Programs honor survivors, build awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

March 28, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino shares her #MeToo experience and journey of worldwide advocacy as the keynote event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Penn State. Her talk April 10 is part of a month of programming planned by the Gender Equity Center, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, and other sponsors. All programs are free and open to all.

Programs include:

Honoring Survival: Transforming the Spirit

6:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, Memorial Lounge, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center

An annual event honoring strength and resiliency of survivors of all forms of interpersonal violence and their loved ones. Sponsored by Gender Equity Center, Centre Safe, and the University Park Undergraduate Association. The event is part of UPUA’s Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.

What Were You Wearing? survivor art installation

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, 134 HUB-Robeson Center

Annual display showing descriptions of outfits worn by survivors of sexual violence during their assaults. Meant to show what someone was wearing should not lead to victim blaming. Sponsored by Gender Equity Center and University Park Undergraduate Association. The event is part of UPUA’s Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.

Men Against Violence Walk

Noon Wednesday, April 10, Flex Theater, HUB-Robeson Center

Annual walk led by the Gender Equity Center’s Men Against Violence peer education group. If the weather is nice, the meeting point will be HUB lawn. Register at tinyurl.com/MAVWalk2019. Individuals and organizations welcome. Sponsored by Men Against Violence, Gender Equity Center, and University Park Undergraduate Association. The event is part of UPUA’s Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.

Mira Sorvino: #MeToo: From Weinstein to Worldwide Advocacy

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center

“At the time I don’t think I even knew that what happened — him using business-related situations to try and press himself sexually on a young woman in his employ — qualified as sexual harassment. But as a woman who routinely advocates for women and girls who have been victimized in my role as Goodwill Ambassador with the United Nations, and as a mother of two daughters, I could no longer remain silent.” — Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino

Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino shares her #MeToo experience and journey of worldwide advocacy on April 10 as the keynote event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Penn State.

IMAGE: Provided by Mira Sorvino

With these words, Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino recounted her personal experiences with Harvey Weinstein in TIME magazine. As one of the earliest and most prominent women in Hollywood to confront Weinstein’s years of predation, Sorvino helped empower a cascade of 90 silence breakers to come forward. Now one of the most passionate and articulate voices in the #MeToo movement alongside Tarana Burke, Sorvino fights to balance the playing field so that women and girls may pursue their goals without fear of sexual harassment in a true meritocracy, not a quid pro quo antiquated system. Her highly positive and solutions-based talk does not dwell long on the horrors of victimization. Linking #MeToo to the larger struggle of women worldwide and her longtime work fighting human trafficking, Sorvino shares what all men and women can do to end sexual harassment and patriarchal predation. Her inspiring point of view empowers all of us to stand up, speak out and forever end this ages-old injustice against women and girls. Sponsored by Gender Equity Center, Panhellenic Council, the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the University Park Undergraduate Association. The event is part of UPUA’s Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.

“While we provide extensive educational opportunities through the year on issues like sexual violence, having a month dedicated nationally to this issue helps people focus more intentionally on the prevalence of sexual violence in our world, county, and communities,” said Jennifer Pencek, programming coordinator of the Gender Equity Center.

“Sexual violence impacts each of us in so many ways. We can not ignore what is right in front of us — the perpetration of sexual violence in so many ways and the immense blame placed on victims and survivors," said Pencek. "With our programming, we are very intentional in educating the community and honoring the experiences of survivors and their loved ones. It can take the smallest of changes to have a positive impact. Let’s make that impact.”

For more information about these events and the Gender Equity Center, please visit studentaffairs.psu.edu/genderequity.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 12, 2019