Interview with University of Puerto Rico Flagship team

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The University of Puerto Rico is one of the four public flagship systems that currently receive funding from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to work towards ending sexual violence.  The University of Puerto Rico system serves a predominately Spanish speaking (and increasingly multilingual) student population across 10 campuses to reduce sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking on campus in Puerto Rico. The other flagship systems that receive OVW funding include the University of Iowa (3 campuses), University of California (10 campuses) and East Central University (5 campuses).

Maria Del Pilar Rodriguez, Project Director and Maria Cristina Pacheco, Education Director, took time during the Summer Campus Training & Technical Assistance Institute in Las Vegas to share their thoughts in Spanish about their experiences working on the OVW grant at the University of Puerto Rico.

In addition to viewing the Institutes as an opportunity to network with and learn from colleagues in the field, Maria Del Pilar and Maria Cristina discussed how the University of Puerto Rico also serves as a resource for campuses that have Spanish-speaking students (especially of Puerto Rican descent). It is critical to make materials culturally congruent to marginalized populations, communities of color, international students, and immigrants are often not the primary groups services are designed for when combatting sexual violence on campus.

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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