Incite to Appleton promotes validation of victims’ experiences

Last Saturday marked the Committee on Diversity Affair’s (CODA) first Incite to Appleton One-Day Conference. The goal of the event was to relay the experiences of the CODA members who went to the National Color of Violence 4 Social Justice Conference.

The mock conference welcomed Lawrence students, faculty and staff.

There were a variety of talks individuals could attend, with topics varying from schools as sites of violence to the criminalization of the black mother, and transformative justice and accountability.

“Faculty and staff were particularly impressed by the sophistication of the workshop,” began CODA chair and senior Brienne Colston.

Incite to Appleton also hoped to highlight how violence connects to campus.

“It was very eye opening [to faculty and staff],” continued junior Jaime Gonzalez, vice chair of CODA.

CODA hopes that with events like this one, faculty and staff will be more able to make resources available to students.

“[With this conference] we were able to see how [faculty and staff] are able to work within the system, but still validate the victim,” continued Gonzalez.

Other discussions facilitated a forum that allowed students, faculty, staff and Appleton community members to discuss rape culture, insensitivity to working class individuals on campus and homophobia.

“Through these discussions, we are hoping to validate the experience of the individual and look for alternative ways of approaching the issue while holding the right people accountable,” said Gonzalez.

Incite to Appleton attracted a variety of attendees.

“Because we were in Steitz, we attracted a very different crowd than we normally would if we were in Warch,” said Colston.

Despite the turnout, CODA experienced some obstacles during the day.

“Although I reserved rooms weeks in advanced for this event, other [clubs] also ended up hosting events in the same weekend,” said Colston. “Due to the ceramics sale and Main Hall green festivities, we had to share the crowd and they usually come in an influx.”

Regardless, CODA members agree that the conference was excellent.

CODA is leading an Ally Training Workshop as this has been identified as necessary by a variety of folks on campus. Additionally, this Monday, May 4, CODA is hosting a spontaneous forum to discuss the recent events in Baltimore.

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