in collaboration with the Gender Equity Center and other campus organizations, will put on a series of events for Penn State community members in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. This year’s theme is “Conquering Distance Through Empathy.”

“Our awareness and engagement opportunities look different this spring due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure our Penn State community is engaging in programming in a safe way,” Assistant Director of the Gender Equity Center Becca Geiger said.

“With the variety of engagements in mind, the SVAP Roundtable members intentionally picked the theme as ‘Conquering Distance through Empathy,’ to acknowledge that demonstrating empathy and support is possible no matter how our engagement opportunities look this year,” Geiger continued. “It is a great reminder that being socially distant does not mean we have to be emotionally distant from each other and supporting the survivors in our community.”

The schedule for Penn State’s SVAP week is as follows:

Ongoing & Multi-Day Events

  • Virtual ‘What Were You Wearing?’ Survivor Art Installation — All month — The gallery can be viewed online, and members of the community can share their stories here.
  • Men Against Violence (MAV) Walk – Monday, April 5, through Wednesday, April 14 — See route map here — Walkers are encouraged to share photos on social media using the hashtag #WhyIWalk. Participants can also submit their pictures here.
  • SVAP Week Awareness Tabling — Tuesday, April 6 @ 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — HUB Lawn — UPUA will host a rock-painting event to experience mindfulness.

Speakers, Workshops, & Discussions

  • Reema Zaman: Freedom, Purpose, and Love After Trauma – Monday, April 5 @ 6:30 p.m. — Virtual — Zaman will share moments from her award-winning memoir in a keynote speech. Register here for the free event.
  • Pioneers of Prevention: Black Women Activists Against Sexual Violence – Tuesday, April 6 @ 6 p.m. — Virtual — As part of SAAPM, the Gender Equity Center is highlighting Black women activists and advocates which history erased. Register here for the event.
  • Honoring Survival: Transforming the Spirit – Wednesday, April 7 @ 5 p.m. — Virtual & In-person — Participants will have the opportunity to listen to the stories of survivors and those who support them through poetry, storytelling, and music. Melissa Leaym-Fernandez will provide a take-and-make art project to promote strength and resiliency for all participants. Register here.
  • Take Back the Night – Thursday, April 8 @ 6 p.m. — Virtual — Take Back the Night is a program that provides victims of rape and sexual assault with a space to share their stories and learn their resources. To register, email Lambda Theta Alpha at [email protected].
  • Head + Heart = Hustle, a Work On Purpose Program Workshop — Thursday, April 8 @ 6:30 p.m. — Virtual — Join Stand for State to dig deep to uncover how to combine your passion and skills to help create change within your community. Register for the workshop here.
  • Mónica Ramírez: Seeding Change – Tuesday, April 13 @ 6:30 p.m. — Virtual — Mónica Ramírez is an activist, author, civil rights attorney, social entrepreneur and speaker. Free tickets for the keynote speaker are available here.
  • ‘Know My Name’: An Empowering Book Chat with Chanel Miller – Wednesday, April 14 @ 6:30 p.m. — Virtual — Critically acclaimed memoir, “Know My Name,” was a New York Times bestseller and Book Review Notable Book, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, as well as the best book of 2019 in Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, NPR and People, among others. Register for the free event here.
  • Virtual Book Club Discussion: ‘Know My Name’ by Chanel Miller – Wednesday, April 21 @ 6:30 p.m. — Virtual — Register for the free event here. Thanks to UPUA and Presidential Leadership Academy, participants in the virtual book club discussion with the Gender Equity Center can get a free copy of “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller by stopping by the UPUA Office in 314 HUB. For questions about the book or pick up, email Erin Brown at [email protected]. By picking up a copy of the book, you’re committing to the virtual book club, taking place on Wednesday, April 21 via Zoom. Participants will discuss the memoir’s main themes and how you can be a better advocate and ally for victim-survivors in your life.

Show Your Support

  • Denim Day – Wednesday, April 28 — Participants are asked to share photos of themselves wearing denim using the hashtag #DenimDay2021. Pictures can also be emailed to Becca Geiger at [email protected] to be shared on the Gender Equity Center’s social media platforms.

Community members can follow along with the Gender Equity Center on social media @PennStateGenEq or visit the organization’s website for more information.

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About the Author

Matt Rudisill

Matt is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism from a little town called Parkesburg in Chester County, PA. More often than not, you can catch him yelling about the Phillies and the Steelers on his Twitter (@mrudy26). Matt is also an elite wiffleball pitcher and is not afraid to back up that claim. Direct all wiffleball challenge invitations, or other legitimate requests, to [email protected].

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