Meet the Educators: Megan M.
Manager Megan MacKenzie envisions a world where everyone's sex ed class is empowering, sex-positive, consent-focused, and queer-friendly.
Back in July, we interviewed manager and second year Speak About It educator, Megan MacKenzie, while she was halfway through a cross-country road trip. Clearly, she loves a life on the road. But she also loves consent education. Obviously, touring with Speak About It is a great fit for her. In her words, “I’m so stoked on improving the accessibility of inclusive and consent-based sexual education.” We’re so stoked to have her back on the team!
A 2015 Colby College graduate, Megan focused on Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and wrote her senior thesis on queer sex education. After college, a favorite podcast, Sex Nerd Sandra, introduced her to the concept of affirmative consent and pleasure-based sex education. That changed everything for Megan. “It blew my mind. It made so much sense,” she says. “I had always seen sexual assault prevention through a No Means No lens. Pleasure and empowerment had little to do with it. The more I learned about the Yes Means Yes model, the more I understood that sexual consent education isn't just about prevention, it's about changing hookup culture so that folks participating can feel empowered and confident.”
Unlike most of our educators who have acting or performance backgrounds, Megan was drawn to Speak About It because of her enthusiasm for sex education. She’s the first to admit: she’s not an actor, “I was in the Vagina Monologues once in college, and prior to that, hadn't done theater since I was in Little Women in the sixth grade. But I think that highlights the accessibility of our show. It's real people telling real stories and talking to students as mentors, educators, and sometimes even as peers.” She loves working with Speak About It because she can help students develop real, tangible tools to have better, healthier relationships.
The more I learned about the Yes Means Yes model, the more I understood that sexual consent education isn't just about prevention, it's about changing hookup culture so that folks participating can feel empowered and confident.”
Megan toured with Speak About It last year, and returned as a manager this summer. She’s jazzed to be back doing work that she loves, especially after a powerful first year experience. She recounts a facilitation with students at Stanford last year, one of her favorite shows: “We worked with the athletic department and were able to not only meet with varsity team captains and train them to lead post-show discussions, but also had the privilege to sit in on, observe, and facilitate the discussions amongst the teams. It was so incredible and inspiring to see how each team is like a family, how they support each other and are always looking out for each other. Each team I worked with was so willing to have open and honest dialogue.”
As a manager, she’s looking forward to encouraging open dialogue about consent with students again, but she also wants to connect with college administrators and learn from their own experiences building a culture of consent at their schools. She’s looking to go to graduate school in the field, and is excited for the opportunity to learn from other professionals.
Tour isn’t all about professional development though. Heading into tour, Megan was also excited to connect with her cast mates and build more memorable (and hilarious) moments with her team. From late night dance parties, to early morning warm-ups, building a great rapport with one's cast is such an important part of the experience. “It's hard work and long hours, but none of that matters because it's just so much nonstop fun,” she says. “No matter the situation, I am constantly energized by the impact of the work we do, the students we meet, the stories we hear, and the relationships that I have with my fellow cast mates.”
Speak About It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence.
Copyright 2016 Speak About It, Inc. Website by Alexandra Valleau