(Posted October 5, 2020)

HUNTINGDON, Pa.—With October serving as national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Juniata College’s Office for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence, housed in the SPoT (Ellis 113), has a month of programs and activities planned ranging from keynote virtual speakers to Juniata College community members creating t-shirts in honor of those impacted by relationship violence.

The first of the month’s events will be “Beverly Gooden and Geena Rocero: A Discussion for Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6. Registration may be completed online at tinyurl.com/gooden-rocero-tickets. 

Beverly Gooden breaks down the myths and misunderstandings around domestic violence to illuminate the complex reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships and what you can do to help. Recently the “Me Too” movement has shown us what our society considers acceptable can be changed by the work of many individuals coming together to speak with a unified voice. Known for creating the viral Twitter hashtag #WhyIStayed in the wake of several high-profile domestic violence incidents, Gooden sparked a national conversation about how society views victims while calling for a community response to this important social issue. 

Geena Rocero, born and raised in Manila, Philippines, is a model, public speaker, producer, trans rights advocate and co-host of the 2017 Webby Awards honoree TV Show ASPIREist, broadcasted on HLN/CNN. On March 31, 2014, in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Rocero came out as transgender at the annual TED Conference. Her viral talk has since been viewed more than 4 million times and translated into 32 languages. Rocero is the founder of Gender Proud, an award-winning media production company that tells stories on what it means to be trans and gender non-conforming.

“Beverly Gooden and Geena Rocero: A Discussion for Domestic Violence Awareness Month” is sponsored by Juniata College’s Office for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence; Penn State’s Gender Equity Center, Student Programming Association (SPA), and World Campus; The HOPE Center of Lock Haven University; and Bloomsburg University's LGBTQA Resource Center and Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence.

The second event of the month will feature Ryan Jamaal Swain at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. Registration may be completed online at https://cutt.ly/rjs-tickets.

A breakout star of FX’s Golden Globe-nominated series Pose, Ryan Jamaal Swain is a triple-threat actor, dancer, and singer who was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for his LGBTQ+ activism. He has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of Damon, an ambitious aspiring dancer who, after being kicked out of his home for being gay, becomes part of a self-selected family in New York City’s 80s-era queer ballroom scene. Pose, which has been widely praised for its portrayal of queer and trans people of color, catapulted the frequent off-Broadway actor into the media spotlight. He is currently writing a book for young adults that is based on his own life experiences growing up queer in the South. As an activist, Swain is a Stonewall Ambassador. He notably partnered with the nonprofit It Gets Better Foundation on the “#48HoursOfLove” campaign, sharing uplifting messages of hope, empowerment, and support to LGBTQ+ students during the stressful back to school season.

This presentation is sponsored by Juniata College’s Office for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence; Penn State’s Gender Equity Center and Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity; The HOPE Center of Lock Haven University; and Bloomsburg University's LGBTQA Resource Center and Office of Access and Success.

The Clothesline Project, to be held the week of Oct. 19, is a visual display of shirts with messages and illustrations that have been designed by survivors of interpersonal violence and their loved ones who may honor a survivor in their life or to honor a person who has been killed as a result of interpersonal violence. Juniata’s Clothesline Project will feature shirts displayed on a clothesline on the Quad through the week as well as opportunities for members of the Juniata community to design their own shirts (between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day of the display).

Those decorating must wear a mask and follow social distancing requirements. All decorating materials will be provided and participants may add their shirt to the display or take it with them.

An Escalation Workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, in A-100, Brumbaugh Academic Center. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event is limited to 25 participants (Juniata students, faculty, or staff). Please e-mail pencekj@juniata.edu to register.

Escalation is a film that honestly and compellingly tells the story of an abusive relationship –– from its sweet beginnings to the tragic end. The authentic depiction of unhealthy behavior escalating into violence helps you understand and recognize the early signs of relationship abuse. The 40-minute screening is followed by a guided discussion. 

“Domestic and relationship violence remains a reality for so many, including college students, yet also is hidden away in the shadows due to shame and fear,” said Jennifer Pencek, director of the Office for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence. “Through these programs and tabling we will do through the month, we want to shine the light on the realities of relationship violence and provide resources to help those impacted. This is all our business and there are things we can do—even if they seem like small things—to learn more, offer victims and survivors support, and show we will not tolerate any form of relationship violence.” The Office for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence is housed in the SPoT (Safe Place tO Talk), located in Ellis 113. The office is s confidential resource for all Juniata students impacted by issues like relationship violence, sexual violence, stalking, harassment, and more. If you need a confidential space to speak with someone, please e-mail pencekj@juniata.edu or stop by the office to talk or to make an appointment.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.