LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month will culminate April 9 with Embrace Your Voice, an event bringing together three leaders of the cause.
Embrace Your Voice will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Burge Union. Speakers Sara Li, Syard Evans and Tracy Wright will discuss how they embraced their voices, and those attending will then engage their own voices in a small group workshop.
“The national theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month this year is ‘Embrace Your Voice,’” said Jen Brockman, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center, or SAPEC. “At KU we are trying to honor that space and encourage students to do just that, with a variety of opportunities to impact and narrate gender-based violence prevention in their communities.”
Li, a KU junior, is the founder and executive director of Project Consent. Li started Project Consent in summer 2014 to raise awareness about sexual assault around the world. The project has grown into a global platform to dismantle rape culture.
Evans, who has a doctorate in rehabilitation education and research, is a certified rehabilitation counselor and a trained mental health counselor. Evans is CEO of the Arkansas Support Network, which provides support and services to individuals and families with children who have disabilities.
Wright works with national entities to create a coordinated response to ending sexual violence, addresses emerging issues and carves out initiatives specifically for women of color in the movement to eliminate sexual violence. Wright is part of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault for the National Resource Sharing Project, where she is the technical assistance provider and Women of Color Leadership Project coordinator.
The university’s observance of Sexual Assault Awareness month begins April 2 and continues through April 27. Other events:
- April 2: Ribbon-cutting for the trauma-informed interview room at the KU Public Safety Office
- April 3-8: Awareness flag project on the Watson Library lawn
- April 9-27: “What Were You Wearing?” art installation at the Kansas Union Gallery
- April 12: Reception, with light refreshments, for the “What Were You Wearing?” art installation, from 4-6 p.m. at the Kansas Union Gallery
- April 18: Drink.Talk.Learn Consent Edition from 6-9 p.m. at the Hashinger Hall theater, with coffee, snacks, speakers and an open mic
- April 19: Consent Tea At Three in the traditions area of the Kansas Union
- April 26: Take Back the Night, with the Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center as host, at 7 p.m. at South Park
- April 27: Open house at SAPEC’s new location in the Burge Union, noon-4 p.m. with remarks from Chancellor Douglas A. Girod at 2 p.m.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month events at KU are sponsored by SAPEC, Watkins Health Services, the Office of Student Affairs, the Student Involvement & Leadership Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Union Activities, PepsiCo Inc., KU Student Housing, the Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center, KU Memorial Unions, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, KU Student Senate, Kansas Athletics Inc. and Spectrum.