Foundation helps sponsor Civic Discourse Week, April 11-14

The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) has partnered with Millikin University in sponsoring the sixth annual Civic Discourse Week, to be held April 11-14. According to Millikin’s website, this year's theme is “Voices + Advocacy: Supporting Survivors of Trauma,” featuring interactive discussions and activities focused on topics that include LGBTQ+ community; underrepresented and marginalized identities; diversity, inclusion and equity; and raising awareness on combating sexual violence.

Other sponsors include Richland Community College, Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center and Millikin’s Provost Office. All events are free and open to the public.

“Civil discourse is an important first step in elevating the conversation about these topics to help us attain a more equitable, inclusive and supportive society,” says Natalie Beck, CFMC president. “Each of us can commit to learning about the lives and experiences of individuals whose stories may greatly differ from our own.”

The week 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, third floor, University Commons, Millikin campus

This event’s speaker, Dr. Jennifer S. Hirsch, is 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.

Hirsch co-authored “Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus” with Shamus Khan, a professor of sociology and American studies at Princeton University. The book, named one of NPR's Best Books of 2020, is based on a five-year study that included interviews with college students, exploring what students wanted out of sex, how troubling encounters unfolded and how layers of misunderstandings led to assault. Their study suggests that the social ecosystem on campuses 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. An open Q&A book signing will follow the lecture.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
The Clothesline Project
6–7 p.m., Oberhelman Center for Leadership Performance, first floor, University Commons, Millikin campus

The Clothesline Project shirt display is created by Millikin students, faculty and staff who are survivors of violence or individuals who lost loved ones to violence. The project increases awareness of the impact of violence and abuse, honors survivors' strength to continue and gives survivors a voice to break the silence that can surround violent experiences. The project is supported by Millikin's Greek life community and will be on display throughout April.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
LGBTQ+ Ally Training
3–5 p.m., Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Rooms, third floor, University Commons, Millikin campus

Staff from the Phoenix Project will deliver training on “How to be an Ally for LGBTQ+ Survivors of Violence.” The training will blend awareness of LGBTQ+ allyship with information on how to support LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence in context with the specific needs of this population.

Thursday, April 14, 2022
Take Back the Night
7–9 p.m., Central Park, Downtown Decatur

Take Back the Night (TBTN) is the earliest worldwide movement to stand against sexual violence. The Take Back the Night Foundation's mission seeks 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.

For more information about Civil Discourse Week, call Millikin University's Division of Student Affairs at 217.424.6395 or email