Speak Up to Take Rape Culture Down Summit

college students

In 2013, FUTURES, with generous support from Avon Foundation for Women, hosted Speak Up to Take Rape Culture Down, a one-day Summit at Harvard University. The event brought together over 200 student leaders, administrators, and anti-violence advocates in the Boston area to share strategies in order to raise visibility and demand action to prevent rape and sexual assault on college campuses.

Speakers in attendance included Angela Epifano, a former Amherst student and rape survivor whose first-person story in the college newspaper gained worldwide attention, student leaders Dana Bolger and Alexandra Brodsky, co-founders of Know Your IX, and Jackie Cruz from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Activist and author Jaclyn Friedman presened a keynote called “Sane, Safe and Strong.” Friedman is a founder and the Executive Director of Women, Action & the Media, where she recently led the successful #FBrape campaign that forced Facebook’s hate-speech policy to prohibit gender-based violence.

On-site presentations and workshops featured some of the nation’s best known organizations and leaders working to end sexual assault and rape culture, including:

  • Diane Rosenfeld, director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School who will help student leaders understand the policies and guidelines that have been created to empower survivors, including Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act.
  •  Debjani Roy, deputy director of Hollaback!, who will talk about how they’ve leveraged technology to start a movement to end street harassment.
  • Nancy Schwarzman, co-creator of the award-winning Circle of 6 app, and executive producer of The Line Campaign, who will discuss the use of mobile applications to prevent violence
  •  Emily Greytak, from SAFER, who will help student leaders and advocates navigate school policies regarding sexual violence and harassment on campus.

During the summit Futures Without Violence announced the Betsy McCandless Break The Silence Awards, which will support college campaigns and activities that encourage survivors, allies and bystanders to take action or speak out against gender-based violence on campus.