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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Start of a conversation

Photo by FILE

A “Step In, Stand Up” workshop was held in April to educate students on how to support sexual violence survivors.

Hoping to foster more conversation, Step In. Stand Up. will be hosting renowned violence prevention activist Jackson Katz on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 5.
Katz has spoken across the U.S. and the world about topics relating to issues of gender, race and violence, and is also a leading figure in gender violence prevention in professional and college sports and the military. He will host six lectures over the two days which will be held in Gates Ballroom in the Memorial Student Center.
“Dr. Katz is a pioneering researcher in issues related to men and masculinity and gender realms,” said Heather Wheeler, Women’s Resource Center program coordinator. “I think he really brings a fresh perspective in addressing some of the issues in our various communities.”
Some topics to be discussed by Katz include Blurred Lines: Sex and Violence in Media and Real Life, Violence Against Women is a Men’s Issue and Gender on the Agenda: The Socialization of Children in a Culture of Violence, among others.
“I’m excited for the range of different audiences I am going to be speaking to both students, faculty and staff,” Katz said. “I am going to get the chance to work with a lot of different people in a short amount of time in both intimate settings and public lecture settings.”
Harrell hopes students and community members that attend the lectures will be able to start more conversations pertaining to gender violence and sexual assault.
“We are in a learning environment, and part of the purpose of any education that we receive here is to give us different lens to look at and see how that fits in our own lens walking into the room in the first place,” Harrell said. “Hopefully, students will take that conversation and engage in dialogue with their peers when they leave.”
Title IX Coordinator Jennifer Smith said Katz’s lectures will provide a great opportunity for students to be more aware of sexual assault issues on campus.
“I am most excited that this is another opportunity to make our students aware of sexual assault,” Smith said. “It’s such a great educational opportunity for our students and community to become aware of the issues and to facilitate conversation.”
Associate Director in the Dean of Student Life Kristen Harrell said Katz was chosen after some smaller discussion groups used his book.
“We thought Dr. Katz was a good fit, and we had used his book with a number of students to try to help educate on issues like interracial violence and violence against women,” Harrell said. “We thought that he would be able to speak well to the population in a non-combative manner on these topics.”
Wheeler said Katz was originally only planned for one day but decided to make it two in order to reach a larger number of students and community members.
“One of the biggest roles we had to go through was fundraising to be able to bring him here,” Wheeler said. “It has been a lot of reaching out to different parts of the campus community to advertise the event and to get people involved in planning and encouraging people to come to the event.”
The Step In. Stand Up. program works to bring more awareness to sexual assault on campus, and Harrell hopes Katz’s speech will only add to the current programs and dialogue.
“I think [the speech] with combination with other work we are doing on campus will help bring a light to the broader climate of violence that happens in a society and in a culture, and folks can understand the bigger implication of even the language that we oftentimes use,” Harrell said. “We may continue to shift in what I think we have already been positively doing on A&M’s campus by fostering a culture of respect and integrity and really connecting with the core values of the institution.”

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  • Jackson Katz, violence prevention activist, to speak on campus later this week. 

    Photo by Courtesy of Jackson Katz

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