Written by: Eileen Conboy
When I stepped into my role as the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in October 2018, I was tasked with creating an office from the ground up. It was exciting but overwhelming. To cope with the overwhelm, I resorted to what many of us do: list-making.
I made a list of Canadian Universities, a list of Canadian Colleges, a list of offices dedicated to sexualized violence prevention and response, a list of coordinators, and a list of everyone’s contact information. There was a lot of good information, and I knew I had to share it more widely. I sent a tentative group email: “Hi, does a network or community already exist? If not, would anyone be interested in starting one? Is anyone else feeling the need for connection? I’m starting an office SOS?” Amazingly, though knowing folks better now, NOT surprisingly, I was met with the warmest hellos and echoes of similar wants and needs.
As a group, we agreed that an accessible platform with different topic threads would best suit our needs. Someone suggested Slack (an online communication platform that is also downloadable as an app), and the University Sexual Violence Response Network (USVRN) was created. The USVRN Slack has been a helpful tool to provide regular problem-solving, resource sharing, and consultation that many of us are missing in our day to day work. Slack facilitates easy collaboration and offers the function to set channel permissions with different levels of privacy for different channels, which makes it possible for us to tailor the channel to the privacy level required for different conversations and topics.
The best part of my involvement in the Courage to Act project has been participation in the Frontline GBV Campus Workers Community of Practice. Here, I have met some of the most inspiring, kind, and intelligent folks that I know. Many of them also act as the only person in a dedicated role in sexualized violence prevention at their PSI. Being a part of this Community of Practice has shown me the value of collaborating with peers in my field and I want MORE! If you feel the same and are working in sexualized violence prevention and response at a PSI in Canada, please join the USVRN Slack. We can’t wait to connect with you online!
Suggested Citation: Conboy, Eileen. (2021, April). Slack Channel for Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response at PSIs. Courage to Act. www.couragetoact.ca/blog/slack-channel