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UAB to host “Critical Conversations” forum on the impact of the #MeToo movement on higher education

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will host a community forum to discuss the repercussions of the #MeToo movement, its impact on higher education, and the legal and ethical issues college and university leadership must consider when confronted with allegations of sexual misconduct. The discussion is part of the UAB Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s “Critical Conversations” series.

The forum, “Critical Conversations: Amplifying the Voices and Echoes of #MeToo,” will take place Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 6-8 p.m. in Heritage Hall, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome.

The conversation will focus on the aftermath of sexual harassment allegations brought forward against well-known celebrities like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, R. Kelly and others. Although the allegations have focused mostly on high-profile celebrities and politicians, higher education has not been immune to similar trends. Panelists will address sexual misconduct on college campuses and the workplace; the culture of sexual abuse and misconduct; how these issues are compounded when victims face retaliation for speaking out; and next steps for the broader community.

The panel includes Kasey Robinson, J.D., UAB Title IX Coordinator; Lisa Sharlach, UAB Ph.D., associate professor and Director, Women’s and Gender Studies; Mandy Parente, M.Ed., CHES: UAB Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator Wellness Promotion; Olivio Clay, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of psychology at UAB; and Anita Clemon, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CAAP, assistant vice president for Institutional Equity and chair of the UAB Commission on the Status of Women, who will serve as the forum facilitator.

“Critical Conversations” is a campus-wide civic forum series that provides a platform for civil discourse. The goal is to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive community by using education and civil discourse as tools to encourage and empower UAB and its surrounding communities to engage, collaborate and create solutions to social issues affecting our communities.