In order to educate students and staff about sexual assault, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is holding a Title IX training workshop on how to improve support for sexual assault survivors on campus.
The workshop will feature a keynote speech, “A Survivor’s Perspective: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Assault on Campus,” by Kamilah Willingham, an activist for survivors of sexual assault who appeared in the 2014 documentary “The Hunting Ground.”
In January 2011, Willingham, then a third-year Harvard Law student, reported that a fellow student sexually assaulted her and a friend. She will discuss her experiences filing separate reports with Harvard and the Cambridge Police and the investigations that followed.
A screening of “The Hunting Ground” will be held in advance of the workshop at 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the Student Services Center Auditorium.
Dr. Erin Finzer, chair of the International and Second Language Studies Department, and Dr. Laura Bario-Vilar, an assistant professor of English, will speak about UALR’s Green Dot Initiative.
“The national epidemic of college sexual assault has gained media and legal attention under Title IX, the 1972 legislation guaranteeing equal access, regardless of sex, to all educational activities and programs that receive federal funding,” Finzer said. “With Green Dot, UALR was ahead of most U.S. universities in providing evidence-based prevention programming mandated under Title IX. We are pleased that Green Dot continues to be a touchstone of student life on our campus.”
In the final session, Teresa Williamson, the ethics and compliance officer at Northwest Arkansas Community College, will talk about how sexual assault complaints are handled on her campus.
Monie Johnson, executive director of the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said the workshop’s programming will focus on educating individuals about campus resources that are available to survivors of sexual assault.
“In the past, resources were not readily available, but now more and more campuses are seeing the need to address this issue in a way that is beneficial for all students,” Johnson said. “Sexual Assault Awareness Month allows us to bring the issue to the forefront of discussions, collectively, across the state as well as in our local communities and campuses. These discussions play a vital role in the movement to end sexual violence in our society.”
In recognition of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, UALR will host numerous events, including a self-defense class on April 11, a sexual assault resource and health fair on April 12, and a dodgeball tournament fundraiser for the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault on April 13.
The Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations working together toward the elimination of sexual violence and advocating for sexual assault victims’ rights and services. ACASA provides cohesion, vision, and resources to members, while working to change public attitudes and beliefs regarding sexual violence issues.