Editor's note: This story will be updated as new events are added. (Updated April 1.)
Penn State student organizations and units at campuses across the commonwealth are presenting programming during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here’s a look at some of the events taking place at the University’s campuses during the month of April.
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY PARK
Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention (SVAP) Week Awareness Tabling — April 4, 5 and 6, HUB-Robeson Center. Join the University Park Undergraduate Association, the SVAP roundtable, the Gender Equity Center, and Centre Safe in the HUB to learn more about the events planned for the week and receive resources and information. Join in our community weaving art project to honor victims, led by the Penn State Arts and Wellness Committee, where participants can stop by the table and work as a community to create a fabric strip, adding a message of your choice, of hope and resiliency. The fabric strips will be woven together in a circular loom at the Honoring Survival Event on April 12.
"It’s On Us" Gender, Race, and Power Workshop — Monday, April 4, 5–6 p.m., 173 Willard Building. It takes all of us, every Penn Stater, to help prevent sexual violence and support survivors. It's on us to learn how. In this interactive, peer-led workshop we will connect the dots around oppression based upon race, gender, and other identities, as we explore the five faces of oppression. We will discuss sexual violence as a form of oppression, highlighting conversations around consent and victim-blaming, particularly as it relates to marginalized communities, as provide information about the University's reporting processes with a focus on restorative justice initiatives. Register here.
"Promising Young Woman" Film Screening and Discussion — Tuesday, April 5, 4-7 p.m., Flex Theatre, HUB-Robeson Center. Join us for a screening of the critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning film, "Promising Young Woman." Actor Carey Mulligan plays Cassie in this dark thriller and crime film. After the film we will analyze the main themes of the film and discuss some of the key points, helping viewers consider their role in preventing sexual violence and support survivors. Please note: Given the topics of sexual assault and suicide are woven throughout the film, we will have advocates on hand from Centre Safe and the Gender Equity Center for those who wish to talk with someone or process any emotions or experiences the film brings up.
Cheyenne Jacobs “aka She Will Speak” — Wednesday, April 6.
- Poetry Workshop: 4–5 p.m. in HUB 129AB
- Everyday Activism Keynote: 7–8 p.m. in Flex Theater: HUB-Robeson Center
Cheyenne Tyler Jacobs, poetic activist, word enthusiast, community organizer, spoken-word artist and author, is a Black creative originally from New Jersey. She started breaking ground as @shewillspeak on Instagram, with her writing after the release of her second book "The Tragic Type of Beautiful" in May 2018. She has been featured on numerous platforms such as MeTOO, Frolic, AspireTV, N.O.W, and End Rape on Campus. After the release of her second book she founded the "She Will Speak Series" which curates bi-annual anthologies. Currently, she resides in Atlanta, where tackles the issues of racism, sexual violence, and homelessness through art and activism.
Jacobs will lead a spoken word workshop with students, with the focus on healing through art and poetry, sharing a bit about her personal journey and discussing spoken word as an avenue to reclaim one's voice and find one's passion, activism and advocacy. Then, she will host a keynote talk and Q&A discussing sexual violence as a tool of oppression, highlighting the intersections of race, ableism and sexual violence and the systemic discrimination of marginalized and intersecting identities in the conversation about violence prevention.
MAV (Men Against Violence) Walk — Thursday, April 7, 2–3:30 p.m., Monumental Steps/HUB 129 ABC. Walkers must register. Too often sexual violence is seen as a woman’s issue. In reality, sexual violence affects people of all gender identities. The Men Against Violence Walk aims to mobilize men to get involved in prevention efforts and play a positive role in creating change. Join in the movement by walking our mile-long march around campus to display your commitment to making our campus a safer place to be. The event will begin with a kickoff and keynote speeches on the Monumental Steps in the HUB at 2 p.m. before the march begins. Prior to the event, walkers can meet in HUB 129 ABC to check in, receive a free t-shirt and create signs for the march. While male participation is encouraged, all are welcome to attend and promote, alone or with friends.
"Take Back the Night" event — Thursday, April 7, 6 p.m., start at Old Main Lawn. "Take Back the Night" is a program led by Lambda Theta Alpha, with support from UPUA, the Gender Equity Center, and Center Safe, to help provide victims of rape and sexual assault with a space to share their stories and to learn about resources. Rallying at Old Main Lawn, students will march to different locations around campus, including the Penn State library, East Halls, and Pollock Halls, stopping to allow individuals to speak up and share their stories, and will end at Old Main Lawn with a candlelight vigil.
"It’s On Us" Gender, Race and Power Workshop, Friday, April 8, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Boucke Building 106. It takes all of us, every Penn Stater, to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. It's on us to learn how. In this interactive, peer-lead workshop we will connect the dots around oppression based upon race, gender, and other identities, as we explore the five faces of oppression. We will discuss sexual violence, as a form of oppression, highlighting conversations around consent and victim-blaming, particularly as it relates to marginalized communities, as well as discuss the University's reporting processes with a focus on restorative justice initiatives. Register here.
"It’s On Us" Beyond the Binary Workshop — Friday, April 8, 11 a.m.–noon, 359 Health and Human Development Building. It takes all of us, every Penn Stater, to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. It's on us to learn how. In this interactive, peer-lead workshop we will engage in conversations around gender stereotypes, gender identity, and the gender spectrum while exploring the social justice view of gender with a discussion of how gender roles confer power and privilege and enable oppression. In addition to considering your own privileges and identities, you will learn about bystander intervention tools to address and prevent gender-based harassment and violence. Register here.
"What Were You Wearing?" exhibit — Friday, April 8, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., HUB-Robeson 233B. "What were you wearing?" is an all too common and familiar question asked of victim survivors of sexual assault and violence by family, friends, community members, law enforcement, attorneys and more. This question is rooted in victim-blaming culture and the myth that victim survivors provoke perpetrators due to their behavior, whether that be how they dress, if they drank or consumed drugs, or if they go back to the individual's apartment. The reality is that nothing a victim survivor does invites sexual violence or assault.
Our "What Were You Wearing?" Survivor Art Installation seeks to dispel this myth by collecting stories from the Penn State community members of what they were wearing when they experienced sexual violence and assault. View the stories and outfit recreations on display in the HUB and change your perspective on the causes of rape, while learning how to promote consent culture and support for victim survivors in our community. View the online slideshow here.
Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Gala benefiting Centre Safe — Monday, April 11, 4-7 p.m., Heritage Hall: HUB-Robeson Center. Registration is required here. You are invited to attend the Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Gala hosted by the UPUA, Gender Equity Center, Rock Ethics Institute and Women and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction basket raffle, and guest speakers. Join in our community weaving art project to honor victims. Led by the Penn State Arts and Wellness Committee, students can stop by the table and work as a community to create a fabric strip, adding a message of your choice, including those of hope and resiliency. The fabric strips will be woven together in a circular loom at the "Honoring Survival Event" on April 12. Hosted by the UPUA, Gender Equity Center, Rock Ethics Institute and Women and Gender and Sexuality Studies
The Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week aims to combat sexual assault on campus by connecting students and community members with resources and raising awareness for the cause. The Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Gala allows all members of the community to come together and have an open dialogue regarding sexual violence. A donation will be requested with attendee registration. The dress code for the evening is formal.
Honoring Survival: Transforming the Spirit — Tuesday, April 12, 5-6 p.m., Pasquerilla 107: Memorial Lounge. Every year, as part of UPUA’s SVAP Week, the Gender Equity Center hosts the "Honoring Survival Event" in collaboration with Centre Safe. This program honors the strength and resiliency of survivors of sexual, emotional and physical violence, and those who support them in their healing process. The intention is to bring these issues to light, focus on the courage and tenacity of the survivors, and highlight Penn State’s resources for those who are/have been victims of violence. Participants will have the opportunity to listen to the stories of survivors and those who support them through poetry, storytelling and music. In addition to stories, we will have a performance from the Penn State A capella group, Blue in the Face. Additionally, the Penn State Arts and Wellness Committee will be leading the group in a collaborative art project of survivor fabric loom, where fabrics collected throughout the week will be added in addition to those made by honoring survival attendees.
Cameron Esposito — Wednesday, April 13, 6 p.m., Freeman Auditorium. Esposito's event, a collaboration between the Gender Equity Center and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, will be the keynote for both SVAP Week and Penn State Pride, and included a moderated Q&A. A Los Angeles-based standup comic, actor and writer, Esposito has appeared on TV and in films, as well as comedy and music festivals worldwide. She hosts her own standup show, "Put Your Hands Together," every Tuesday night at the famed Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angles. Her podcast, Queery, features interviews with LGBTQ+ icons and luminaries. She also is co-creator and co-star of "Take My Wife," and "Rape Jokes," a standup special from a survivor’s perspective which raised almost $100,000 for RAINN. Esposito's memoir, "Save Yourself," was released in March 2020.
"It’s On Us" Sexual Citizenship Workshop — Thursday, April 14, 6:30–7:30 p.m., Sackett Building 117. Register here. It takes all of us, every Penn Stater, to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. It's on us to learn how. In this interactive, peer-lead workshop, get ready to discuss everything you ever wanted to know but never thought to ask about relationships, hookups, boundaries, sex and consent. We will ask you to consider what you expect from yourselves and your partners, as well as your boundaries, including sexual boundaries. Participants will have the chance to learn how to have these conversations with their intended partner(s).
Sisters on the Runway Fashion Show — Monday, April 18, 6:30 p.m., Heritage Hall: HUB-Robeson Center. Join Sisters On the Runway (SOTR) for their Sixth Annual Spring Fashion Show to benefit Centre Safe. SOTR at Penn State is an organization that advocates for the prevention and awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault at Penn State and in the surrounding community. For the fashion show each year, the executive board selects models based upon talent, as well as their commitment and responses to questions about their organization and its mission. Each model is fitted by multiple sponsors and student designers who contribute through clothing donations for runway walks during the show. The show serves to fundraise for and raise awareness of the truths of domestic violence and sexual assault. All the proceeds raised from the event will go towards the local resource center, Centre Safe. Tickets are $4.90 for students and $4.99 for non-students.
Denim Day — Wednesday, April 27, all day. Wear denim on April 27 to show support for survivors of sexual violence while protesting violence and the rape-myth mentality behind countless instances of victim-blaming experienced by survivors on a regular basis. To participate in Denim Day, the Gender Equity Center is asking community members to take a picture of themselves dressed in denim on April 27. Then, they can share the picture on social media tagging @pennstategeneq and @upua_psu as well as using the hashtag #DenimDay2022, expressing why they support survivors. Pictures also can be emailed to Becca Geiger at [email protected] to be shared on the Gender Equity social media platforms.
PENN STATE ABINGTON
Speaker event: Brittany Piper — Tuesday, April 5, Noon to 1:30 p.m., Lubert Commons in the Lares Building. Counseling and Psychological Services, the Criminal Justice program, Residence Life, and Student Care and Advocacy present Brittany Piper — a speaker, sexual violence prevention expert, and healing coach who helps audiences uncover the transformational power of second chances. The campus community is encouraged to wear teal that day to show support and to stop by the Lares Building to learn more about sexual assault, find valuable resources, and write messages of support to survivors.
PENN STATE ALTOONA
Stalking Awareness — April 7, 6-8 p.m., Slep Pond View. Thadeus Graham from Family Services Inc. of Blair County will provide information and resources on stalking awareness. Support staff will also be available
Relationship Violence — April 13, noon-2 p.m., Slep Pond View. Thadeus Graham from Family Services Inc. of Blair County will provide information and resources on sexual assault and interpersonal violence. Support staff will be available.
"Cover the Cruiser" — April 25, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Common Green area. Students are invited to show their support for victims and survivors of sexual assault by writing messages on Post-It notes and placing them on a police cruiser. There will be counselors and advocates from Family Services at this event to speak with students.
Sexual Assault Professionals Panel — April 26, 7 p.m., Misciagna Center. Students are invited to attend a professional panel consisting of a victim services advocate, a sexual assault nurse examiner, a behavioral health specialist, and a state police officer. There will be presentations, and students are encouraged to ask questions. There will be counselors and advocates from Family Services on hand.
Clothesline Project — April 27, 11 a.m., Green Common Area. The Clothesline Project showcases the impact that sexual assault has on college campuses. T-shirts will be available on which students can write their own sexual-assault experience story, words of affirmation, or supporting quotes. These t-shirts will then be displayed on a clothesline display.
PENN STATE BERKS
“Cookie Cutter Consent” Paws for Success workshop, Monday, April 4 at 8 p.m. in Perkins 3. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Paws for Success wants to break down the topic of consent. Consent is often discussed, with little to no clarity or skills to ensure the safety of all involved in romantic and sexual relationships. This workshop will focus on helping participants to feel more comfortable and confident in requesting and communicating whether or not they are consenting participants with their partners, and how to extend the same consideration for their partners.
PENN STATE BRANDYWINE
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention with University Police — April 4, 1 p.m. , Student Union 114-117. Join University Police and Residence Life for a presentation and discussion of sexual assault awareness and prevention. The first step in helping to prevent sexual assault is joining the conversation. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by University Police and Residence Life.
"Walk A Mile in Her Shoes" — April 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Orchard Hall. We are calling on male advocates to stop sexual assaults and domestic violence. Come and join Residence Life and Health Services for “walk a mile in her shoes.” Find the shoe that best fits you and walk around our Orchard Hall walkway using your voice to stand against domestic violence and sexual assault by wearing a heel or similar shoe and reading the statistics and learning while you walk in her shoes. Non-walkers can come to the event and participate in the clothesline project. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by Residence Life and Health Services.
"Take Back the Night" event — April 6, 7-9:30 p.m. (walk starts at 9 p.m.), sports court (rain location: Student Union). Come out and participate in our 3rd annual "Take Back the Night" event. The theme is “I Survived.” This will be a night of speakers, performers, poets and activities to get the message out that we will stand against sexual assault and domestic violence on our campus. There will be time for attendees (survivors, advocates and supporters) to share their stories of survival. The night will end with a candlelight vigil walk around campus paying respects to the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence but claiming our campus as a safe space. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by Residence Life.
Domestic Violence Awareness with University Police — April 7, 11 a.m.-noon, Orchard Hall 127. Join University Police and Residence Life for a presentation and discussion of domestic violence awareness. The first step in helping to prevent domestic violence is joining the conversation. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by University Police and Residence Life.
Clothesline Project — April 4-7. Join Health Services and Residence Life throughout the week in contributing to the Clothesline Project. The purpose of the project is to increase awareness of the impact of violence and abuse, to honor a survivor’s strength to continue, and to provide another avenue for them to courageously break the silence that often surrounds their experience. Participants can come and create a shirt that adds to the displays and starts the conversation.
- April 4 and April 7 — shirt-making will be done during common hour in the Student Union.
- April 5 — shirt-making will be done during common hour at Walk A Mile in Her Shoes.
- April 6 — shirt-making will be done in the Orchard Hall lobby.
Displays will be in the Student Union and Orchard Hall all week. Open to Penn State students, faculty and staff. Sponsored by Residence Life and Health Services. For more information about events, contact Don Brennan, [email protected].
PENN STATE HARRISBURG
"The Broken Ladder: Domestic Violence and Income Inequality" — April 14. The Madlyn L. Hanes Library at Penn State Harrisburg will host a session, co-sponsored with Penn State Harrisburg Reads, titled "The Broken Ladder: Domestic Violence and Income Inequality." Led by Michael Ritter of Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County Inc., this session will discuss the role that finances can play in assault, abuse, and inability to leave these situations. More information about the session is available here.
PENN STATE HAZLETON
Sexual Assault Survivor Bundles – April 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. – Butler 103. Students, faculty and staff are invited to help prepare kits packed with clothing, undergarments, hygiene products and other essential items for survivors of sexual assault.
"Take Back the Night" Walk – April 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Penn State Hazleton’s Women’s Empowerment organization will lead a walk around campus to take a stand against sexual assault and support survivors. Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate.
Teal Ribbon Day – April 20, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Campus Mall – Student Services and Engagement will be distributing teal ribbons during Rock the Block to spread awareness of sexual assault prevention.
Denim Day – April 27, all day – Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in national Denim Day by wearing denim to spread awareness and education around sexual violence and support survivors.
PENN STATE WILKES-BARRE
Care-Kit Creation — Wednesday, April 6, 3 p.m., in Science 106; and Thursday, April 7, 3 p.m., in Science 105. Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Students for Justice Club is holding a two-day “care kit” assembly in support of the Victims Resource Center in Wilkes-Barre. These kits give sexual assault victims clothing to wear after an exam, plus provide comfort items and materials to help start healing. Students will create the kits for victims of sexual assault while raising awareness of this serious issue.The club’s goal is to create 80 kits, which Victims Resource Center will distribute to local hospitals and child advocacy centers to help those in need in the local community. No registration is required.
PENN STATE YORK
Child Abuse Prevention Vigil: "No Excuse for Abuse" — Wednesday, April 13, 12:15–1:15 p.m., Precision Custom Components Community Room, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center. Join the Human Development and Family Studies students for the annual candlelight vigil to prevent abuse, held for National Child Abuse Prevention month in April. This event will include child abuse prevention information and participation in making pinwheels to represent a commitment to preventing abuse. For more information, please contact Sonia Molloy or call 717-718-6786.
Table Displays — Penn College will have educational table displays in the Bush Campus Center each Wednesday in April for the Penn College community.
"Take Back the Night" event — April 8, 6 p.m.,Thompson Professional Development Center lawn. The event is registered with the Take Back the Night/Action Against Sexual Violence organization.