We Must Do Better: Driving Transparency and Accountability through Courageous Conversations
Implementing systemic change to effectively address interpersonal violence takes tough conversations and requires acceptance of the current system’s brokenness. In 2016, following a series of high-profile sexual misconduct allegations, Utah State University conducted an internal inquiry to review the institution’s approach to responding to and preventing interpersonal violence. Although the inquiry found the institution was not actively discouraging survivors to seek help, USU realized they had shortcomings in many areas. In response to the inquiry, USU swiftly implemented a variety of changes. In support of these changes, the university chose to apologize and take accountability for its past failures and to strive for transparency, no matter the university community’s response. By engaging in courageous conversations, previous barriers between departments broke down, and changes at all of USU’s campuses began to happen. Today, Utah State University is praised for its improved prevention and response effort. A complete timeline of university actions can be found at sexualrespect.usu.edu/timeline. During this session, university officials will discuss how Utah State University embraced courageous conversations in an effort to practice complete transparency and bring about institutional change in its sexual harassment prevention and response efforts.
Felicia Gallegos (Primary Presenter), Utah State University Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence Information Office, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Felicia Gallegos (she/her/hers) is the Outreach and Prevention Coordinator for the Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence Information (SAAVI) Office at Utah State University. In her role, she is responsible for planning and executing several educational events, campaigns, presentations, and prevention efforts. She has her Master of Social Work and has been professionally advocating for survivors through advocacy, education, and prevention for five years.
Emmalee Fishburn (Co-Presenter), Utah State University Office of Equity, email@example.com;
Emmalee Fishburn (she/her/hers) is the Senior Prevention Specialist in the Office of Equity at Utah State University. In her role, she coordinates sexual misconduct and discrimination prevention efforts for faculty, staff, and students at all 32 USU campuses. She has her Master of Public Health degree in Professional Health Education and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Emmalee has been providing education about healthy sexuality, bystander intervention, and sexual misconduct prevention to various populations for over 5 years.
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