Campus sexual assault prevention, response at forefront of First Lady's fourth annual summit

Monday, Sept. 17, 2018

Summit to be held at Western Michigan University on Monday, Sept. 24

LANSING, Mich. — Best practices for responding to and preventing sexual assault are at the forefront of First Lady Sue Snyder’s fourth annual Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault summit. The event, which is a continuation of an ongoing campaign to inform communities, empower individuals and ultimately bring an end to campus sexual assault in Michigan, will be hosted at Western Michigan University on Monday, Sept. 24.

“Michigan is a model state in the fight to end campus sexual assault, and this year’s summit will continue building upon the important conversations we started four years ago,” First Lady Sue Snyder said. “This movement is more than just talking about campus sexual assault—it’s about being part of the solution to end it. We’re going to do whatever it takes to create a better environment for survivors while developing comprehensive solutions for prevention in Michigan.”  

Co-hosted by state Senators Tonya Schuitmaker and Rebekah Warren, and state Representatives Laura Cox and Kristy Pagan, the summit is a bipartisan effort bringing together college and university representatives, legislators, law enforcement officials, and students for a series of panels and networking sessions.

Summit attendees will hear from several nationally-recognized experts on the topic of campus sexual assault. Speakers and topics include: 

Keynote presentations

  • A panel discussion focused on best practices for responding to campus sexual assault will be facilitated by Angie Povilaitis, a staff policy attorney with the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. Panelists include Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor; Brandon DeHaan, chief of police at Grand Valley State University; Samara Hough, counselor and program specialist at the University of Michigan; and Kris Rose, executive director of End Violence Against Women International.
  • Brenda Tracy, an advocate and founder of Set The Expectation, will share her story as a survivor, discuss how she has successfully engaged the young men she works with and outline tangible actions that students, administrators, and community members can take to make their campuses safer.

Breakout sessions

  • Casey Corcoran from Futures Without Violence will discuss toxic masculinity and strategies high school students can take to be leaders in preventing sexual violence.
  • Skye Ashton Kantola from Purdue University will discuss violence prevention efforts with marginalized communities on campus and how to connect sexual and domestic violence with campus violence prevention efforts.
  • Mike Domitrz from the Date Safe Project will offer presentations to both high school and college students focused on healthy relationships. 
  • Catharsis Productions will offer interactive presentations to both high school and college students focused on bystander intervention and prevention strategies.
  • Various panel discussions will focus on better engaging marginalized communities; institutional leadership’s role in setting the tone for campus culture; best practices for prevention; coordination between Title IX and law enforcement; and emerging policy issues related to sexual assault in Michigan. 

Based on available space, summit attendance is limited to campus representatives and issue experts. A livestream option will be available, with details to access it being announced later this week.

Summit sponsors include:

  • Presenting: Western Michigan University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.
  • Partner: Adrian College, Grand Valley State University, Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University.
  • Friend: Central Michigan University, Northern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Saginaw Valley State University, Lansing Community College, University of Michigan – Dearborn, University of Michigan – Flint, Michigan Technological University and the Marsh Philanthropic Fund.

All general sessions of the summit will be open to media. A breakout session focused on best practices for reporting on sexual assault without re-victimizing will be open to press, and all members of the media are encouraged to attend. The reporting session is included in Breakout Session #1, which immediately follows the opening keynote panel discussion.

Media who wish to attend the summit must RSVP to GovNewsroom@michigan.gov and present valid press credentials onsite to be admitted.

Additional summit details, information about speakers, and the full agenda can be found at www.endcampussexualassault.com.

For updates on the First Lady’s initiative, follow @MISaferCampus on Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation using #MISaferCampus and #LECSA2018.

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