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Los Angeles, CA
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424-777-EROC

End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a survivor advocacy organization dedicated to ending sexual violence through survivor support, public education, and policy and legislative reform.

We provide free, direct assistance to all survivors of gender-based and sexual violence on campus interested in filing federal complaints, organizing for change, or drawing public attention to hold their schools accountable.

We have assisted hundreds of students at dozens of schools file Title IXClery Act, and other civil rights complaints to seek justice and reform.

The Power of Collective Activism Through Social Media

EROC Blog

I realized I could not celebrate Father’s day. I had no ability to dance for him. I could not celebrate the countless fathers who have caused pain directly and indirectly to their children through sexual violence.

The Power of Collective Activism Through Social Media

Amanda Kauba-White

As the Digital Fellow for End Rape On Campus, I spend every day curating content to share on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts as well as creating original designs to spread awareness on the issues that we advocate for. There are many pros and cons to social media activism. It allows an individual or organization to get people involved in a cause on a global scale, provides an accessible way to participate for those who are unable to participate in events or volunteer work and creates an open dialogue on the issues. On the other hand, this method of activism has received a lot of criticism for not having a substantial impact or oversimplifying complex issues.

Social media has made it easier than ever to instantly communicate and share ideas with a large audience. A recent example of this is the #MeToo movement, which led to a major shift of public opinion towards sexual violence and a wave of perpetrators of rape and sexual assault being held accountable for their actions. The Women’s March attracted millions of participants worldwide. However, there is still a lot of work to be done within these movements, as they disproportionately give a voice to white cisgendered straight women. This was briefly addressed at the 2018 Women’s March that I attended in Santa Ana, CA when the organizers invited members of the Indigenous Communities of OC to speak at the opening ceremony and lead the march with an opening prayer by an elder. Contrary to the organizer’s claim to want be increasing visibility of Native communities in the region, there was no mention of the groups presence on any of their social media channels of press statements, and any media coverage of the event glossed over the Indigenous Communities of OC’s participation, reducing their powerful, heart-wrenching call for visibility to a footnote.

Activism via social media has been received a lot of criticism in the past. The term slacktivism has even made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as “The practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort of commitment”. A study by the University of British Columbia showed that  “when consumers gave public support, they were no more likely to provide more meaningful support for the cause than if someone was just randomly asked for the larger request.” Historically, though these campaigns tend to raise awareness, they don’t get substantial results. For example, in 2014, 276 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Millions participated in a social media campaign posting and retweeting with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. It has been four years since these children were abducted, a handful of the girls have escaped or been released, but most of them are still being held captive and the social media campaign has lost its momentum.

Despite the letdowns of many social media activism campaigns, it is crucial to acknowledge how these platforms can be used when advocating for Survivors of campus sexual assault. We can’t change the social paradigm overnight, but we can share their stories, hold their attackers accountable, and call out colleges and universities for violating Title IX rights on a national or even global scale. When a survivor wants to tell their story, they are often discredited, threatened, and/or failed by law enforcement or campus administrators. Advocating through social media can be a way to put pressure on institutions and legislators to do the right thing, or at the very least obey the legal requirements of things like Title II, Title VI, Title IX, and the Clery Act. EROC also uses social media to inform our audience of the legal rights that they have so that they can be better prepared when fighting injustice on campus. Social media allows us to supplement our advocacy and awareness efforts on campus sexual assault, emphasis on supplement. Awareness is important, but to really make a change we need action.

 


  AMANDA KAUBA-WHITE  (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the summer Digital Fellow of End Rape on Campus. She is currently working towards her B.F.A. in Graphic Design at Chapman University in Orange, CA and is a member of the AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts). She has a background as a fine artist and before pursuing a design degree, she worked as a Sous Chef. During her seven year career in the restaurant industry she gained skills in leadership, time management, and creative thinking. She also witnessed instances of sexual harassment, sexism, racism, wage discrimination, and discrimination towards undocumented immigrants. These experiences made her determined to become a fierce advocate for those who experience injustice on a daily basis. Amanda believes design is more than just “making things look nice” and that it can play a catalytic role to create a positive social impact. She is committed to raising awareness of the anti-sexual violence movement through social media outreach and building a strong visual identity for EROC.  You can reach Amanda at  amanda@endrapeoncampus.org .

AMANDA KAUBA-WHITE (pronouns: she/her/hers) is the summer Digital Fellow of End Rape on Campus. She is currently working towards her B.F.A. in Graphic Design at Chapman University in Orange, CA and is a member of the AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts). She has a background as a fine artist and before pursuing a design degree, she worked as a Sous Chef. During her seven year career in the restaurant industry she gained skills in leadership, time management, and creative thinking. She also witnessed instances of sexual harassment, sexism, racism, wage discrimination, and discrimination towards undocumented immigrants. These experiences made her determined to become a fierce advocate for those who experience injustice on a daily basis. Amanda believes design is more than just “making things look nice” and that it can play a catalytic role to create a positive social impact. She is committed to raising awareness of the anti-sexual violence movement through social media outreach and building a strong visual identity for EROC.

You can reach Amanda at amanda@endrapeoncampus.org.