Overview: Know Your IX Campus OrganizatingToolkitNovember 9, 2016 0 comments
Know Your IX (KYIX) recently released a new Campus Organizing Toolkit. Know Your IX is a survivor- and youth-led organization that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools. As a recent graduate, I could easily see this package with a student leader lens and appreciate how rich the resource is for Title IX organization and mobilization. This resource provides foundational principles and information while providing flexible approaches to meet the needs of diverse student organizers and a broad spectrum of college campuses. The toolkit provides a framework and process to build a core team, while also getting into specific details of negotiation tactics, examples of mobilization, and easily transferable templates.
A significant revelation in this organizing toolkit is the “Welcomeness” Standard. Know Your Title IX makes it a point in this kit to accentuate and comprehensively explain the standard of Welcomeness, as compared to the Affirmative Consent standard. One of the key differences is how “Welcomeness” underscores power disparities; under welcomeness, “the fact that a student may have accepted the conduct does not mean that he or she welcomed it”. It continues to say that “Welcomeness is focused on civil rights and equality while affirmative consent is a criminal standard,” and “Welcomeness is broader than affirmative consent and takes power disparities into account.” It’s important to note that the affirmative consent standard is not necessarily negative. In California, as explained in CALCASA’s publication “Seeking Justice”, there is an affirmative consent standard,“Yes Means Yes”, for campus disciplinary adjudications in sexual assault cases. That is to say, where the criminal justice system requires a proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the campus adjudication process has a lower requirement for the level of evidence. This standard can provide a higher likelihood of achieving justice for victims.
There is a recurring theme of proactive measures for campus organization rather than reactive approaches of mobilization. The toolkit aligns with CALCASA’s campus work that emphasizes consent education, promotes bystander intervention training, highlights comprehensive prevention, and targets structural changes. The toolkit acknowledges the importance of individual cases while emphasizing the need for institutional reform and preventative measures. There is a strategic guide for building understanding and knowledge frameworks for the sake of strength, capacity, and capability to enhance efforts and impact. For those reasons, the toolkit includes a reading list, article list, resources guide, and materials to equip and set up any individual utilizing the resource for success.
Consistently iterated throughout the piece is that, at the core, the voices and needs of those affected by sexual violence “should inform our mobilization”. KYIX maintains the importance of trauma-informed approaches in campus organization and advises individuals to call in and reach out to survivors willing to take part in or inform the group’s work and mobilization of change.
Sections of the toolkit also affirm the crucial work of linking campuses to off-campus resources and the importance for the institution to implement and support these bridges to community-based agencies, such as rape crisis centers. The toolkit stresses pivotal opportunities for collaboration and interconnectedness with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, #SayHerName movement and other social justice movements that have a stake in the movement to end sexual violence.
While the toolkit isn’t the only solution to any campus Title IX response or campus prevention campaign, this robust toolkit is a foundational start for any student organizing group looking to tackle and address sexual violence and sexual violence prevention.
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