UNC Charlotte to Attend First-of-Its-Kind Institute to Address Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded UNC Charlotte a one-year grant to participate in a first of its kind national leadership institute to address on campus gender-based violence. Through the $10,000 grant from the Avon Foundation, UNC Charlotte will be among the 20 schools to participate in this comprehensive, action-oriented leadership program to develop and implement action plans to prevent and respond to sexual assault.  Together, they will form a growing learning community committed to ending gender-based violence on school campuses.

“As a university and school dedicated to community engagement, I love how this grant focuses on the university community itself. We often talk about the impact we can make on the city and region, but what about the students and employees in our own backyard?” said Annelise Mennicke, a professor in the School of Social Work and member of the team that applied for the grant.

UNC Charlotte will attend the institute in Atlanta with join a group of 10 area schools from November 30 to December 1. University representatives will be:

  • Jennifer Newell, Title IX Coordinator
  • Sarah Edwards, Associate General Counsel
  • Nicole Madonna-Rosario, Health Education Specialist- Interpersonal Violence

Newell said the university is very excited to participate.

“Having this opportunity to be involved in this benchmark program will allow UNC Charlotte to participate in cutting edge programs and initiatives for Bystander Intervention and Response to sexual assault on college campuses,” she said.

During the program, participants will learn and share best practices on how to respond, using a trauma-informed lens, when an assault occurs. At the end of the two-day institute, each school will have a sexual assault prevention and response action plan, which they will be supported to implement over the course of a year.

Futures Without Violence received a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women to research, design and implement a curriculum in collaboration with Harvard Law School’s Gender Violence Program and the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education.

The National Leadership Institute curriculum focuses on four major areas: 1) fundamentals of gender-based violence and trauma, 2) campus cultures and climate, 3) prevention and education, and 4) response, policy, and adjudication. Developed in consultation with national experts and institutional representatives from schools across the country, the curriculum provides colleges and universities the opportunity to learn best practices in the prevention, response and resolution of sexual violence, and the tools needed to implement action plans.  

“The Avon Foundation has funded campus-based campaigns and bystander intervention initiatives for more than five years to help change behaviors around sexual assault. We want to inspire and empower others to be a part of the solution,” said Christine Jaworsky, Avon Foundation Program Director. “We see the National Leadership Institute as an innovative opportunity for students and schools to take the lead in shifting the conversation around gender-based violence in the campus setting, but also in the broader dialogue around sexual and domestic violence in our society.” 

More than 70 schools applied to participate in the program.