Friday, March 29, 2019

Peirce College Receives the Governor’s It’s On Us PA Grant

Recently, Peirce College had the privilege of being awarded the Governor’s It’s On Us PA Grant to elevate a national platform for awareness and prevention of sexual assault.

Building off the momentum of the It’s On Us movement, which is a national organization formed to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault on college campuses, It’s On Us PA was launched by Governor Tom Wolf’s office and the PA Department of Education. It’s On Us PA is a statewide campaign that invites everyone to play a role in ending sexual assault. This movement brings together college and university presidents, superintendents, administrators, teachers, students, families, and community members to reframe the conversation around sexual violence and pledge to be part of the solution.

For 2019, Peirce College received the Governor’s It’s On Us PA Grant and immediately put it into action by hosting a It’s On Us: From Campus to Community: Brunch & Learn on Thursday, March 28 at Peirce College.

Peirce staff and faculty were invited to join, as well as, Peirce Health Programs students and a few special guests, who included, Mr. Reuben Mills, Director for the Bureau of Postsecondary, Higher and Adult Basic Education, for the State of Pennsylvania and Mr. Saxon Nelson, Contractor for Special Projects, Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education, PA Department of Education; University of the Arts’ Lexi Morrison, Title IX Coordinator and Diversity Administrator, and Rhonda Fioresi, Director of Residence Life & Conduct; finally, Dr. Kathleen (Kate) Watson, Adjunct Professor at Peirce and Owner of Watson Wellness Promotion joined as a guest and the keynote speaker.

At this event, Dr. Kate Watson, a renowned victim rights advocate, eloquently led the room in a timely discussion on trauma in its many forms, responses, reactions, and more. She opened the minds of all attendees to understanding further how to best respond to certain situations and to individuals who may have gone through a traumatic experience. One of the biggest takeaways from the forum was the encouragement to change the question we all ask in our minds when encountering someone who reacts a bit differently than us. We should transform our minds from, “What is their problem?” to “I wonder what happened to them?” This small change can impact how we respond and engage with certain individuals, which may make all the difference.

As an event conclusion, the room was asked and encouraged to sign the It’s On Us Pledge as a commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise to not be a bystander to the problem, but to be part of the solution.

A special thank you to Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO, Peirce College, as well as, Dr. Stephanie Donovan, Associate Professor, Faculty Chair, Health Programs, Peirce College and Jacqueline Penrod, Associate Professor, Peirce College for their contributions to the program and event as a whole.

Peirce College will continue to work hard to raise awareness and prevention of sexual assault not only on our campus, but around the community.

Thank you to everyone who attended this first kick-off event of the Governor’s It’s On Us PA Grant with Peirce College.