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Presented By: Sessions @ Michigan

Engendering Respectful Communities - AY24 - 25 Workshops

Engendering Respectful Communities (ERC) is a one session workshop that engages graduate students in meaningful dialogue about various forms of sexual misconduct they may encounter in both professional and social spaces, and provides resources for intervention or support in such circumstances.

The primary goal of the workshop is to address complexities experienced by graduate students as they engage in bystander intervention, so that participants gain an increase in awareness of barriers to action and familiarity with strategic planning to overcome them. The workshop also introduces participants to on-campus resources and provides knowledge on how sexual misconduct can unfold in graduate-specific settings.
The ERC workshop uses small-group circles intended to promote active reflection and space to build community. The procedure of circles is introduced at the beginning of the workshop in order to help participants get used to the process, which they do through a circle for introductions and value-sharing for the workshop space. These circles depict various, realistic scenarios related to sexual misconduct within the graduate community. The circle process allows circle members to process the monologues, reflect on complexities with identity and power dynamics within them, name potential barriers to intervention, and think of various ways in which they might respond if faced with similar situations. The circles provide a way to foster collective building of ideas, where participants learn from one another and all input is equally valued. Participants are encouraged to share but can always pass if desired, creating an environment where participation is open but not forced.

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