In early August, I got a text from a friend of mine in Michigan asking if I could talk. This isn’t unusual. What was unusual was the immediacy of this request. Long story short, David was calling me to connect me with the Michigan Department of , asking me, on behalf of the First Lade of Michigan, if I could be available to speak at the annual Campus Sexual Assault Summit.
I was initially asked to present as a part of a panel discussion on engaging and empowering male students to prevent sexual assault. The hoped for audience for this panel will be student leaders who attend.
While I believe in student empowerment and that they play a critical role in making social change on campuses and in our communities, I also am leery of placing too much responsibility on students. Students don’t create policy or protocol. Students have a role in development of social norms but only a role. Students also are only part of the dynamics that create and maintain a campus climate (including the climate as it related to equity, safety and justice).
And so, we were able to add a 2nd workshop to the day where I will be speaking more about creating a campus climate and the role of men (students, faculty, staff, parents and community partners) to do so.
I will also, at this workshop, be officially unveiling a new tool I’ve created. I am finalizing the Campus Readiness to Engage Men in Violence Prevention. This tool invites campuses to explore 35 questions in four domains (Administration, Development, Programming and Campus-Community Engagement) to identify the degrees to which a campus is ready, and what areas a campus may need some more work, before launching an engaging men initiative.
I am excited about going to participate in this conference, and meeting colleagues in Michigan.