OSAPR Hosts Day-Long Conference on Addressing Gender-Based Violence

October 7, 2019

By Michelle G. Kurilla, Crimson Staff Writer

Roughly 100 Harvard affiliates participated in roundtable discussions at the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response’s day-long conference on gender-based violence Friday.

The conference featured multiple panels of experts and activists who work to prevent gender-based violence. Keynote speakers Global Executive Director of No More Pamela Zaballa and Latinos United for Peace and Equity Co-Founder Ruby White-Starr highlighted the global nature of the issue, arguing that people must work to overcome their biases to combat the problem.

“Prevention for gender-based violence needs to be truly a global effort. It can’t be what we do in our office every day,” Zaballa said. “It has to be a collective effort.”

White-Starr said people cannot fully comprehend issues of oppression until they recognize their privilege and “increase cultural capacity” to understand others’ experiences.

“Increasing our capacity includes being aware of our own biases,” Starr said. “It’s not about learning why that person is that way. It’s about learning why you are the way you are and why you believe what you believe.”

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