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Washington, D.C. – Raliance, in partnership with The Close Up Foundation and It’s On Us, kicks off its ThisGEN Youth Summit in Washington, D.C. today, convening high school students from around the country to build collective power and voice in the fight to end gender-based violence. Eighty high school sophomores and juniors from 25 states and Washington, D.C. will engage in leadership and learning opportunities to explore efforts to stop gender-based violence.
Students will learn to use social media and messaging to change public opinion and discourse; to leverage the influence of sports and athletes; and to catalyze individuals through community organizing and advocacy to end gender-based violence. The five-day event (March 6-10) culminates in a march and rally on Capitol Hill where participants will declare their specific calls to action to propel the movement forward.
“The students at our ThisGEN Youth Summit are incredibly inspiring and will lead the way in ending gender-based violence,” said Lindsay McDaniel Mapp, National Project Manager at Raliance. “By nurturing the conditions for their own empowerment, Raliance seeks to inspire this generation to bring learning and activism back into their communities and take the steps necessary to build a culture of respect for all.”
“We are honored to work with Raliance to engage and empower young people to be active citizens in our democracy,” said Mia Charity, Chief Development Officer, Close Up Foundation. “These students are our future leaders, and we are excited to give them the tools and training necessary to make an impact in the years to come.”
“Educating, engaging and empowering students alongside Raliance to become active in our mission of shifting the way that people think about sexual assault is truly an honor,” said Rebecca Kaplan, Director, It’s On Us. “We hope that attendees will bring what they learn back to their high schools and host It’s On Us Spring Week of Action events this April.”
The ThisGEN Youth Summit, made possible through seed funding for Raliance from the National Football League (NFL), aims to help today’s youth leaders build a culture that sees the value and dignity of every person and eradicates gender-based violence. Gender-based violence refers to abuse within unequal relationships between men and women and broadly encompasses acts that result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering. Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lifetime.
For more information about the ThisGEN Youth Summit, visit: www.raliance.org.
Composed of three top sexual violence prevention organizations, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)-PreventConnect and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV), Raliance serves as the central hub for effective allocation and distribution of programmatic funding in sexual violence prevention and as the go-to resource for policymakers, advocates, service providers and the media. Raliance is funded through a $10 million multiyear commitment from the National Football League. The name was inspired by the entity’s intent to rally engagement from stakeholders and align goals and resources behind its overarching mission of putting a stop to sexual violence once and for all.
ABOUT CLOSE UP FOUNDATION
The Close Up Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to inform, inspire, and empower young people to embrace the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in our democracy. Since 1971, Close Up has served more than 850,000 students and teachers from across the country through civic education programs and classroom resources. For more information, visit www.closeup.org.
ABOUT IT’S ON US
It’s On Us is a national campaign aimed at fundamentally shifting the way we think about sexual assault. The campaign is a rallying cry inviting everyone to step up and realize the solution begins with us. To date, over 400,000 people have taken the It’s On Us pledge and students have hosted 2,000 It’s On Us events on 534 campuses nationwide. Please visit ItsOnUs.org to take the pledge.