Addressing Sexual Misconduct in Your Community

November 2, 2021 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

This workshop will include an overview of the work staff have accomplished thus far at U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, including identifying community needs and presenting resources created such as the Sexual Misconduct Toolkit: A Guide for Faculty and Staff in the Performing Arts. Ongoing collaborations with department leadership for more transparent and inclusive communication and expectations will also be addressed. Presenters plan to offer space for participants to reflect on their organization’s current climate as it relates to sexual misconduct and harassment, and time to begin considering steps forward. Time will be dedicated to presentations, participant small group discussions, and large group share-outs. Participants will leave with clear actionable steps they can take to make their own communities more equitable and inclusive. The workshop will also build on the key areas outlined in their lightning talk: Addressing the Reality: A Journey of Creating a Community that is Free from Sexual Harassment and Misconduct.

An integral part of the Inspire initiative is pairing advocacy, social change and activism with skills that enhance a sense of wellbeing, focus and interconnectedness. A short guided Mindfulness Meditation practice will be incorporated into the program. 

Rikki Morrow-Spitzer and Caitlin Taylor received the 2021 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change at the 5th Annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium: Accessing & Navigating Systems and delivered a lightning talk titled Addressing the Reality: A Journey of Creating a Community that is Free from Sexual Harassment and Misconduct. As staff at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, they have been part of a community that has struggled on a very public forum from allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment over the past four years. As alumnae of the institution, they grappled deeply with the pain that the community has suffered, and have worked to begin shifting the culture to one that is equitable and inclusive, free from sexual harassment and misconduct. Specifically, they are working towards a culture of transparency, support, and accountability. Their lightning talk outlines the painful reality they found themselves in, and the steps they have taken to reach their goals. This includes establishing a support network for faculty and staff, re-evaluating policies and processes, creating resources that are specific to the community, and building partnerships across campus for informed and long-term change.

Caitlin Taylor (she/her) and Rikki Morrow-Spitzer (she/her) both currently serve as staff for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where they both received their degrees in music. In 2018, they helped establish the Faculty and Staff Allies Network for Sexual Misconduct, and in 2020 released the Sexual Misconduct Toolkit: a Guide for Faculty and Staff in the Performing Arts, which is now being used as a model across campus. They are both passionate about creating and evaluating programs, policies, and practices for greater equity and inclusion. More information is available at smtd.umich.edu/about/faculty-profiles/caitlin-taylor and smtd.umich.edu/about/faculty-profiles/rikki-morrow-spitzer.