Last month, Laura Lockwood, the Director of Trinity College’s Women & Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC) visited HMTCA students. Working with Trinity College alumna Mel Cavanaugh (T ’11) and HMTCA history teacher, Laura visited with the school’s Girls Club. Here is a short interview with Laura about her visit to HMTCA as the Director of WGRAC. Learn more about WGRAC and Women’s Herstory Month (March 2020) here.
Q: Why did you visit the Girls Club at HMTCA?
Laura: Over the past four years, a WGRAC student and I have been invited to talk about the issues of consent and related topics at the HMTCA Girls Clubs annual conference in the spring. On this occasion I was asked to talk to them after they had watched The Hunting Ground, which deals with the incidence of gender-based violence on college campuses.
Students discussed topics such as victim shaming, why women and girls wait to come forward and report, the #MeToo movement, and more. One 9th grader asked if she could volunteer at WGRAC! The film ends positively with survivors across the country organizing to hold college administrations accountable. Organizations that arose from this movement include: End Rape on Campus; and, Know Your IX. WGRAC hosted leaders from the latter organization at Trinity in 2015.
Q: What did you share with the group this time?
Laura: I provided a listening ear to their thoughts and opinions, affirmed their feelings, and, helped them sort through the complexities of these issues. We talked about consent, supporting each other, social media, sexting, and, why gender-based violence is not about looks or attraction, but about power and domination.
Q: What are your next steps with group?
Laura: The club will visit WGRAC at Trinity College again this month, walking over after school. They asked to see what a “Women & Gender Resource Action Center” on a college campus looks like, learn what we do, and, how WGRAC students create a respectful space. Over pizza we’ll continue our conversation, and invite a few WGRAC students to join in as well. If HMTCA students leave feeling empowered and positive about speaking up and out, creating change at their school and in their community, they will embody the essence of WGRAC’s mission.
The responses have been lightly edited for clarity. This interview is a collaboration between CHER, HMTCA Partnership, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.