Fighting gender-based violence on campus is a big undertaking, and no one person can do it on their own. Make a list of 10-15 people you know who you think might want to work with you. You can draw from your friends and classmates, activists you know are organizing on other issues, and the leaders and members of existing clubs on campus.
Sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with them about why this work is important and explain what you envision. Ask about why they care about this issue and what motivates them. Ask if they’ll get involved. From there, you’ll have a group of 5-7 people who will form your core team to start the campaign.
As you’re building a core team, try to reach out to people with a wide range of experiences and expertise. Your team will be stronger if your core members have a broad range of skills and interests, whether that’s group facilitation, policy analysis, or media/communications. Even more importantly, your team will be stronger if your core group centers survivors of gender-based violence themselves, especially those whose experiences have often been marginalized in national conversations about campus sexual violence (including survivors of color, undocumented survivors, and LGBTQ survivors).Survivors experience violence—and are failed by their schools—in different and unique ways.
Hold a First Meeting
The first meeting is a way to bring the core team together to talk about your group, go over this toolkit, and start planning your campaign to fight gender-based violence on your campus. Consider encouraging your team to read up on Title IX (read these primers) before the meeting so that the group is on the same page, and knowledge and information are accessible to everyone.
There’s a lot to talk about in the early stages of organizing. What are the specific problems facing survivors on your campus? What needs to be done to create a more just and safe campus environment? How will you make your group inclusive and survivor-centered? What are your values and the collective values of your group? How are you going to make changes happen?
Brainstorm what potential solutions could look like. It can also be productive here to do some research on what other schools’ activist organizations are doing, as well as any laws in your state that might encourage or hinder progress.
Establish a Decision-Making Structure
Sexual violence is about power. Given that interpersonal violence is part of a larger system of inequality and oppression, we encourage activists organizing to end sexual violence to root their activism in anti-oppression principles. This can mean intentionally creating a decision-making structure that not only gets things done, but actively works to empower marginalized voices and dismantles traditional hierarchies.
Creating such a structure means considering both the needs of individuals and the needs of the collective, attempting to give every member an equal chance to be heard, and encouraging efficiency within the group. Creating a system that subverts traditional power structures can look different to everyone. Your group should discuss what system works best for you. Think creatively about how to make a system that values every member’s contributions, especially survivors whose experiences are often marginalized or erased in existing power structures.
There are many factors to consider when creating a decision-making structure, such as the size of your group and the amount of time or energy that members are able to commit. Some decision-making structures that have worked for activists are:
- Holding elections for leadership positions with titles like President, Vice-President, or Director;
- Choosing a group of leaders with titles like Coordinator or Organizer;
- Forming a Board whose members share power and responsibilities ;
- Delineating roles like Treasurer, Wellness Coordinator, Peer Supporter;
- Selecting members to be in charge of certain actions, meetings, or duties.
Some groups elect positions for a semester or year-long basis, and others rotate duties. Having structures with elected positions often saves time in group meetings because position-holders oversee logistical needs and guide the direction of the campaign. Still some activists have found opportunities to upend traditional power structures with non-hierarchical groups in which all members share equal decision-making power and responsibilities year-round.
You should build a general body of students who want to participate in or support your group’s work, but who aren’t ready to commit the hours that your core team will be putting in. General members and an email list will help you build your student power and those members can play valuable roles in your group: as community voices supporting your policy, extra bodies for direct actions, peer educators, and future leaders. Here are a few ways to build and diversify your general body. The methods we focus on in this section emphasize in-person ways to communicate your vision and values, and make concrete asks of potential participants to get involved.
Set up meetings with new volunteers and get to know them. Find out why they are motivated to make change and what they’re willing to do. Plan social events for members so that the group can bond and get to know each other outside of meetings. This will help you move individuals up to higher levels of engagement and to build a cohesive, supportive team.
Petitioning is a good tactic early in a campaign, because it has a couple of different functions. Petitioning can demonstrate community support for your demands, help gather emails of supportive students who can participate in your actions, and give you facetime with lots of other students to explain the problems you’ve identified and the demands your group is making.
Know Your IX has a digital organizing software that’s available to our student members. It can help you create petitions online, automatically send letters to your targeted decision-makers, and streamline social media sharing to get maximum exposure of your petition online. To use or learn more about this software, reach out to our team at info@knowyourIX.org.
Write a petition about your campaign demands (or pick one or two to really focus on) and start collecting signatures, both online and in person. When petitioning, make sure you’re getting everyone’s emails; these lists will come in handy at a later date to recruit more volunteers to work on the campaign.
Go to an area on your campus in pairs with a clipboard, and talk to everyone and anyone about your campaign. Open areas such as your student center, dining halls, and even high-traffic footpaths on-campus are good places to clipboard. See the PDF version of our Campus Organizing Toolkit for some best practices and a sample rap for petitioning.
This involves going door-to-door in residence halls and student neighborhoods to talk to people about the campaign, and/or leave a fyer with information. This technique is labor-intensive, but can lead to deeper conversations and new potential recruits.
This is something you can do when you have a whole bunch of contacts from petitions and want to reach out to those people to get involved with your group, encourage them to attend a rally, or anything else. Phonebanks are the systematic calling-through of a list for a specific purpose. If you’re having a Volunteer Kick-off Meeting, call through the people who checked “I Want to Get Involved” and invite them. If you’re having a rally, call through everyone and ask them to attend. If you are setting up clipboarding shifts for next week, call through your existing volunteer list. Phonebanks need at least 3 people to be fun and are best served with pizza and beverages.
Volunteer Kickoff Meeting
Have a group meeting about the vision of your organization and the campaign for which you’ve been gathering petitions. Use this as an opportunity to orient and train new volunteers and get them committed to outreach shifts or to another project that matches their interests and skill levels. Free food helps to bring people out.
General members should be included in planning and decision-making, and should actively be provided opportunities to build important skills, grow as activists, and take on leadership with new initiatives.
Hold Weekly Meetings
Having weekly meetings will enable you to plan actions, organize your campaign, bring in new members, and keep up the momentum. You may want to hold core group meetings to discuss sensitive topics or confidential direct action plans separately from general meetings.
Plan agendas for each meeting that you can disseminate beforehand (but watch out not to put too much information about confidential plans in your agenda).
Remember to have someone take notes that will be made available to all members after the meeting. You may choose to list to-dos or action items in your notes to remind members of their responsibilities for the week.
Train Your Team
It’s important to make sure your team has the skills and support necessary to be successful organizers, or help them learn and practice these skills over time. For instance:
- Ask members of your core team to read this toolkit! It will help to familiarize you and your co-organizers with the relevant laws, best practices, and organizing strategies.
- It is possible that your group will need some form of sensitivity education. Because gender violence is an intensely personal issue, your student group members will need to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of survivors in the group and in the larger community. If you think that it would benefit your team, consider contacting a local rape crisis center, advocacy group, or peer educators for basic sensitivity training.
- Compile contact information for on-campus sexual assault services, local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and places where survivors can seek pro-bono counseling and legal support, as well as resources on reporting options and any other important resources that survivors in your community may need. Everyone should familiarize themselves with how to access those resources: survivors may ask you for help and you’ll want to have a comprehensive list of options on hand.
How Know Your IX Can Help
Know Your IX can help in others ways too! Email us to connect with student organizers and rad activists with whom you can work through tough questions or share strategies. Sign up for our IX Campus Action Network (IX-CAN) in order to receive up-to-date information on the training and support we can provide.
Every semester we host regional activist trainings—“IX Bootcamp”—for student organizers new and seasoned. These intensive, two-day, in-person workshops train students on everything from learning the law to planning direct actions, from talking to the media to building cross-movement coalitions. The workshops create space to collectively respond to challenges specific to each geographic region and to connect with other organizers on campuses near yours.
We hold frequent online teach-ins, where you can tap into the latest information on federal laws and guidelines, successful organizing strategies at other schools, and national advocacy campaigns. These virtual teach-ins are announced via email to the IX-CAN listserv, so keep an eye out in your inbox.
Mission, Values, and Community Agreement Statements
As a group, write a mission and values statement, as well as a set of community norms and safe space agreements. These documents articulate your group’s purpose and the beliefs you share. Creating these together will help to form cohesive goals and shared principles that will make for a more respectful, caring, and productive activist space. These can be “living” documents, meaning that what you write down the first time does not have to be a set-in-stone. Members of your group can continually revise your statements, taking input from new members, and adding or changing parts of the documents as needed. Having these documents somewhere that is always accessible to everyone, whether it be in the room where you meet every week or online, is a great way to make sure the work you are doing as a team is guided by your shared goals and values.
Having a mission and values statement, community norms, or safer-space agreements can enable your group to create an environment that is welcoming and productive for everyone. And since these statements are created collectively, everyone has a stake in making sure that those agreements are kept: if someone says or does something which violates an expectation the group holds, remind the whole group of the community agreements and have a private conversation with the individual to discuss how their actions violated the agreements and make a plan for moving forward in a healthy way.
Creating Accountability to Community
Despite the best of intentions, activist spaces are not immune to violence and prejudice. Dealing with assault, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other forms of violence can be a challenge. One of the best ways to face violence in activist spaces is to anticipate it. You’ll want to come up with: a) ways for members to communicate that harm was done in the activist space; and b) structures to deal with the harm in a healthy way.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Create community expectations and agreements;
- Create a Google form to anonymously receive feedback about violence;
- Make space for people who have experienced harm to receive support and discuss;
- Designate two confidential support coordinators: these are people who can speak to the person harmed about what they need—and who work with the person who caused harm about how to do better, and if needed, leaving the group.
It is important to remember that in instances of violence, even unintentional violence, it is never the responsibility of the person who was harmed to educate another member. The burden to learn and grow from an incident of violence is on the person who caused harm. Groups should anticipate that this may not always happen—which is why people (support coordinators, leadership, or others) should be designated ahead of time to assume responsibility for speaking with, educating, or setting up sanctions for an offending member. Another way activists often deal with violence is by “calling out” or “calling in” a person who is being or saying something violent. Understanding “calling out” and “calling in”, and knowing when to use them, can help you feel equipped to deal with violence.
We hear about “calling out” a lot more often than we hear about “calling in”. It usually looks like an individual saying or doing something and another person publicly explaining why that action was offensive or hurtful.
Everyone at one time or another has said something out of ignorance. However, violent language/actions, even if they are mistakes, cause harm to others. Calling out is a way to educate someone, ask them to interrogate their prejudice or privilege, and challenge them to acknowledge how their actions or words harmed others. It is also a clear expression that what has been said or done was unacceptable in the community you are collectively trying to build. Because calling out takes place in public, the person is accountable to everyone in the group. Calling someone out in public also educates the other people present and can preempt similar harm.
Calling someone out does not have to come from a place of anger, but it is totally valid to feel angry when someone is being violent or abusive in your activist space. It’s okay to express anger, pain, or another emotion when calling someone out. Along with those emotions, it can be useful to explain to the person why what they have done or said is hurtful. People often respond less defensively if they are called out in a way that does not insult them. You may try calling someone out using “I” statements. For example saying, “When you said _______, I felt hurt because ______”.
Unlike calling out, calling in is usually a conversation that takes place in private. Calling in is often used when you have an ongoing relationship with the person who has caused harm and you want to work with them so they can improve in the future.
Calling in usually requires more emotional labor and time on your part than calling out. It is most effective when you have a pre-existing relationship with the person who has harmed that is built on understanding and respect.
Calling in is not about giving someone a pass for being violent. However, it does give the other person an opportunity to learn and better themselves without feeling defensive or embarrassed from being called out in public. Just like with calling out, most people respond better when they presented with an opportunity to learn about how their actions affected another person and to change their actions in the future. Again, it’s okay to express emotions like anger. Try to keep in mind that when you’re calling someone in, you’re trying to help them grow so they can remain in your group and in your life.
Calling out and calling in are not necessarily opposites or mutually exclusive. Each method can be useful in different situations. Trust your instincts and try to be intentional about how and when you use them. Finally, remember that when it comes time to educate someone about how they’ve been harmful, do not put the burden on the person who has been harmed to “get over it” or to help the other person grow.
Creating Accountability to Shared Work
Activists frequently raise concerns about an unequal workload. Time considerations, other responsibilities, and burn-out often result in work being shouldered by a handful of people. So how do you hold fellow activists accountable for their share of work without making them feel ashamed or overwhelmed?
There are many ways you can create accountability for shared work while still respecting everyone’s other responsibilities and need for self-care. Here are a few ideas:
- Collectively create realistic timelines and work assignments—ask for input from every member on what they can realistically contribute
- Create structures so someone can take over if a member needs to step back
- Build in time for group self-care or recreation (like a group outing or art-making)
- Create opportunities for different levels of commitment and engagement
- Ask a leader to speak with someone who has been unable to meet work expectations and make a plan for how they can share work in the future
- Assign work based on a member’s strengths and interests
One method for evenly spreading out your workload is to task members with specific responsibilities. For example, you may designate positions for:
- Social media / communications
- Peer support
- Secretary / historian
- Representatives/liaisons to various other groups (partnerships coordinator)
- Wellness or self-care
You can usually anticipate a drop in commitment during mid-terms or finals. Sometimes planning your timeline around the busiest periods of the academic year can help you reduce burn-out.
It’s also important to allow every member to feel that their contributions are important and valued. Most people will not want to commit time or effort if they feel their work is undervalued. Show appreciation for effort and dedication and give positive feedback to encourage everyone to feel empowered and motivated in the work.
When organizing around gender-based violence on campus, it is crucial that your group centers the voices of survivors in your advocacy and demands. Historically, activist “allies” have sometimes ignored the needs and goals of people who have actually been directly impacted by gender violence and as a result, their policies and tactics have been inadequate or even counterproductive to survivors’ needs. To prevent this, your group should include, receive feedback from, and ideally be led by survivors. If there are other survivor-led organizations on your campus, work in collaboration and consultation with them.
The point here isn’t that you can’t be part of the work if you’re not a survivor—of course you can!—or that you should defer to a singular survivor’s judgment on all matters (obviously, survivors, like any other category of people, aren’t a monolith and don’t all have the same opinions). Instead, remember that survivors’ voices should be prioritized so that the changes for which you are working are directly informed by, and respond to, what survivors in your community say they need.
Creating a Community of Care
Working to end gender-based violence can be very emotionally draining, especially if you’ve been impacted by gender violence yourself. Within your group, try to balance accountability to your work with the very real needs of the individual members. Some members may only be willing or able to participate at a low commitment level, whereas others may be inclined to take on a larger portion of the work. It’s important to create opportunities for people to get involved at different levels and to create ways for members to take a step back when necessary. Avoid pushing anyone to take on more work than what they feel capable of handling and be sure to encourage everyone (including yourself) to take care of themselves. This requires members to recognize different areas of strength and the community to understand how each piece is important.
Make clear from the beginning that clear and proactive communication is key for your group to function smoothly. It’s okay for someone to take a step back because they have a week full of midterms or just need a break, but there should be an easy way to communicate this and notify the group so that other teammates have advanced notice to step in. Working in small groups instead of individually is another great way to evenly distribute responsibilities and can make it easier to keep up productivity if one member needs to step back. Establishing this early on will encourage people to communicate proactively in the future. This means that people will be able to take better care of themselves when they need it (rather than pushing themselves until they burn out and have to stop organizing)—without unfairly unloading the burden on others (who may be struggling with all the same issues themselves!).
A helpful way to address this in your group can be to create Wellness Coordinator and Peer Supporter roles. Wellness Coordinators can be responsible for organizing wellness events for your group (food at meetings, parties, and social time to hang out and not do campaign work) and for individually checking in with members of your group to see how they are doing on their projects. Peer Supporters are group members who make themselves available after meetings in case people need a person to talk to if they are triggered by the content of the meeting. If members of your group would like additional, more regular and ongoing support, consider creating a survivor-run peer support space that is separate from your activist space, where survivors in your group, or survivors who confide in you or contact you for help, can go for personal support.
Finally, avoid assuming whether someone is or isn’t a survivor, or asking anyone to disclose that information. If survivors do share their stories with you, do not discuss their experiences in your work without their explicit permission.
Conversations and work around gender-based violence have historically focused on the experiences of upper class, white, straight-presenting, and cisgender female survivors (think about what faces you see most in news articles about campus sexual assault). Ground your campaign in a recognition of the fact that people of all identities experience sexual and dating violence, and that these forms of violence disproportionately affect people who are of color, women, transgender, gender nonconforming, undocumented, disabled, and any combination of the above.
Make sure that your group, goals, and strategies reflect this recognition! This can look like a lot of things in practice: an environment that is welcoming to people of all ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, religions, and economic backgrounds; campaign demands that seek to address a diversity of needs; an aim to create policies that are inclusive and resources that are accessible; and combating harmful myths by giving thought to which individuals take up space within your group and which faces and stories are centered by your group when facing outward. We encourage you to actively reach out to and collaborate with identity-based groups on your campus such as LGBTQ and students of color organizations to ensure you’re working with survivors across campus.
Going Beyond the Symbolic
But don’t just work together as partners on your campaign! Think holistically about how different forms of oppression intersect in survivor’s lives: sexual violence operates in tandem with anti-Black racism, transphobia, imperialism, and other forms of violence to impact certain communities in insidious and complex ways. Develop a personal stake in fighting all forms of oppression: this means showing up for and supporting the important work that other student activists are doing to fight violence and oppression on your campus and in your community. Connect the dots between your anti-violence work and that of other groups, and make sure your group develops an organizational stake as well.
Lastly, make sure that these commitments to intersectionality go beyond the symbolic and transactional (i.e., “we’ll show up at your rally if you show up at ours”). Showing up is a great first step, but a transformative movement will require your group to embrace intersectionality not just in understanding the scope of the problem, but in how you work toward solutions. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement and #SayHerName campaign have drawn national attention to the violence that Black people, and especially Black women, experience at the hands of the police. You could take this into account in a variety of ways: for instance, when planning actions (do you suspect police might be called to campus in response to a large protest you’re planning?) or while developing your campaign demands around sexual violence response (have you made sure demands to improve campus adjudication systems do not require survivors to interact with the police, participate in, or otherwise bolster the reach of the criminal legal system?). It is our responsibility to make sure that our campaigns to end gender violence dismantle—rather than replicate—all other forms of oppression. None of us are free until we’re all free.
Equity and Inclusion looks like:
- Intentionally including and prioritizing the experiences of those typically marginalized.
- Creating guidelines in community spaces that address what happens when members of the community say or do something that perpetuates oppressive societal structures (make sure you consult those who would be affected to create equitable guidelines).
- Recognizing the nuanced and distinct ways that different systems of oppression affect different people.
- Earnestly supporting other activist groups.
Equity and Inclusion does not look like:
- Tokenizing people with marginalized identities by not including them in the planning process.
- Attempting to equate systems of oppression.
- Only including others who fully agree with your team’s demands.
- Relying on those with marginalized identities to be spokespeople for, or educators on, their identity group(s).
Whether you started a campaign on your campus or joined an already established one, every activist will face the inevitable challenges that come with graduation. Schools know that students will graduate, and many will try to stall meaningful change until leaders leave. That’s why many schools see cycles of activism— bursts of action and energy every four or five years, and periods of silence in between. One of the most important responsibilities of an activist leader is to break that cycle and be sure that your movement will continue after you graduate.
To make your movement sustainable, it’s essential to have strategies in place to handle turnover and retain institutional memory. Here are a few steps you can take to create a movement that continues to grow long after you and your fellow activists have graduated.
Planning Your Succession
If you can, start planning your succession early. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pick one person to whom you will pass the torch right away. You can start by:
- Creating a system to bring new people into your campaign. You may choose to make your regular meetings open to all. You may promote your group at activity fairs or use social media to attract people. You may create a nomination system to bring in new activists. No matter how you choose to get more people involved, strive to include a diverse range of perspectives and class years.
- Pairing new activists with more experienced ones. Getting activists of different experience levels teamed up will allow newer and/or younger activists to learn first-hand how your group operates. Joining a campaign can often be intimidating for new people who don’t yet know how they can contribute. With the mentorship of a more experienced activist, new members can receive the guidance they need and jump in!
- Strategizing ways to bring new members up to speed. Pairing new activists with more experienced members is one way to bring people into the fold. Your group may also want to find other creative ways to share knowledge and skill-build, like keeping an updated folder of minutes from past meetings or organizing skill-sharing sessions for new members.
- Avoiding burnout. After you graduate, it will be up to remaining members to continue your work with the same commitment and passion you had before you left. Take steps to minimize burnout before you graduate—it will enable your successors to keep up the amazing, innovative work after you leave. For tips on avoiding burnout, check out our Support Resources.
Of course, as you and your core group of leaders probably already know, activist work often does fall on a few shoulders. Beyond the structural work you can do within your group to ensure the work lives on, you and your team will also need to identify a person (or a group of people) who will replace you as leaders. Some of these successors may already be apparent to you—these are often people who have more time left at your institution than you, but are already just as active, dedicated, and driven as you. When you think you have found your successor(s), try planning ahead to make the transition easier. You can do this by:
- Having conversations with your potential successor(s) early on. Make sure your successor(s) feels comfortable and ready to step in. If they don’t feel ready yet, figure out together how you can help them get there. After all, leading a campaign is a choice only that individual can make for themselves. Avoid pressuring them into taking on the leadership role. Listen to them. Do they want this responsibility? Do they feel ready? Do they need something from you to prepare them? What are some of their concerns? What are they excited about? If they do want to be your successor, remind them that you have confidence in them and support them!
- Beginning to make the transition before you graduate. This can be difficult. You and your core team may be accustomed to leading and hesitant to start transitioning leadership while you are in the middle of your campaign, but the earlier you can start getting your successor used to leadership, the better. The change can be gradual. Start by sharing your responsibilities with your successor and slowly but surely, allowing them to find their footing as leaders in larger ways. Know when to step back and let your successor grow your campaign without you.
- Supporting your group’s work as an alum. For more about what you can do as an alum, check out our Alumni Toolkit.
Remember that picking up where you left off can be time-consuming and difficult. It is better for your successors to already be integral to your activism before you graduate.
Without institutional memory, future activists will have a hard time knowing what has and has not worked, making it harder to develop an effective strategy for the future. To create institutional memory that will help maintain your movement’s momentum, you might consider:
- Creating lasting records. This can be done a number of ways. Your school’s library probably maintains an archive. You may want to submit your work for the archives to keep, including copies of petitions, lists of demands, posters and works of activism-inspired art. You can also write articles, op-eds, or letters to the editor for a school newspaper, which will be archived. Chances are you are already using the internet to communicate your activism to a broad audience. Maintaining an updated record of your work online is a convenient medium for future activists to access past materials. Some have found other ways to document their work, such as connecting on-campus activism to their research on larger movements against sexual and intimate partner violence in a thesis. Get creative! Keep in mind that this is an opportunity for you to document all the innovative and influential work you and your fellow activists are doing and to tell your side of the story. Remember: the institution will inevitably try to preserve its “side”, likely attempting to whitewash, dilute, or outright erase your narrative in the process.
- Keeping detailed internal notes. Someone should take careful notes at each meeting, so that future activists can see how goals emerged, strategies evolved, roles took shape, and the campaign progressed. Each major event or action should have a detailed action plan in writing. After each major event, you should have a debrief about what worked and what didn’t, and collect that information somewhere that will be accessible to future activists. Keep running records of policy goals. Consider creating a Who’s-Who map of the various decision makers your group works with, your historical and current relationship with them, and any information you know about their relation to the issue and their power on campus.
- Contextualizing your own work within your institution’s history of activism. You may find that your predecessors laid the foundations upon which you are currently working to change your institution. If you can find records of the activism that came before you, you may learn a lot from people who came before you and avoid the pitfalls they encountered. Situating your work within this context will make your work and future activism stronger—and it can also be very rewarding to see the history of the movement you’re now leading. Knowing your institution’s past will allow you to recognize patterns, connect with alums who may want to support you, and find innovative ways to accomplish your goals.
- Working with faculty and other allies. Current student survivors are the experts on the challenges students face right now and the best solutions to address them. That said, you may find that faculty and staff who have been at your school for a long time will remember previous work and have institutional knowledge to share (and can pass your own on after you leave). Tenured faculty in particular can be powerful allies because of their knowledge of the ins and outs of your school’s administration and their ability to influence key decision-makers.
- Building long-lasting frameworks at your institution. Your goals of raising awareness and seeking immediate justice are extremely important. Equally important are goals that will establish enduring systems at your school that will protect survivors in the future and institutionalize systems to address issues that arise in the years to come. Some goals may seem unattainable at first, like creating a stand-alone, fully-functioning on-campus rape crisis center. Activism may wane, but if you can accomplish goals like creating long-lasting support resources for survivors, improving reporting and adjudication processes, and instituting meaningful policy changes, your work could forever impact campus culture and the experiences of students at your school.
Succession planning and preserving institutional memory are two sides of the same coin, and you may find that steps to achieve one do a lot to achieve the other. Sharing your knowledge and work with future generations of activists will sustain the institutional memory of your movement. Whether it is planning your succession or trying to extend institutional memory, be sure to make a plan early and be intentional about building new leadership to continue the fight—and preserve an accurate narrative of it—after you’re gone.