March 30, 2022 at 11:45am
Dane Lisser

Voices + Advocacy: Supporting Survivors of Trauma

Millikin University will present its 6th annual Civic Discourse Week April 11-14, 2022. In the midst of an increasingly diverse array of perspectives, civic discourse helps demonstrate our shared responsibility to one another, our commitment to our systems and our willingness to choose to elevate the conversation.

This year's Civic Discourse Week theme is "Voices + Advocacy: Supporting Survivors of Trauma," featuring interactive discussions and activities focused on particular topics, including the LGBTQ+ community, underrepresented and marginalized identities, diversity, inclusion and equity, and raising awareness on combating all sexual violence.

Civic Discourse Week Millikin University

Civic Discourse Week 2022 features the following events.

Monday, April 11, 2022
2022 Thomas W. Ewing Lecture: Sexual Citizens with Dr. Jennifer S. Hirsch

7 – 8 p.m., Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Rooms, 3rd floor of the University Commons

Millikin University is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer S. Hirsch, professor and deputy chair for doctoral studies in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences and co-director of the Columbia Population Research Center at Columbia University for the 2022 Thomas W. Ewing Lecture.

Dr. Hirsch is the author of the 2020 New York Times Bestseller "Sexual Citizens," a groundbreaking text based on years of research interviewing and observing college life―with students of different races, genders, sexual orientations and socioeconomic backgrounds. Hirsch's landmark study reveals the social ecosystem abets sexual assault, explaining how physical spaces, alcohol, peer groups and cultural norms influence young people's experiences and interpretations of both sex and sexual assault. Through the powerful concepts of "sexual projects," "sexual citizenship" and "sexual geographies," Dr. Hirsch offers a new and widely-accessible language for understanding the forces that shape young people's sexual relationships. An open Q&A book signing will be held following a 45-minute moderated session.

Jennifer Hirsch's research spans five intertwined domains: the anthropology of love; gender, sexuality and migration; sexual, reproductive and HIV risk practices; social scientific research on sexual assault and undergraduate well-being, and the intersections between anthropology and public health. She has published articles in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Studies in Family Planning, AIDS, and Culture Health and Sexuality. Her books include "A Courtship After Marriage: Sexuality and Love in Mexican Transnational Families" (University of California Press, 2003), which explores changing ideas and practices of love, sexuality and marriage among Mexicans in the U.S. and in Mexico, and the coauthored "The Secret: Love, Marriage and HIV" (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009), which analyzes the social organization of extramarital sexual practices in Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Papua-New Guinea and the implications of those practices for married women's HIV risk.

Dr. Hirsch is currently working with the Caring Majority on Fair Pay for Home Care workers, and with a statewide coalition to pass legislation ensuring access to comprehensive sexuality education.

The Thomas W. Ewing Lectureship was created by Millikin University and Congressman Ewing's colleagues in recognition of his many years of public service. Ewing, a 1957 Millikin graduate, retired in 2001 after serving nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 15th District of Illinois. Ewing served 17 years in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he was assistant Republican leader from 1982-90 and was named deputy minority leader in 1990. The lectures focus on public policy and service, and visiting lecturers are selected based on their prominence in those fields as well as their ability to inspire others to serve.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
The Clothesline Project

6 – 7 p.m., Oberhelman Center for Leadership Performance, 1st floor of the University Commons

The Clothesline Project is a visual display of violence statistics that often go ignored. Each shirt is made by a survivor of violence or by someone who has lost a loved one to violence. The purpose of the project is to increase awareness of the impact of violence and abuse, to honor a survivor's strength to continue, and to provide another avenue for them to courageously break the silence that often surrounds their experience. Millikin's campus clothesline will be displayed throughout the month of April. All shirts displayed have been created by Millikin students, faculty and staff. The project is supported by Millikin's Fraternity and Sorority Life Community.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
LGBTQ+ Ally Training

3 – 5 p.m., Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Rooms, 3rd floor of the University Commons

Millikin University is welcoming staff from the Springfield, Ill., based Phoenix Project to deliver the training: "How to be an Ally for LGBTQ+ Survivors of Violence." This training will blend awareness of LGBTQ+ allyship with information on how to support LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence in context with specific needs of this population. If you are a direct service provider or work with survivors, this training can improve the efficacy of survivor advocacy. Those wishing to participate can sign up here.

Thursday, April 14, 2022
Take Back the Night

6 – 8 p.m., Central Park in Downtown Decatur, Ill.

Take Back the Night (TBTN) is the earliest worldwide movement to stand against sexual violence. The mission of the Take Back the Night Foundation is to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence. The foundation serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. People of all backgrounds around the world are taking back their voices by speaking out against these crimes and taking a stand through Take Back the Night.

TBTN events have been documented in over 36 countries and more than 1,000 communities, with more locations taking a stand every year. TBTN events have reached over 30 million people through strength, support and the commitment to ending sexual violence. This community event is sponsored by Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center and is open to all.

Millikin University wants to thank our generous sponsors of Civic Discourse Week; the Community Foundation of Macon County, Richland Community College, Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center and the Millikin University Provost Office.

For more information or questions about Civic Discourse Week, contact Millikin University's Division of Student Affairs at 217.424.6395 or email