Speak About It welcomes new Executive Director!
Educator and theater artist, Olivia Harris, brings lots of expertise, enthusiasm, and energy to the team.
We are so excited to welcome Olivia Harris to Speak About It as our new Executive Director. The Board searched across the nation to find a candidate with the experience and enthusiasm to bring Speak About It into its next chapter of growth. An applied theater artist and educator, Olivia brings diverse experience from non-profits, theaters and universities from all over the world to the team. We’re so jazzed to have her on board!
“My goal was always to develop Speak About It into something that I could pass on, so that this important work and mission could continue to grow beyond my own imagination,” says Founding Executive Director, Shane Diamond. “Olivia is an incredibly capable, qualified and passionate successor, and she brings a lot of unique skills to the table. I can’t wait to see her vision for this next chapter. It’s going to be a very exciting one.”
Based out of Philadelphia, Harris, 30, is currently the Organizational Learning Specialist at the Harlem Children’s Zone and an Albert Greenfield Fellow at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. She works with a number of organizations and schools on issues of gender-based violence, consent and healthy relationships. She comes with a deep enthusiasm and mastery of the kind of sex-positive, consent education that Speak About It delivers. As an adjunct professor at Drew University, Olivia developed an applied theater curriculum where students built their own campus programs to address sexual assault prevention with their peers.
“This is my passion work: engaging healthier and happier sexual beings using humor and humanity,” says Olivia. A graduate of the Applied Theater program at the City University of New York and an alumna of the Bond Street Theatre, she has used the performing arts to promote social change all over the world: from Nepal to Afghanistan to Haiti. She is also a seasoned educator. During her five years at the Harlem Children's Zone, she managed academics for an arts after school program, ran professional development for staff, and created career preparation curriculum for students. "I am honored and humbled to get to continue developing SAI's fantastic work teaching consent and communication theatrically,” she remarks. “It is thrilling to find an ideal organizational home, and I'm ready to hit the ground running."
Harris’s passion for consent and sexuality education, combined with her background in bringing theater to diverse audiences, are a perfect fit for Speak About It, especially as demand for this kind of programming has only increased in schools nationwide. Board Member Kim Pacelli, who chaired the search committee, observed that “the search committee was especially impressed with Olivia’s deep passion for positive and authentic education around healthy relationships and consent. She brings energy and creativity to our already-powerful programming and outstanding team.”
We all look forward to this next era of growth under Harris’s creativity and leadership. She will be in Portland, starting in July, to train our new class of educators alongside Shane. If you’re in the area, be sure to pop by and meet her. Until then, you can check out her website at www.oliviaharris.com. Welcome, Olivia!
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