'It’s On Us PA' grant will help fund peer education opportunities

January 13, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is one of 37 institutions of higher education to receive a  grant through the “It’s On Us” PA grant program, as announced by Gov. Tom Wolf. Penn State received the full amount requested, by the initiating office, the Gender Equity Center, an award of $30,000.

The grant will aid the Gender Equity Center in enhancing the effectiveness of its peer education opportunities and programming through the creation of new training structures, programming and curriculum. This grant will aid in the creation of new programming and initiatives for the peer educator groups -- Greeks Care, in collaboration with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life;  Men Against Violence (MAV); and Peers Helping Reaffirm Educate and Empower (PHREE). By enhancing training for peer educators, the Gender Equity Center will be able grow the programs as well as increase the effectiveness of the groups.

In addition to the peer education initiatives within the center, the funding will work to address gaps in prevention, targeting historically marginalized community members who experience higher rates of violence. Becca Geiger, assistant director of the Gender Equity Center, noted they will do so by partnering with advocacy offices across campus, inviting them into the conversation as partners and primary stakeholders when it comes to prevention, education and advocacy at the University. These campus partners include the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, and Health Promotion and Wellness. 

“This award will provide our office the much-needed funds to create innovative intersectional programming when it comes to violence prevention on campus,” said Geiger,. “We will enhance our center’s mission and vision while simultaneously bolstering and advancing the mission and vision of our other Student Affairs units who work to educate, address, and eliminate other important issues including, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, racism, colonialism and xenophobia.”

As a part of Student Affairs at Penn State, the Gender Equity Center contributes to the holistic growth of Penn State students, providing support and developmental opportunities to enhance their potential as active, responsible members of the Penn State community and community at large. The Gender Equity Center supports students impacted by power-based interpersonal violence, including sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking and harassment.

Pennsylvania was the first state to debut an “It’s On Us” campaign when Gov. Tom Wolf launched the program in January 2016. “It’s On Us” aims to increase awareness, education and resources that combat sexual assault in schools, colleges and universities.

Last Updated January 13, 2021