Newsletter: Hello from Toronto where I’ll be listening for the next few weeks

Happy Wednesday from Toronto! I arrived in the city yesterday, and I’ll be here for just over a month working on a new project.

It’s a little different from the work I’ve been doing recently. With another reporter, I’ll spend each week in a different GTA community. The goal is simply to listen — to learn about the issues that keep people up at night and the stories that restore their optimism — and to develop a plan for how The Discourse can meaningfully cover those issues as we expand into Ontario.

We’ll be doing interviews and hosting pop-up events in each community we visit. Soon, I’ll let you know what areas I’ll be reporting in. Stay tuned to find out if I’ll be in your area!

Just because I’m doing something new for the next few weeks doesn’t mean project #SilencedSurvivors is on hold. I’m still dedicated to documenting the impact of silencing students who have been sexually assaulted on Canadian university and college campuses. As many of you know, I’ve spent the last few months investigating this question and was surprised to learn that, according to one one study, nine universities silence survivors who report their experiences to them. I wrote a story about the legal and ethical concerns of these practices, which some call “gag orders.”

Now I’ve launched a survey to examine the impacts these “gag orders” are having on survivors. I’m asking: If you’ve experienced sexual violence and brought your complaint to the university, how did administrators address it? Did anyone from the school discourage you from sharing your experience? Did you feel silenced?

I’d like to hold space for the stories survivors from across Canada’s campuses would have told, had they been allowed to say #MeToo.

I’ll be using the testimonies to document the impact of silencing survivors on Canada’s post-secondary campuses. If you’d like to share your experience with me, please fill out the short survey (you can share as much or as little about your identity as you like). And if you’re connected to campus life in any way, please share it with folks in your networks.

If you’re in the Toronto area and prefer to talk through your responses in person, I’d be more than happy to meet up. And if you’re a Toronto subscriber with thoughts on my work, I’d love to grab a coffee while I’m here. Reach me by replying to this email or by phone at (778) 903-7714.[end]


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