April 05, 2010

Panel discussion will focus on gender violence

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A social activism panel at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will address the issue of gender violence in an April 19 public forum.

“Power, Privilege and Ending Gender Violence: What Does Activism Look Like?” is set for 7-9 p.m. at the Student Center Auditorium. A panel of local and campus activists will discuss gender violence, an issue affecting millions of people throughout the world whether as sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, child molestation, human trafficking, prostitution or in other forms. Panelists will include Rachel Griffin, speech communication assistant professor, and Josh Phillips, activist and speech communication instructor.

The panel’s members bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to the discussion, which organizers hope will raise public awareness and create compassionate safety zones where survivors can get help. Panel members will discuss how activism can take different roles depending upon the strengths, interests and talents of those involved and they’ll tell how they found their niches.

Sponsors for the social activism panel, free and open to all, include the Social Justice Leadership Institute, Recreational Sports and Services, University Housing, Student Affairs, Saluki First Year Experience, Student Development, University Honors Program, Interfraternity Council, Department of Speech Communication, and Women’s Studies.

The Social Justice Leadership Institute is a new program this year at SIUC with the goal of developing good, ethical, moral student leaders and citizen scholars through a series of workshops, dialogues and activities. Membership selection is through a stringent screening process. The inaugural class will be wrapping up as the semester comes to an end and planning for the 2010-20111 Social Justice Leadership Institute begins.

For more information about “Power, Privilege, and Ending Gender Violence: What Does Activism Look Like?” contact Phillips by e-mail at joshua.d.phillips@hotmail.com.