Learning from Youth Activism about Sexual Harassment

Dear Engaged Bystander: I was reading through a newsletter today from MassCOSH (MA Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health) and found a great teen peer leadership award. Jobs with Justice recognized TL@W Peer Leaders for their ground-breaking sexual harrassment campaign and their support for workers and unions.

Here is what captured my attention though:

At their acceptance dinner, the peer leaders gave the audience a snippet of the work they do. They described one exercise they do:

Find someone you don't know

Touch your elbows to each other

Touch your shoulders to each other

Now touch your noses to each other

How did it feel? Now you know what it feels like to be in a situation where you feel uncomfortable.

I was not there, but it seems like a great exercise to get people to understand on a visceral level, what we are trying to convey with our work. And if that makes you uncomfortable, how do we get people to speak up when they are in that same place.

I would love to know if anyone has used this exercise and what you have done to modify that.

many thanks!