The Culture of Respect at Brown

In our ongoing commitment to improve the ways sexual and gender-based violence on campus is addressed, Brown joins NASPA's (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Culture of Respect's Collective program as a part of their 2021 cohort. The Culture of Respect Collective engages institutions in rigorous self assessment and collaborative strategic planning to take targeted steps towards addressing sexual and gender-based violence on campus. In alignment with the tradition of grassroots engagement at Brown, this initiative brings together campus organizers and practitioners who are engaged in advocacy, scholarship and support services campus-wide.   

The two-year program assists universities in their efforts to assess their effectiveness in addressing gender-based violence prevention and response efforts through a process of self-assessment and targeted organizational change. The assessment is organized around six key pillars (Survivor Support, Clear Policies, Multitiered Education for the entire campus, Public Disclosures of Statistics, Schoolwide Mobilization with students, groups and leaders and Ongoing Self Assessment) and ensures that they are fully addressed and adapted by each university. These pillars outline a holistic framework to building infrastructure around sexual violence prevention and response.  

Over a period of two-years, each cohort will receive a personalized track that makes use of an expert-developed public health framework, cross campus collaboration, and peer-led learning to catalyze institutional change. The program has shown success in making programmatic and policy changes at over 100 institutions across North America. 

Brown’s involvement in Culture of Respect will complement pre-existing programmatic efforts like BWell Health Promotion’s Sexual Harassment & Assault Resources & Education (SHARE) Advocates who provide confidential services and support for sexual assault survivors, and Sexual Assault Peer Education (SAPE) whose preventative education efforts shape a culture of consent on campus, as well as the University’s response efforts through our unified policy and procedures to adjudicate reports of sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking. 

On a national scale, Brown participates in the Association of American Universities survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct to understand where we stand in this landscape, and then use its findings to inform our efforts to serve the student population. 

Campus Updates
The Brown University Core Leadership Team met throughout the Spring and Summer 2021 semesters to complete the CORE Evaluation and submitted the completed evaluation to the Culture of Respect (COR) team in July 2021. 

A leadership team of 15 Brown staff, faculty and students conducted over 25 interviews and focus groups with campus constituents to gain understanding of the University’s efforts in regards to the six pillars of best practices: survivor support, clear policies, public disclosure, multiered education, school-wide mobilization, and self-assessment. Through community meetings with the COR leadership team, we synthesized the findings to deliver a report to COR for feedback. In providing feedback, COR will formulate an individualized intervention plan that includes how Brown can be most effective at preventing sexual violence.

As feedback and the individualized intervention plan become available (the current timeline for receiving feedback from Culture of Respect is early Fall 2021), we will share it on Brown’s Culture of Respect website, linked below. Many thanks to community members who participated in the data gathering process over the Spring and summer.

Campus Leadership Team 

Leading Brown’s participation in the Culture of Respect Collective is Elliot Ruggles, SHARE Advocate, and  Tanya Purdy, Director BWell Health Promotion. Together, they engage a core Campus Leadership Team composed of stakeholders, practitioners and scholars from across the university, along with faculty and students currently engaged in existing prevention and intervention efforts. The team will meet both regularly and at crucial junctures to balance both inclusivity and efficiency, and reach out to campus community members and stakeholders for input along the process.

Campus of Respect Core Leadership Team

Alpert Medical School
Lindsay Orchowski, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Research)

BWell Health Promotion
Tanya Purdy, MPH, Director
Elliot Ruggles, LICSW, PhD, SHARE Advocate
Alana Sacks, LICSW, SHARE Advocate
Gersandre Gonsalves-Domond ‘22, Graduate Culture of Respect Program Coordinator

LGBTQ Center
Caitlin O’Neill, PhD, Assistant Director

Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Juana De Los Santos, MBA, MS, Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity
Jeana Horton, Institutional Equity Investigator and Interim Title IX Program Officer  

Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender
Felicia Salinas-Moniz, PhD, MA, Senior Assistant Director

Student Representatives
Jamila Beesley ‘22, Sexual Assault Peer Educator
Isabelle Sharon ‘23, Campus Life Student Advisory Board

Faculty Representatives
Emily Owens, PhD, Department of History
Tamar Katz, PhD, Department of English

Transformative Justice Program Coordinator
Dara Kwayera Imani Bayer ‘08, Director

Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center
Renata Mauriz ‘17, Student Success Program Coordinator  

Questions can be directed to [email protected].