Lawrence Hall’s DEI Committee strives to ensure Lawrence Hall is a diverse, equitable environment of belonging and inclusivity. Having “brave conversations” about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is a necessity for healthy company culture and requires honesty, compassion, and self-reflection of all involved. Our Brave Conversations Series highlights topics not normally discussed but that have deep, personal impacts on our staff, youth, families, and communities.
March is Women’s History Month and presents the opportunity to have brave conversations about issues facing women today. Our third conversation is around Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, and #MeToo.
CONTENT WARNING: This post and resources listed include readings, media, and discussion around topics such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, physical violence, and identity-based discrimination and harassment. We acknowledge that this content may be difficult. We also encourage you to care for your safety and well-being.
Sexual harassment is defined as behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation. Hostile work environment sexual harassment includes someone you work with making you the target of unwelcome sexually suggestive or demeaning comments, repeated and unwelcome requests for dates, offensive gestures, offensive touching, jokes or pranks, intimidating behaviors, or pornographic materials.
Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. It is a form of sexual violence, a category which includes child sexual abuse, groping, and rape.
The #MeToo phrase was first coined in 2006 by Tarana Burke, an advocate for women in New York. Burke wanted a way to empower women who had endured sexual violence by letting them know that they were not alone—other women had suffered the same experience. The #MeToo movement opened up an ongoing public dialogue about the issues as well as progressive changes in how society views the very real challenges of dealing with sexual harassment and assault. In fact, one of the biggest changes is the fact that survivors can now share their stories publicly without fear.
According to the people working with issues of harassment and assault, the #MeToo movement has moved things in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.
From changes in federal laws to real safety for survivors who speak up, there is still a lot that needs to be addressed before sexual assault and harassment becomes an issue of the past.
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) has a 24-hour, 7-day a week support line you can reach over the phone 800.656.4673 or by online chat: https://www.rainn.org/
Confirmation (2016) directed by Rick Famuyiwa
North Country (2005) directed by Niki Caro
The Rape of Recy Taylor (2017) directed by Nancy Buirski
Doublespeak: A Short Film on Sexual Harassment (2021) directed by Hazel McKibbin
On the Record (2020) by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick
The Hunting Ground (2015) directed by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick
The Invisible War (2012) directed by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick
I May Destroy You (HBO) created, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel
Unbelievable (Netflix) co-created, written, and directed by Susannah Grant
Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
Speaking Truth to Power
Laurie Halse Anderson
Know My Name
Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl
What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape
Not That Bad
Written on the Body: Letters from Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Lexie Bean, Dean Spade, Nyala Moon, Alex Valdes Sawyer DeVuyst, and Ieshai Bailey