RWU: Taking a stand on empowering women on and off-campus.
Sensitive Topic Warning: The following conversation includes topics relating to sexual misconduct. If you or someone you know has experienced any type of sexual misconduct or if you feel you would like to talk to anyone about these issues, don’t hesitate to call public safety at (401) 254-3333. Additional resources are available through the RWU school website Assistance is here
Dialogue and Dine
On Tuesday, November 12th in the Global Heritage Hall, the Metoo class put on an event to discuss many aspects of Title IX on campus. After an incident on campus, Vice President of Student Life, John King, sent out an email to inform the campus community. The email that went
out was particularly concerning to students in Professor
Laura D’Amore’s #MeToo class, as well as other
members of the RWU community. In response, the class
wrote a petition and got over 85 signatures for King to
publicly address the concerns. This led to the planning
of the Dialogue and Dine event on November 12th, an
event that brought together John King with professors,
counselors, and students to discuss sexual misconduct on campus; the presence of mac and cheese, mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders didn’t hurt. The event started out with a general Q and A session, which sparked lots of great questions from the audience. After that, smaller breakout groups met to discuss a variety of branches under the umbrella of sexual misconduct. The goal of the event was to start a discussion and bring to life some of the many issues regarding student safety on campus and how it is addressed. Although the event was a success, many students raised the concern that an event of this nature shouldn’t even be needed. Students on campus should feel physically safe in regards to their bodies. It was also said that when incidents of sexual misconduct are discussed, it is important to be sensitive to emotions and trauma that people may be experiencing. Students interested in learning more about sexual misconduct on campus and how it is addressed at RWU filled the GHH atrium.
Taking their stance off-campus.
This year, Professor D’Amore’s #MeToo class is partnering with Girls Inc. Taunton to help young girls become proud of who they are. In early November, students from the class started visiting Girls Inc. to work on many projects with the girls. Anne Marie Allen, a sophomore psychology major with a minor in gender and sexuality studies, sat down with me to tell me more about the class goals. “We are working on individual projects to teach the girls about empowerment, self-esteem, and consent. We want them to know that their voice matters.” Working with these girls to build their confidence is crucial to having them understand that they control who they are and what they do. “It is important to start teaching girls these concepts at a young age because they are more willing to learn when they are young, and learning about consent in many ways, not only sexually, is important because it helps them understand that they are in control of their own bodies. Even with simple hugs, it’s important for them to know that they can say no.” (Anne Marie Allen).
Girls Inc of Taunton:
To support the amazing cause of female empowerment,
Roger Williams’ #MeToo class has partnered up with
Girls inc. Taunton to help local girls feel “strong, smart
and bold”. Girls inc. is on organization that provides after
school programs, summer camps, and vacation camps
to young girls that have a focus on making them see
how amazing they are. The Girls Inc. mission statement
is to “To Inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold”
and their vision is to see “Empowered girls in an equitable society”. Girls inc directly reach around 200 girls annually through afterschool programs and summer camps and many more through outreach. Girls Inc. has been successfully helping girls for 103 years!
Anne Marie, on behalf of the entire metoo class, would like to say “there were 14 people in the class that made
a stance to organize this event and we aren't stopping here, this isn’t the end of our conversation, we will continue to make a difference on and off campus!”
Learn more about all of the incredible projects