Community & Identity-Based Education

Community & Identity-Based Education to Address Relationship and Sexual Violence


Despite experiencing persistently high rates of relationship and sexual violence (RSV), people with minoritized identities (i.e., queer and trans people, people with disabilities, and people of color) are often ignored in mainstream educational and awareness programs about RSV. This exclusion is usually unintentional and frequently stems from educational programs being designed to reach a large number of students at once. These programs usually focus on a “typical” student, which usually means cisgender heterosexual white women when it comes to issues of RSV.

Further, when historically minoritized communities are included in educational programming, the programing is designed using research or “best practices” centered around dominant groups (i.e., white, cisgender, heterosexual women) resulting in disempowerment, misunderstanding, and tokenization of people with minoritized identities. For example, when educators do not understand the relationship between minoritized communities and criminal justice systems, they may disempower people by over-relying on police for response. 

The Community and Identity-Based Education (CIBE) program seeks to address these challenges by centering people with minoritized identities as experts on our own experiences and supporting the development of educational programs by and for minoritized people as it relates to RSV.


Through the CIBE program, we seek to identify and support graduate students with minoritized identities to develop identity-specific educational programming for undergraduate students who share their identities.

In the first year of the program beginning in the fall 2021 semester, we will focus on queer and trans people, people with disabilities, people of color, and people with a combination of these identities.

Interested graduate students will enroll in a 3-credit graduate level course (draft syllabus here) that will provide a historical and nuanced exploration of the complex dynamics of RSV and oppression among college students. Each graduate student (individually or in pairs) will develop and facilitate a series of workshops with undergraduate students in a shared identity group during the spring 2022 semester.


If you are a graduate student who:

  • likes trying/starting/building new things,
  • is comfortable with ambiguity and imperfection,
  • wants to better understand and address RSV,
  • identifies as a person of color, person with a disability, or queer or trans person,

…please join us at one of our information sessions to learn more!

Register by clicking below:

Tuesday, April 6, 5 p.m. 

Friday, April 9, 2 p.m.

a word...

This program is new, different from many programs we have tried before. It is imperfect. And it may feel somewhat vague. We do not know exactly what it will look like – the point is that we will create it together, requiring participants to be comfortable with ambiguity. We cannot wait for perfection to begin trying. We’ve been waiting far too long, and people are suffering. We must do better – however imperfect it may be. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for – instead of looking around and asking, “who is doing this?,” let’s be the ones doing this. Let’s roll up our sleeves, dig in to this messy work, and build something that serves our communities.

I’m interested! What’s next?

Please fill out this registration form and we’ll follow up with you with additional details!


NO! You are an expert on your own experience - and that includes experiences with relationships of all types - romantic and not; healthy and not. That’s what we’re looking for - people with passion, commitment, and a deep understanding of the ways power and oppression impact our daily lives.

All forms of violence are connected with oppression. The primary risk factor for causing harm is unresolved trauma. Additionally, some people may commit violence toward people they love because they feel disempowered in other spaces. Finally, some people commit violence toward people they do not know or value because their own sense of self is threatened. We will explore all of these issues in the course, specifically focusing on healing and transformative justice as a strategy for preventing violence.

We are currently seeking funding to pay graduate students to facilitate the 8-week program in Spring Semester 2022.

Historically minoritized groups have been left out and/or dismissed on issues of RSV often on the scholarly level, institutional, and interpersonal level. A main goal of these community-identity groups is creating space that listens, centers, and values minoritized individuals and what we think are best practices for our communities.

Many folks identify with various identities. We will develop the groups collectively to honor and appreciate the intersecting identities.

 “Power-conscious framework requires scholars, activists, and educators to maintain an awareness of the role of power in addressing issues of oppression” (Linder, 2018, p. 19)

Power and privilege work together to benefit one group over another. A power-conscious framework means we are actively engaging in how our identities, linked with power, privilege, and oppression impact the way others and ourselves are heard, seen, and valued. Through a power-conscious framework, we can work towards centering minoritized voices and work collectively to create best practices for our communities.

Intersectionality is a concept often misused and misappropriated. We use intersectionality as a framework to examine the ways power and oppression influence people’s experiences differently based on various identities. Intersectionality is especially important in violence prevention work as the experiences of people vary dramatically based on their intersecting identities. Click here to learn more about Intersectionality initially coined by Dr. Kimberlee Crenshaw.

The course will be listed in Educational Leadership & Policy as a special topics course. However, if you need credit in your department for an elective, we can work with you to potentially do an independent study in your department. Much of this will be decided on a case-by-case basis.