Monday, August 08, 2011

You Are The One Documentary Film

Its official, we are making a documentary. We’re still trying to settle into the thought that someone wants to use their immense talent to develop and produce a film about our journey. The project mastermind is filmmaker Barbara Rosenthal. Barbara has been making films since she was seven, her first effort being a Super 8 take on the Arab/Israeli conflict, loosely based on "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". So issues based art has always been a part of her repertoire. We are stoked to work with Barbara and the rest of the crew on this project and can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes us. Since we will be shooting while we travel, let us know if you would like us to consider adding your campus or community to the film.

The process of making "You Are The One" will occur in two phases. The first phase involves accumulating support from individuals to kick-start field production and initial editing. Phase two will involve grants that will allow us to finish the film, enter it in festivals, and create a distribution network. Our distribution efforts will be focused on college campus communities in an effort to change the culture of sexual assault.

This week, is the kick off of the fundraising efforts to get this important and exciting project rolling. You can support this effort by investing a few dollars towards the development of our independent film designed to help shift the campus culture. Or simply, share this announcement with your networks. No matter how you choose to help, we will be forever grateful for your support! To learn more about this project, watch the fundraising trailer and to donate please visit

Interested in being a part of the documentary? Send and emailt to to learn more.

"Like” the project on facebook!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sexversation Nation Update

Since the launch of Sexversations® on Valentine’s Day 2009, we have been amazed at the warm and enthusiastic response our entertaining educational tool has received—both the program and the products. Sexversations® is actively being used in Resident Halls, Violence Prevention offices, Women’s Centers, by Campus Activity Boards, Peer Educators and Fraternity men and Sorority women. In additional to college campuses, communities and organizations such as the United States Military, County Health Departments and various offices of Planned Parenthood are also using Sexversations®. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of who is sexversating, it has given us insight to who is actively leading their communities in conversations that will help contribute to a more sexually empowered culture. It is a remarkably exciting time for us as we look for additional opportunities to grow the resources that support the Sexversation® nation (more on that soon)!

Sexversations® program at SEMO
In the past year, we have presented the Sexversations® educational program at such prestigious conferences as the Bacchus and Gamma General Assembly, Sexual Assault in Our Schools National Conference, National Association of Campus Activities National Conference, Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Central Conference and National Conference for College Women Student Leaders as well as numerous college campuses and military bases throughout the country. The consistent feedback we receive is that the program is getting important conversations started. We have gotten positive comments about the implementation of a text in option during the program. This is an exciting feature that creates a safe (anonymous) space for participants to share their thoughts with the entire audience and it also allows us to capture data from thousands of participants on various issues related to sex, sexual health, relationships and sexual assault. Each campus that hosts Sexversations® receives a post program report with their specific data. We decided to compile all the available data and give you a snapshot of some of the responses we have been given. While this is not inclusive all the information we have acquired it gives you an idea of some of the responses we have received. If you are interested in learning more about our outcomes send an email to us at

Without further adieu…some of the results!

Members of their communities make the best partners?

Yes 45%
No 55%

Is a person is still a virgin after giving or receiving oral sex?

Yes 70%
No 25%
Undecided 5%

When should someone tell their partner they have an STI (sexually transmitted infection)?

Before they are intimate 64%
The sooner the better 26%
If and when they ask 3%
It’s different with each partner 3%
I don’t feel they have to disclose 4%

Do you know someone who has been sexually assaulted?

Yes 73%
No 27%

Do your sexual boundaries change while on vacation or spring break?

Yes 40%
No 60%

We hope you find these numbers interesting and worthy of discussion. If you are interested in ordering Sexversations® materials please visit send us an email at For more information on bringing this revolutionary program to campus contact The College Agency at, subject: Sexversations®.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Take me back to New Orleans

Many of you know that Becca and I have a deep rooted love for the great city of New Orleans. The Let's Talk About "IT" journey began on a road trip to NOLA more than a decade ago and so it was especially nice to return to our spiritual home to work with Tulane University. A full circle moment for us.

Thank you to the hundreds of campuses and communities who have allowed us to share our story and our passion with you. The last 8 years have been a dream come true.

The giant shiny red condom walking around campus to advertise our program was a highlight!

Health Promotions Team- they are the bestess!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Peace, Love and Sisterhood

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this time of year we write a lot about healthy relationships because we feel understanding what that means helps clear up the misconceptions about sexual assault and clarifies how we can all be a part of the solution to address and eventually end sexual violence. But instead of talking about our intimate partners we wanted to revel in the idea that the love and respect we share for one another as BFF’s and sisters of the soul, that you and your friends share for one another is also deeply significant. So as we prepare for Valentine’s Day (a Hallmark scam sure but a scam with candy) we won’t just be thinking about our lovers (sounds so much sassier than husbands or partners) who we are blessed to share our lives with. We will also think about and honor one another and give attention to the importance of nurturing all the most cherished relationships in our lives.

Who will you honor this Valentine’s Day?

I just started reading The Twisted Sisterhood by Kelly Valen. If Oprah hawks it we will buy it. Valen examines female relationships, sharing the results of her unique survey of over three thousand women. She also shares her own painful experience with girlfriends and provides insight for a future of genuine caring and true sisterhood. I just started the book, but I have to say it seems totally in line with the celebration of friendship, what this edition of our enews is all about. Have you read it? What do you think? What books do you think exemplify the power of friendship?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Boredom + Bookstore = Photo Shoot

A rainy afternoon in California with too much time on our hands and no place to go. Why spend our downtime reading when we can act like we're reading instead?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

California Home Girls

April, Lauren and Sabrina showing off the new One Student posters.

We got to spend some time with our No Woman Left Behind home girls this weekend. They inspire, amaze and dazzle us beyond measure. Honestly, we could not love these women more if our life depended on it!

We accomplished a lot during our west coast One Student/ No Woman Left Behind weekend retreat. The No Woman Left Behind Bystander Intervention Training Program is almost complete and we put the final touches on the No Woman Left Behind campus program (see description below).

No Woman Left Behind
Whether it’s your friend, sister or a complete stranger, step in and make a difference.

No Woman Left Behind is a bystander intervention program created by women for women and the men who care about them. In this empowering program, April, Lauren and Sabrina share their personal and life changing story to offer a powerful message about values, sisterhood and responsibility. The No Woman Left Behind program challenges students to raise their standards, become role models and contribute to a unified campus community.

On an average night at a seemingly typical college party, three members of the De Anza College women’s soccer team intervened when they believed a young woman was being sexually assaulted by members of a college athletic team. By following their intuition and doing what these friends refer to as “the right thing to do”, they saved a woman’s life. Their actions inspired a local campus to start the No Woman Left Behind Campaign which is now a national movement that is helping students enact change on campuses throughout the country. No Woman Left Behind was established to educate communities about sexual assault and to create a culture that does not wait for someone else to take action.

Meet the young women who inspired the No Woman Left Behind movement that is helping students enact change on campuses throughout the country. Hear their extraordinary story and personal journey, and learn how you can be an active bystander.

For information about brining this fabulous trio to your campus send us an email at

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friendiversary!

According to a friend of ours on facebook, this week is National Best Friends Week. While my internet fact checking came up with a different time of year to celebrate we decided to buck the system and get the party started early. Renegades? Maybe. Or just two best friends who have stood by one another for the past 21 years and always open to a reason to bust out some cake.

Just yesterday the topic of our friendship was the basis of an interview with a fabulous peer educator from Northwestern. She interviewed us for an article she’s writing (appearing soon on the community wall). Her slant and insight are well beyond her years. Her focus was on the role we can all play as members of a survivor’s support system and she wanted our point of view on how we can all be better friends while respecting the disclosure process. We talked a lot about what an honor it is anytime someone trusts us enough to share that they have been sexually assaulted—a privilege Kelly nor I ever take lightly. I think it is important to remember that our friend is likely not disclosing to us because they expect us to have all the answers, but because they believe we will listen, that we will believe them and we will help them seek out support and resources. There is no one size fits all response, but showing up and keeping the focus on the survivor is a good place to start. It is ok not to know everything. It took us years to be this brilliant- kidding! We are all works in progress and knowing we can help to set a positive tone for someone’s recovery process is a beautiful gift. If someone discloses to you- you have earned their trust and should feel honored. If you want a more matter of fact list of suggestions to refer to if a friend discloses to you, here is the link to our resource on “How to Help a Friend”.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seeking Student Leaders. Will you be the one?

Program Development Internship -- Spring 2011

One Student is a nonprofit organization that provides students and their allies with programs, resources and opportunities to address sexual violence. We are seeking a driven, visionary thinker to assist in developing our primary and to help encourage students to enact lasting social change in communities throughout the country.

This is a chance to gain real experience in health education, organizational outreach and leadership development while promoting sexual assault awareness and healthy relationships in a positive, inclusive and creative manner.

Qualified applicants must be comfortable corresponding with all levels of campus community members and must have strong communication skills both oral and written.

The ideal candidate will be an articulate, creative and organized self starter. Prefer applicants with leadership experience who are passionate about sexual assault awareness, sexual health and sexual equality. Only sexually empowered individuals or those with the desire to become so need apply.

This is a part-time telecommute position. Start date is January 2011 and will conclude in May 2011. If desired, we will work with the student and university to ensure college credit is provided for the internship.

Please submit your resume and cover letter no later than 12/10/10 to with subject line: Intern Resume.

Position responsibilities will include the following:

• Correspond with and develop a working relationship with campus leadership, staff and student volunteers who are interested in or affiliated with One Student

• Recruit potential partners and volunteers

• Further develop and maintain volunteer database

• Identify and promote positive examples of students enacting change via the One Student network

• Contribute to educational outreach efforts via weekly community wall posts

• Contribute to assigned program development of No Woman Left Behind or Collegiate Consortium as needed

• Assist in managing Student Involvement committee of the No Woman Left Behind Advisory Board or Assist in establishing/ managing the annual calendar for the Collegiate Consortium

*Other responsibilities may be assigned as needed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday One Student

We have been on an extended and unintentional break from this blog and not that we're digging for excuses, but one of the reasons for our absence here is our latest project. We are happt to share with you that the first phase of the project is complete and the website is finally here! It’s like our baby is being born and these two mama’s could not be more excited or proud. One Student has been a dream of ours for years and to see it come to life is incredible. Thank you to our friends, family colleagues and fellow allies for all you have done to help turn the concept of One Student from wishful thinking into actuality and now streaming live for the world to see.

We look forward to developing the organization and working with you to help students and their allies enact change. So you’d think that after months of work (and meditation, hope and prayer) we could step back, relax and breathe just a little bit now that phase one of the website is finally here. Not a chance, we’re just getting started my friends and we are already working on phase two. Stay tuned!

We welcome your feedback and invite you to visit the Be The One tab and ask that you put your name with ours and sign the One Student pledge. By standing together we are sending a powerful message that One Student can make a difference and one sexual assault is too many.

Please pass the website and video along to everyone you know. Change starts with one student, one campus, one community and is literally just one click away. Come on, what are you waiting for? Click, share and be the one!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Whether you’re embarking on your first semester of campus life or returning for your fifth year, before you get the back to school party started take a few minutes to read eight things every student can do to better protect themselves from sexual violence and help reduce the number of sexual assaults on campus.

1. Trust your intuition; it’s your best defense. If you don’t trust someone or something there’s probably a reason. Listening to you inner voice can save your life.

2. Be prepared. Program any numbers that could aid you (or a friend) in a crisis or potential crisis into your cell phone in advance such as the counseling center, campus advocate, campus police, women’s center, resident assistant, etc.

3. Communicate. Have candid discussions with your roommates and friends about supporting one another, respecting your individual choices and keeping each other safe.

4. Express yourself. Be honest with your partner(s) about one another’s personal boundaries and know that it’s okay if they change.

5. Just 2 it. There’s nothing wrong with calling for back up. If you don’t feel comfortable walking alone ask a friend to join you or call a campus escort.

6. Use a DSP. If you choose to drink always have a trusted DSP (designated sober person). Discuss your boundaries and plans for the night in advance and stick with them.

7. Just say no. Do not have sex while you or your partner(s) are under the influence. Having sex with someone who cannot resist or say "no" because the person is drugged, drunk, passed out, unconscious, or asleep may be sexual assault

8. Speak up. One voice has power. If you uncover opportunities that could improve your campus/ community safety, speak up.

While there are things everyone can do to be proactive and make safety a priority it’s important to remember that no matter the circumstance sexual assault is never the survivors fault.

Helpful Vocabulary

Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact such as sexual touching or fondling that occurs without consent. This may or may not include sexual intercourse as some states use this term interchangeably with rape.

Date rape or acquaintance rape is generally defined as forcible sexual contact by someone known to the victim (a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.).

Drug-facilitated sexual assault is generally used to define situations in which victims are subjected to nonconsensual sexual acts while they are incapacitated or unconscious due to the effects of alcohol and/or other drugs and are therefore, prevented from resisting and/or are unable to give consent.

Monday, July 26, 2010

women supporting women

The word partner means a lot to both of us. We are very blessed to have loving partners at home who support our work and believe that if it takes an airplane to get us to where we need to be then they will be glad to hold down the fort until we return home. We also have been blessed with our friendship, which over the past 20 years has morphed into one of the most significant partnerships in each of our lives. So when we started to form partnerships through our work we thought long and hard about the standard. Do they have a strong value system regarding their work? Are they advocates for college students? Do they look to empower women? Would we be proud to put our name with theirs?

When the chance to form a partnership with Delta Gamma Women's Fraternity presented itself (read more here), we could not pass it up. Delta Gamma is a premier women's organization serving college age women and their alumnae. This is a new adventure for us but feels very familiar because for years, we have worked closely with members of the organization in chapters all over the country. Our Social Outreach Coordinator and former intern extraordinaire, Sabrina is a sister of DG and long before our blessed union took place they were supporting the No Woman Left Behind Campaign.

The philosophy of our work is that one student being sexually assaulted is too many and one student can help change their campus culture. So in the coming months as we meet more motivated DG's looking to be that "one student" who will leave her campus better than she found it we are filled with excitement considering the possibilities. We are honored and flattered to put our name with theirs and think it speaks volumes about a women's organization that is clearly committed to empowering their members and working to end sexual violence on campus.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

RAINN: The Secret

We've recently been given the opportunity to work with a group of girls who are younger than the high school and college age demographic that we're used to speaking with and so this PSA is expecially touching. While this piece is beautiful, encouraging and unfortunately necessary I can't help but have an extremely deep and irrational rage toward any person who would touch or harm a child in any way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

little blue buddha

We moved into our new digs this week. Having a space aside from our respective home office’s feels good, strange, exciting and scary all at once, it’s kind of like when we moved into the dorms on campus together-- a new chapter in our lives with endless potential. Fast forward fifteen years and we are on chapter 27 or so and we’re roomies again! Sans the bunk beds, excessive use of contact paper and crate full of 10 for $1 Ramen.

We fully understand that an office is just a space, but right now it feels like so much more. It represents the next phase of our journey and with the help of many wonderful people who we respect, admire and adore, we are moving forward at full speed. Our for-profit work is taking an ambitious and creative ride. We’re partnering with several passionate people and organizations to share our message with the masses and help build a safer and more sexually empowered culture. Unite for Change is, well it’s changing. After years of wishing and planning the not-for-profit side of our work is now a much bigger focus. It feels like our professional dreams are within reach and that alone is worth celebrating. With a strict non-profit budget we decided on a small simple gift to ourselves to honor this new phase and sort of mark our new space, it’s a little blue Buddha statue that sits on our desk. It’s quirky, curious and absolutely perfect. The Buddha statue is said to symbolize enlightenment, belief and hope and while we don’t expect our teensy $5 desk ornament to be a sign of all these things it is a reminder that we will remain hungry for hope until everyone is fed.

Peace, love and enlightenment,

Thursday, July 01, 2010

New legislation will require cruise ships to carry rape kits and provide passengers with free, confidential access to 24 hour hotlines

Congratulations to International Cruise Victims (and especially our pal Laurie Dishman), Rep. Matsui and to all the cruise victims, survivors and their families who have worked tirelessly to improve cruise ship safety. We are one step closer because of you!

Cruise ship security bill clears Congress
By Emanuella Grinberg, CNNJuly 1, 2010 8:26 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- A bill that requires cruise ships to tighten security measures and report alleged crimes is awaiting President Obama's approval.

The Senate on Wednesday passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, after it received broad bipartisan support in the House with a vote of 416-4 last year.

Peepholes on cabin doors, rails no lower than 42 inches and information packets on how to report crimes are some of the changes commercial cruise passengers can expect to see after the legislation takes effect. Ships built after the legislation's passage also must be equipped with security latched and time-sensitive key technology.

The bill, authored by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-California, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, applies to all ships that dock in U.S. ports. Those ships will also be required to immediately report incidents to the FBI or the U.S. Coast Guard, whether the incident occurs on the high seas or at port.

"Current law doesn't pass the test of providing common-sense security measures to the traveling public or to help protect them from crimes committed aboard ships," Matsui said in a statement Wednesday. "Moreover, current law does not provide the support victims and their families need in the event of a disaster. This legislation is critical to providing the security and safety measures that all Americans need and deserve."

The legislation originated with a letter from one of Matsui's constituents, who said she was raped during a Royal Caribbean cruise by a crew member in February 2006.

Laurie Dishman, who has gone public with her story before Congress, claims representatives of the cruise line made her collect sheets and clothing from her room and put them in a plastic bag. They did nothing more to help her, she said, and the FBI later told her that it would not investigate further because without proper evidence, it was simply a "he said/she said" case, according to her testimonial on the

Since then, a number of high-profile alleged assaults, disappearances and homicides have helped earn support for the legislation, Matsui spokeswoman Mara Lee said. Last year, a Los Angeles-area man was charged in July with murder in the death of his wife while on a cruise along the Mexican coast, and an Alabama woman celebrating her 50th birthday disappeared from a Carnival Holiday cruise ship.

Among the provisions in the bill related to sexual assaults: Ships are required to carry rape kits and a supply of medications to prevent STDs, along with medical staff trained to deal with assaults. The legislation also requires cruise ships to provide passengers with free, confidential access to 24-hour sexual assault hot lines.

Vessels also must keep a log of incidents and contact the nearest FBI field office "as soon as possible" after a homicide, kidnapping, assault or disappearance of a U.S. national is reported.

"Safety protections in this bill will significantly reduce passengers' risk of sexual assault and expand the rights of those sexually assaulted on board," said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. "By connecting cruise passengers with the support services available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline and Online Hotline, this legislation provides a vital lifeline for victims on cruise ships."
Matsui's office worked with the cruise ship industry in crafting the legislation, spokeswoman Lee said.

"Having a law that's not going to be carried through wouldn't make sense, so we've worked with them to make very common-sense requirements that they can put in place," she said.

Many of the requirements have already been implemented by the cruise ship industry, which has been working for years to improve passenger safety, said Oivind Mathisen, editor and co-publisher of the trade publication Cruise Industry News.

"This basically means that procedures that they have been implementing for the last several years have been formalized," he said. "The industry supports it because it's in its best interest that procedures are set down, so in case something happens, everybody knows what to do and there are no gray areas."

Mathisen said negative backlash against the industry generated by the disappearances of newlyweds and young revelers is undeserved at times, considering that anywhere from 12 million to 15 million people board commercial cruises each year.

"If you look at the total numbers, relatively few people are lost at sea. In the big picture, the numbers are small. But we understand that when you lose a loved one, there's not enough the industry can do to prevent it from happening again."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paradise Protected...vacation safety tips

Are your bags packed? Are you headed home, abroad, to visit friends, start an internship or a job? Before you go, please take ten minutes and add one more thing to your to do list. Before you head out to blaze new trails get educated in advance about emergency and support services in case you or someone you know needs them. Seems simple but too often we don’t think about these things until we are in crisis mode.

So before you go, program all local or campus emergency numbers in your phone (if you need help locating these e-mail us at Have candid discussions with your new roommate, classmate, colleague, etc. about supporting one another, respecting your individual choices and keeping each other safe. Always use a DSP (designated sober person) and remember that we are all connected so if you see something that your intuition tells you is not kosher, safely intervene.

While sexual assault and violent crimes are never the victim's fault they are often times preventable. As bystander's (community members) it is our responsibility to help reduce these horrible acts by being aware, getting involved and helping to create a culture with zero tolerance for violence.

Our friend and fellow empowered sister, Laurie Dishman, Senior Vice President for International Cruise Victims was kind enough to take time to give us the scoop on cruise ship safety, so if you plan to cruise this summer please read this first.

An Interview with Laurie Dishman…

What numbers and contact information should I have on hand before traveling abroad or on a cruise? 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline and 1-202-324-3000 FBI.

What safety measure can I take in advance to plan for a safe trip?  
First, read all materials in regards to your trip especially the ticket book you get when taking a cruise… check out information about percentage of crimes in that location, but if going on a cruise you will not find that information under any cruise line website so visit: and

What can I do if I feel that I’m not getting the services I need/ deserve?
If at any time you are feeling that you are not getting the services that you need or deserve that is a good time to use the numbers that I shared earlier. When traveling abroad and especially on a cruise ship you are under different countries laws and therefore you have to look out for yourself.

Who should I report a crime to and how?
When on a cruise ship you should immediately report the crime to the FBI even if it is by email. You can also reach out to RAINN hotline by phone 1-800-656-HOPE or online click on online hotline. After reaching out to them then you can report the crime to the ship’s captain. If you are abroad and a crime occurs you can also contact the U.S. Embassy in the country you are in.

For more cruise safety tips click here.