Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sister Spotlight: MC Cain and It's On Us

Being in Tri Delta, we have so many members who accomplish amazing goals and are involved in a variety of organizations on campus. We are especially proud of our sister, MC Cain, for all of her hard work and dedication the the organization It's On Us.

During winter break, MC got the opportunity to visit the White House for the It's on Us Summit. Here below, MC shares with our readers some information about It's On Us nationally as well as on USC's campus, her White House experience with the campaign, as well as how you can get involved and learn more about this awesome initiative. 

What is It’s On Us?
It's On Us asks everyone -- men and women across America -- to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault. 
“It’s On Us” aims to fundamentally shift the way we think about sexual assault, by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something, big or small, to prevent it. The campaign reflects the belief that sexual assault isn’t just an issue involving a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim, but one in which the rest of us also have a role to play. We are committed to creating an environment - be it a dorm room, a party, a bar or club, or the greater college campus - where sexual assault is unacceptable and the survivors are supported. This movement will support student-led efforts already underway across the country, and will focus particularly on motivating college men to get involved.

My Involvement

In the spring of 2016, Student Body President, Michael Parks, approached my co-director and I about taking charge of the It’s On Us campaign. This is an extremely personal cause to me and I would not be able to be so vocal about this issue without the fabulous support of my family and friends! 

Week of Action at USC
Our first big event on University of South Carolina’s campus with It’s On Us was our “Week of Action”. This was a week full of events, workshops, and awareness of the cause. Here’s a summary of the week:

"University of South Carolina kicked off their It's On Us Week of Action on Monday October 24th with a kickball tournament. There was a great turnout with teams full of athletes, Greek life, Student Government, freshman groups, and many more! Over 150 pledges were signed under the kickball lights Monday night. Tuesday was spent with the on campus group IRIS, Individuals Respecting Identities and Sexualities, discussing sexual assault in the media. Several clips were played and a productive and lively discussion ensued about our overwhelming and powerful media. Wednesday night was a night full of solemn presence and powerful words at the Supporting Survivors Candlelight Vigil. A variety of speakers read the letter Joe Biden wrote to the "Stanford Survivor". These speakers included survivors, parents of survivors, and other powerful leaders amongst our Carolina community. Thursday was an empowering 'kick-ass' afternoon spent with SASS Self-Defense leaders Whitney Pike and Shannon Henry. We rounded out our week on Friday with an exciting University of South Carolina PSA Video release." Our video can be found here.

Trip to the White House
This past Thursday I had the honor to attend the final It's On Us Summit at the White House. This collaborative event was hosted by the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Public Engagement and the White House Council on Women and Girls. The summit brought together 'It's On Us’  supporters from all over including: students, advocates, members from academia, the private sector, government and philanthropic organizations and even Mr. It's On Us himself, Vice President Joe Biden. 

Throughout the day we discussed the immense progress that this campaign has made over the past 2+ years. To illustrate the team’s success, a video was produced by power-house agency, Mekanism, for the It’s On Us campaign. (Watch Video Here)
I want to share with you two of the biggest takeaways from the day:
  1. The Future of 'It’s On Us': This has always been and will always be a bi-partisan issue. It was created outside of government control for this purpose. With the upcoming inauguration and new administration, and flurry of negativity surrounding these changes, there is no confusion about the life of 'It's On Us'. This strong, powerful, and crucial campaign will continue to grow and prosper. 'It's On Us' will now be housed through Civic Nation.  
  2. What can YOU do?: While we talked a lot about progress at our summit, we still have a long way to go. The statistics still take your breath away. However, all ages, all genders, all stages of life, YOU can have an impact in changing our society. We want to create communities that establish a new baseline for what is socially acceptable. We want to make standing up for a friend “cool”. We want it to be naturally understood that bystanders have just as much responsibility as the attacker to the victim. YOU are an everyday activist. Use your voice and show those around you that it’s “cool” to stand up for victims and survivors of sexual assault. Even the smallest comments or actions have significant and powerful results.  

I can't express how thankful I am to have found 'It's On Us', or actually for 'It's On Us' to have found me! 'It’s On Us' takes the responsibility off the survivor and places it on EVERYONE to be apart of this fight in ending sexual assault. In the words of Joe Biden: “It’s On Us is a public reminder to all survivors, past, present, and future, you will not suffer alone, and we will not stay silent.” My passion continues to grow for this cause and all the lives it continues to touch. 

What can YOU do at University of South Carolina to support It’s On Us?
Get involved! Educate yourself! Be sure to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/uscitsonus/) and sign up for alerts from our website (www.uscitsonus.com). We are always sharing new information and promoting events and ways to get involved. Because we are such a new group on campus, we are ALWAYS open to new ideas! If you have any ideas, want to talk, want to learn more, or anything else, please email us at uscitsonus@gmail.com!

Exciting News!
I am excited to announce that there will be a Gala in March for It's On Us. Be sure to stay updated on social media and follow us to find out more about the ticket release date! 

It’s On Us Hero Gala
March 30, 2017
Spirit Communications Stadium
"A night of fundraising and raising awareness for the University of South Carolina & National It’s On Us Campaign."

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