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Penn State To Host Sexual Assault Awareness Events Throughout April

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) is collaborating with the Penn State Gender Equity Center to host events, programs, and workshops dedicated to raising awareness in the Penn State community.

The Gender Equity Center hopes to educate and spark respect and equity with its sexual assault awareness programs, as the slogan for SAAPM is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” 

April 3 — Feminista Jones

Feminista Jones, a feminist social media influencer, writer, and activist, will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in Heritage Hall. Jones is the critically acclaimed author of “Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets.” Her activism focuses on intersectionality, critical race theory, mental health, and queer identity. 

April 4 — “Dangers of a Single Story: Debunking Myths and Amplifying Voices of Iranian Women”

The Iranian Student Association and Gender Equity Center will host a celebration of stories of Iranian women at 6:30 p.m. on April 4 in the Freeman Auditorium. This storytelling event will include a discussion of women’s rights in Iran, song and poetry performances, and provide a safe space to uplift the voices of Iranian women.  

April 6 — “Take Back the Night” Event 

“Take Back the Night” is a program led by Lambda Theta Alpha that provides victims of rape or sexual assault with a safe space to share their personal experiences and gain access to helpful resources. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, on Old Main Lawn. The student-led march will take individuals to various locations around campus where participants can share their stories, and the event will end with a candlelight vigil back at Old Main. 

April 12 to 16 — Peace Paper Project

Starting April 12, the Peace Paper Project will host workshops, key speakers, and demonstrations relating to sexual violence, assault prevention, and survivor stories. 

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at the HUB patio, the Clothesline Project Pulping event will focus on eliminating sexual partner violence. Drew Matott, the founder of the Peace Paper Project, will speak from 7 to 8 p.m later that day in the Freeman Auditorium

Open sessions and interactive demonstrations for groups and classes will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, in Patterson 201. Additional sessions will take palace from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday, April 14, with a Veterans Workshop following directly after. Email [email protected] to register for the event. 

The Peace Paper Project events will close with an “Honoring Survival: Victim Survivor Workshop” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 15 and 16 in Patterson 204. Register for the event here

April 14 — Survivor Art Installation 

The Gender Equity Center, Centre Safe, and UPUA are set to host the “What Were You Wearing?” art installation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 14 at the HUB. This event will display stories and outfit recreations of what Penn State community members were wearing when they experienced sexual assault or violence. The installation is meant to debunk the myth that an individual’s clothes are the cause of a sexual crime or assault. This event aims to challenge visitors’ perspectives on rape, encourage consent culture, and elevate survivor voices. 

April 19 — “Burn Bright: Women and Nonbinary Night”

Penn State Centre Stage will present the play “Emilia” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, in the Pavilion Theatre. “Emilia” is a female-written play that illuminates the importance of female empowerment and actively supporting marginalized communities. Women and non-binary students will receive a special discount, and all guests are invited to partake in the talkback with the cast after the show. Purchase your tickets through Centre Stage’s website or by calling 814-863-0255. 

April 26 to 27 — Denim Day

Denim Day is an annual event that began in response to the 1998 Italian Supreme Court overturning a rape conviction due to the tightness of the victim’s jeans. In response, the women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work the following day. Thus, community members are encouraged to wear denim on April 27 and share their pictures on social media using the hashtag #DenimDay2023. Pictures can also be emailed to [email protected] to be uploaded on the Gender Equity Center’s social media.

You can find more information regarding April’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month events or the organizations that are contributing throughout the month here.

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About the Author

McKenna Murphy

McKenna is a second-year agricultural science major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a Disney enthusiast, a proud ginger, and an iced coffee addict. You can follow her on Instagram @mckenna.murph or email her at [email protected].

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