We’ve certainly had some adventures since the last post, and thank you all for following us on various social media! If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all the latest developments as we travel across the country and spark dialogues with students.
January and February saw many shows for the Speak About It family, ranging from Greek-specific performances at Cornell to high school shows in DC and a high school presentation in New Mexico. We started the trek at Brandeis in early January as a part of their Spring Orientation, and had a chance to sit down with over 100 Orientation Leaders and Community Advisors before the performance. From there, we headed to Cornell University for their Spring Orientation, where we got to meet some awesome administrators and Speak About It super fans (Bianca has been to all three performances at Cornell!). Shana had a chance at the end of the month to represent Speak About It at a nonprofit symposium at Bowdoin College, and spent the entire afternoon talking about sex with current students and nonprofit leaders from across Maine.
February was a big push for us, and we started the month with a performance at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA as part of their spring programming for seniors. It was great to check out Jared Leto’s alma mater, and the actors had a moment to enjoy some great conversations with current students. And while we were there, we had a chance to meet Senator Elizabeth Warren! She now has a Speak About It mug, which we’re sure she uses every morning (or at least that’s what we tell ourselves). February 8th, Speak About It was invited to perform at Bowdoin College’s Consent Fest, where we met passionate student-leaders from schools throughout New England, and it was a chance for Shana to bring the show back to her alma mater after four years of independent performances. The crowd was great, and it was a huge honor to participate in a larger conversation about consent education and sexual assault prevention across many campuses.
Not to be outdone, we also had our First Annual Speak About It Board Retreat, where we were able to assemble the board of directors from across the country for a weekend in Portland, ME. We were able to lay down some goals for the year, including some structure for how to reach more students, and officially voted Shana as the first Executive Director. Stay tuned for Director Bios, coming soon! For more information about the Board, or for any questions about joining the Board, contact Shana here.
Mid-February saw a trip back to Cornell for a performance specifically geared towards the incoming fraternity and sorority pledges, and this gave us an opportunity to talk about social capital, party planning, and the importance of bystander intervention among brothers and sisters. The show was extremely well-received and we’re excited to see how this influences the social scene at Cornell. From there, we headed straight to the DC area for a show at the Bullis School in Potomac, MD, where we got to meet a great group of juniors and seniors. The end of February saw Shana in her hometown of Taos, New Mexico, giving presentations to high school students of all ages about consent, alcohol, sexual assault prevention, healthy sexuality, communication, and bystander intervention. She was able to speak with over 300 students, and she was able to generate buzz and conversation long after she’d returned to Maine.
Most recently, the crew returned from two performances at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia that were open to the entire student body. We met some passionate and influential administrators and students who are eager to create change on their campus. We met athletes (Go Tribe!), Greek leaders, and sexual assault advocates, all of whom are gearing up for Sexual Assault Awareness Week. And we got to scope out Colonial Williamsburg a bit, which was a great addition to the itinerary!
Already in 2014, we’ve been able to spark dialogue with almost 2500 high school and college students, and we’ve got big plans for the rest of the year. Tomorrow is April 1st, and the start of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and we’ve got quite the agenda in store, including performances, fundraisers, auditions, and more. Stay tuned throughout the month for information about sexual assault education and prevention, guest bloggers, chances to support the organization, and a whole lot of sex education.