Madeleine Beimford '16, co-chair of Emerald Empowerment Week at Emerson, said the week of events to raise awareness of power-based interpersonal violence was well attended. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)
The co-chair of Emerald Empowerment Week at Emerson, the week of events organized by Kappa Gamma Chi to raise awareness and education of issues relating to sexual assault and power-based interpersonal violence, is calling the week a success.
“I feel ecstatic for how well attended the events were and how supported the cause was,” said Madeleine Beimford ’16, who co-chaired the week with Alicia Carroll ’15.
The headlining event of the week, April 12–19, was a talk about rape culture in the Bright Family Screening Room with Laci Green, the host of popular sex education shows on YouTube who is also a rape and dating crisis counselor.
“She made a strong point in saying…it’s a small portion of our society who are the aggressors,” Beimford said. “It’s those people who are the repeat offenders. If you get away with it once, there’s a high chance of repeating that.”
Laci Green speaks to students in the Bright Family Screening Room of the Paramount Center during Emerald Empowerment Week. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)
Other Emerald Empowerment Week events included: Let’s Talk, a TED-style discussion on violence prevention and relationship issues; a variety show; a student-produced play, Black ‘n’ Blue Boys/Broke Men, which focused on men who are sexual assault survivors; a screening of the documentary The Hunting Ground, which examines recent cases of sexual assault on U.S. college campuses; gathering students to produce a violence awareness video message; and discussion events with Emerson’s interim Title IX coordinator and members of Violence Prevention and Response (VPR), Emerson College Police Department, Student Life, Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS), and the Center for Health and Wellness.
Alicia Carroll '15, co-chair of Emerald Empowerment Week, hosts a discussion about sexual violence in the media during the Let's Talk event. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)
“Having Betsy [Facher Rauch, the recently appointed interim Title IX coordinator] there…was really helpful,” Beimford said. “Her being on these panels has helped people realize the progress that has been made and will continue to be made. Students know they’re taken seriously and that they have many safe, confidential spaces to go to.”
Beimford also praised Melanie Matson and Greta Spoering, survivor advocates in VPR, for helping with the week and providing a safe space for students to speak with them during The Hunting Ground screening.
Beimford said Kappa Gamma Chi’s goal was to reach different segments of the student population throughout the week.
“We wanted to target everyone from Performing Arts majors, to athletes, to people in the Student Government Association,” she said. “A big part of that was choosing our keynote speaker. We were so lucky to have her.”
Additionally, Kappa Gamma Chi members set up a table in the Little Building with informational materials in the days leading up to Emerald Empowerment Week. They also advertised the event on social media, in the Next Week at Emerson electronic newsletter, and on emerson.edu.