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Shifting the Narrative: Shifting the Paradigm 2020—A Conversation on Sexual Violence and Supporting Students of Color

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Shifting the Narrative: Shifting the Paradigm 2020—A Conversation on Sexual Violence and Supporting Students of Color

The 6th Annual Shifting the Paradigm is an opportunity for the Tulane community to come together to learn about the impact of sexual violence on our campus and communities. This year’s event will feature a conversation about supporting students of color with a panel of scholars and practitioners who conduct research, advocate for, and work with communities of color to prevent and respond to sexual violence.  Prior to the panel, Meredith Smith, Assistant Provost for Title IX and Clery Compliance, will share campus sexual misconduct data from the past year.  Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend and learn how we can play our part.

Shifting the Narrative: Sexual Violence Prevention and Supporting Students of Color 

Purpose: The purpose of this forum is to hear from scholars and practitioners who conduct research, advocate for and work with communities of color to prevent and respond to sexual violence. Panelists will explore several possible topics proposed below; 

Barriers to addressing sexual violence. We understand that different students face different cultural and social norms when it comes to sexuality. In turn this can create barriers to addressing issues related to sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and other forms of violence. 

  • How culture, religion, and K-12 education can socialize individuals to the point where they cannot identify unhealthy relationships with partners 
  • The ways that perceived or experienced bias can prevent someone from coming forward to address sexual violence 
  • The influence of rape culture and patriarchy that can contribute to hypersexualizing, fetishizing, or stereotyping people in marginalized communities 
  • Clearly recognizing that an individual may have been a perpetrator of sexual violence in the past, and that can serve as a barrier to addressing an experience where they were victimized. 
  • The way that power can be weaponized (financially, academically, socially, culturally, etc.) to control someone’s ability to navigate the campus safely 

Actions that communities can take to reduce or eradicate barriers to addressing sexual violence that includes, peers, faculty, staff, families, etc. 

  • Exploring what healthy sexuality can be and focusing on pleasure
  • Identifying places, people, and things that promote healing for survivors 
  • Shifting the narrative away from cancel culture and providing options for perpetrators to change their behavior 
  • Offering counter-narratives that reclaim power for people of color who have experienced sexual violence in their lives 
  • Identifying clear support spaces where students of color feel safe and valued 

Submit a question for the panel


Moderator: Samantha Francois, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Tulane University School of Social Work 

Dr. Samantha Francois is an Assistant Professor at Tulane University’s School of Social Work with a specialization in adolescent development and vulnerability and resilience in African American populations. Her research interests include microsystem influences (specifically, neighborhoods and schools) on life-stage outcomes in African American youth, macrosystem influences (specifically, forms of structural, institutional, and systemic oppression) on community violence, and African American cultural assets that promote resilience. More specifically, her work examines the relationships between multi-system risk contributors and protective factors and mental health, educational, and quality of life outcomes for African Americans in urban geographies. 

Panelist: Jordan West, Ph.D., Director of Diversity & Inclusion Education, George Washington University 

Jordan S. West, pronouns she, her, and hers, is the Inaugural Director of Diversity & Inclusion Education at The George Washington University in the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement in the Office of the Provost. Jordan’s experience and continued research interests focus on campus climate, narrative and storytelling as a method, and how People of Color and individuals from historically marginalized identities work towards liberation while in higher education through the lens of Black Feminist Theory and Critical Race Theory. 

Panelist: María Cristina Pacheco Alcalá, Project Manager Casa de Esperanza 

María Cristina Pacheco Alcalá is a project manager with the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza. Ms. Alcalá is a former director and coordinator of campus program grant initiatives at the Univ. of Puerto Rico. Her areas of expertise include gender violence prevention, Title IX and Clery Act, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, dating and domestic violence, and grant management. Ms. Alcalá has over 15 years of experience working in education and prevention within communities and campuses, with youth, women, law enforcement, and faculty. She has facilitated trainings nationally and has provided technical assistance to minority-serving institutions of higher education to enhance their response to gender-based violence. 

Panelist: Dr. Shantoyia (Toy) Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor, Xavier University of Louisiana 

Dr. Jones is a Counseling Psychology Assistant Professor. At Xavier University. She completed her doctoral internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)-Counseling Center, where she provided psychotherapy to non-traditional diverse university students.  While at UIC, she completed a year-long clinical rotation at the Marjorie Kolver Center, an agency that serves survivors of political torture seeking asylum in the states.  Just prior to coming to Xavier, she was a postdoctoral fellow-multicultural apprentice and staff clinician at Loyola University Maryland Counseling Center​, in Baltimore, Maryland​.  While working as a staff clinician at Loyola,  she served as a member to many campus-community initiatives such as: Take Back the Night,  the Racial Justice Working Group, Loyola-SAFE Zone, the Counseling Center's Cultural Alliance Steering Committee, ALANA's Sister to Sister circle, and as the Co-Chair of the Women of Color Retreat.    

Panelist: Navila Rashid, Social Worker Consultant, Heart Women & Girls 

Navila Rashid​ is a Bangladeshi-American forensic social worker, freelance educator & trainer, and consultant working with diverse clients. Clients include government agency staff, public defenders, non-profit agencies and community members/leaders. She provides program coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building services around advocacy, social media, digital storytelling, and gender-based violence education. She co-founded “The Cathartist”, a web-based platform for victims and survivors of sexual violence, and activists to showcase their creative works as a tool of coping and healing with trauma. Navila is also featured as a survivor in the award-winning documentary, Breaking Silence, where she addresses the nuances and experiences of being a survivor of sexual violence in a Muslim and South Asian community, and the journey towards healing.  

Panelist: Felicia McGinty, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration and Planning, Rutgers University 

Dr. Felicia McGinty leads and directs day-to-day, nonacademic operations of Rutgers University-New Brunswick, including space management, infrastructure development, oversight for policy development, and other critical functions that support the student experience and advance Rutgers University–New Brunswick academic, research and service mission. 

Title IX

For more information on this event, please visit https://tulane.campuslabs.com/engage/event/6142381